For the last day of our ‘How to Own the Room‘ series of public speaking tips videos, stand-up comedian Viv Groskop shares her tips on how to fix your nerves in 60 seconds
Did you know that public speaking is the most common fear in the UK by far? 67 percent of the UK workforce is afraid of speaking in front of an audience. Sometimes that can even make career progression difficult, because public speaking isn’t just limited to TED talks. You speak publicly all the time, whether it’s in work meetings, with clients, or somewhere else.
If the idea of public speaking makes your palms sweat and your heart rate go up, then this video is for you. You can learn a quick, easy way to calm yourself down and get ready to nail that speech.
In our last public speaking tips video running every day from comedian Viv Groskop, whose new book How to Own the Room has just been released, Viv shows you a 60-second trick for fixing your nerves in any situation
Fix your nerves
‘It sounds really cheesy, I know, but breathing is the key,’ Groskop says. ‘Even just taking a few seconds to stand or sit and think about this. Brain and stomach, let your brain drop into your stomach, and breathe through your feet.’
You might be thinking that sounds insane or you’ll feel stupid, that it can’t possibility be that simple, but it can really help you calm down, according to Groskop.
‘I know that sounds crazy, but if you just close your eyes and imagine that, it makes you feel instantly relaxed,’ Groskop says. ‘It’s incredibly calming.’
Even though we breathe every second of every day, sometimes you need a push to breathe in the right way to help calm you down. Breathing is harder than it sounds when you’re about to go out in front of a crowd.
However, if changing how you think about your breathing doesn’t help, there’s still hope.
‘If that’s not working, you can try tapping. an emotional freedom technique,’ Groskop says. ‘This is when you find a chakra point – these are the energy points used in meditation.’
In the video above, Groskop begins to tap her wrist, which is one of her chakra points. She taps it rapidly with her pointer and middle finger.
‘For me, this is a distraction from your nerves,’ Groskop says. ‘That’s why it works. Tap, breathe deeply and repeat a mantra. Something like ‘although I’m nervous, I will perform well. Although I’m nervous, I will perform well.’
The combination of breathing, a mantra, and the movement of your tapping can help you calm down enough to get ready to ace your future speech, performance, or business meeting. You can use it for anything that makes you start to break out into sweat.
‘I know this looks completely mad but believe me, it’s relaxing and it works,’ Groskop says.
More about the author
Viv Groskop is a writer, comedian and broadcaster. She is behind the best-selling book and podcast How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking. Groskop appears regularly on BBC1’s This Week and is a guest presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Review and Front Row. She has hosted book tours for Graham Norton, Jo Brand and Jennifer Saunders.