Almost everyone admits to a case of nerves before a formal speech. Americans in general fear public speaking even more than a fear of death.
While a little nervousness is not a bad thing, being overly nervous can be a distractor for the audience and act as roadblock for good communication. The speaker may be more concerned with the manifestations of the nervousness than on the message itself.
There are a lot of techniques that can be of help for the speaker to overcome nervousness during a speech. However, here is a simple technique that may go along way to helping reduce the nervous manifestations of fear of public speaking.
Almost every college has a program for freshmen on how to study. One of the things that is suggested to the students is that they get a “study bear”. This is a small item, such as pocket-sized teddy bear, doll, or figurine. This bear is put on the desk only when studying. After a short time period, the student comes to associate the bear with studying. Thereafter, the appearance of the bear will create a response of preparation for study.
This can be successfully adopted in speaking as well. A small talisman of some sort like the study bear can come to be associated with a calm demeanor. Placing this bear in a line of sight, but out of view of the audience can be reassuring.
Linus of Peanuts fame drew strength from his blanket. He even got clever in ways of making it into a costume of some sort so he could stay close and not draw attention.
Try the study bear concept and make your best speech ever!