3 tips to control your voice when you’re nervous
Updated: Mar 22
It can be really frustrating when we speak in front of an audience and are not able to control our voice.
For some reason as soon as we’re about to speak, we are short of breath, our mouth and throat feel dry, our hands are shaking and our heart seems to beat so fast it will jump out of our chest any minute.
As we feel this loss of control, it seems as though it is out of our hands to do anything that can influence our situation. It's as if we were hypnotized by our emotions and paralyzed by our fear.
So, what can you do? Here are 3 things:
1. Connect to your breath. By becoming conscious of our breath, we put ourselves back in the driver’s seat immediately. We get out of our head and into the here and now. The present is the only moment where you can actually successfully influence your actions. And incidentally your breath is also fuel for your voice. So not only can focusing on your breath help you become conscious of what is going on, it can also give your voice more energy, which will influence the control you have over your voice.
2. Look at the facts. What is really going on? Are you in actual danger? Is the fact that you are speaking disturbing somebody? Will this presentation change the course of your career or your life? Will people in the future actually care about your voice or will this just be another presentation? A lot of times, when we are scared of a situation, we blow it up in our minds to get so big that we seemingly can no longer move. We are at the mercy of what is going on, because emotionally we feel incapable of acting any other way. When we break a situation down to the naked facts: you have been asked to speak, you will give a presentation, people will listen or not, afterwards everybody will go to lunch, it will have been another day at work (just wildly imagining here!) - does it still seem daunting?
3. Move or take up space. Fear and anxiety build up when we feel stuck. As soon as we feel like we have space to move, our nerves can calm down as well. I’m not saying frantically pace up and down the stage during your presentation, just know that you can move your hands, arms, shoulders -maybe even your legs. See what range you have and use it. You can trick your body (and your voice!) into feeling calm when you move your body.
I hope these tips are useful for you. If you need some guidance in becoming more confident presenting and sharing your voice with an audience - book a 30 free discovery call with me here.
You can also check out my coaching program here.
30min online transformation of nervousness: I have created an online mini coaching process called “Last minute confidence boost - presentation rescue kit, that you can check out here.
And if you have read this post and tried out one or some of my tips, feel free to send me an email and tell me about it.