Overcoming nervousness

  • Remember: “I am not alone”.

Everyone gets nervous and, to date, no one has ever died of nervousness due to public speaking. Your audience is probably admiring you for having the courage to speak in front of a group. You are helping people with diabetes to live healthy lives (it’s worth it!).

  • Take note of your physical "symptoms": Are your palms sweating or knees shaking? Acknowledge these "symptoms" to yourself, then take a deep breath and move on.

Public speaking best practices

  • Do a vocal warm-up in the car on the way to the presentation to get your vocal cords ready to present (some people like to repeat phrases like ‘red leather, yellow leather’ or other tongue twisters to get their speech muscles going);
  • Stand tall – This will allow your diaphragm to properly contract and will allow you to project your voice.
  • Enunciate – Be sure that you speak loudly and clearly and emphasize the consonants, especially at the end of words;
  • Stay hydrated – You may also want to avoid dairy products in advance of a presentation to ensure your voice is clear.

Public speaking traps to avoid

  • The “er”, “er um” or “um” or “like” – If you are having difficulty collecting your thoughts – feel free to pause and take a breath;
  • The apologetic tone – This presentation is important so don’t apologize for your lack of experience or ‘dry’ slides…keep a positive attitude;
  • The wiggles – Try not to fidget, jiggle your keys or play with your jewelry.  It’s distracting for your audience.

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