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Relaxation Techniques

relaxation techniques

Being able to remain calm when delivering speeches is essential to its success. There are several relaxation techniques you can do in the hours leading up to your speech in an effort to overcome your fear of public speaking. They include:

Breathe: The best and easiest of relaxation techniques is breathing. Breathing may seem like a natural thing to do, but it is easy to get caught up in a stressful situation and allow yourself to tense up and forget to breathe. This simply creates more stress and anxiety, until it is almost impossible to recover from it. Consciously reminding oneself to breathe is one of the most effective relaxation techniques, as well as the simplest. 

Prepare Well: One of the worst proponents of anxiety is a lack of preparation. When delivering a speech, for example, the speaker will often choke up due to fear of forgetting his next point, either due to lack of preparation or simply out of a lack of confidence - neither of which may be excused. Preparation in terms of relaxation techniques means practicing and revising, ironing out any kinks that may lead to anxiety. While a lack of preparation is one of the worst proponents of anxiety, a well-prepared attitude may be one of the best relaxation techniques available.

Be confident: Confidence is one of the most underrated of all relaxation techniques. This is because people think that it is hard to acquire confidence if they are not already, but this is not the case. Confidence is nothing more than a mindset; it is a simple case of believing in oneself - just think that you are confident and you will be; it’s that easy. There are a number of resources available for individuals who truly struggle with confidence. These include but are not limited to: the World Wide Web, simply type in “confidence building techniques” into a search, books on how to be confident with yourself and motivational videos and audio cd’s.

Music: Listening to your favorite relaxing music is an effective way to stay calm in a stressful situation. If you need it during a speech, for example, you should listen to it just before the speech to calm yourself, and this relaxed mood should remain with you throughout the duration of the speech.

Meditation: Many people suggest meditation as a means of finding relaxation. This is a quite effective approach, since meditation consists of concentration and breathing techniques which are each in themselves great relaxation techniques. 

Imagery: The images in your surroundings affect your level of anxiety or relaxation. This is also true when you hold certain imagery in your mind. Thus it is quite an effective technique to try and imagine relaxing imagery while in a stressful situation. Some people are relaxed when surrounded by images of the sea, while others find tranquility when they see pictures of their family and friends. Whichever images you find comforting, trying to imagine them when you feel anxious may prove one of the most effective of all relaxation techniques. The only problem with this technique is that it depends largely on your ability to clearly recall images into your mind, and for some this proves a rather difficult task in itself. If this is the case, then it is better to avoid this technique and use the others instead, as they are equally, if not more, effective.

Progressive muscle relaxation: Progressive muscle relaxation involves focusing on tensing up individual muscle groups for five seconds at a time, then relaxing for thirty seconds. Find a quiet place to sit and begin either at your feet or your head and neck and work across your entire body.

Autogenic relaxation: Autogenic relaxation helps to eliminate anxiety by combining visual imagery with awareness of your body. It can also involve word repetition. Find a quiet place to sit and begin deep breathing, inhaling and exhaling for five seconds each. Then imagine a stress-free place—it could be the beach, a meadow, any place that brings you peace—and think about what your senses would encounter there, the fresh air, the texture of a flower, the slow crashing of the waves.

Important! These relaxation techniques are not effective if you never try them until the morning of your speech. Like any exercise, you need to practice at them to become good. Thus it’s imperative that you practice them in the days and weeks leading up to your speech.


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