Public Speaking Tip No. 1: Calm Your Nerves By Using the Two Second Rule

Calming your nerves before a briefing can be especially challenging if you are not an experienced briefer. A helpful tip I learned at this week’s briefing class is as follows:
  • Walk towards the podium or location where you will brief
  • Turn toward the audience, pause, and smile
  • Make eye contact with one person and internally count, one-one-thousand, two-one thousand
  • Make eye contact with a second person and internally count, one-one-thousand, two-one thousand
  • Make eye contact with a third person and internally count, one-one-thousand, two-one thousand
  • Start your presentation

There were six people in our class. We all thought this nerve-calming technique felt forced and awkward. Yet, as we got used to it, we found that it really helped reduce the effects of nervous energy.

It also forces the audience to focus on you because they are waiting to hear what you have to say.

The 2017 World Toastmaster champion, Manoj Vasudevan, used this exact technique quite effectively. If you watch him, he follows the same formula that I shared above.

If a Toastmaster champion can use this technique, so can we!

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