Public speaking is as physical as it is cerebral. If the exercise requires good mental preparation and concentration, it also requires the total mobilization of your body. As we have already seen, public speaking is all about confidence. And the more confidence you have, the more efficient you will be in conveying it to your audience. But your sincerity and commitment are directly expressed by the non-verbal cues you send. So laying the foundation for physical training and healthy living is perfectly coherent.
Regular physical activity will help you better manage the spike of adrenaline that occurs when you start talking. The better your breathing capacity is, the more you’ll be able oxygenate yourself and thus return to a calm state. Similarly by regularly working your diaphragm, through sport, or vocal exercises, you will be able to speak in the same breath louder and longer, allowing you more freedom in expressing your thoughts.
It is also very important to eat before speaking. The brain represents 2% of our body weight but consumes 20% of the energy we produce. A high concentration further increases energy needs. But before speaking, it is common that the jitters completely cut our appetite. If you don’t eat enough before a long speech, the body, faced with the risk of lacking energy, will generate stress, which we rightly want to avoid.
Hydration is also very important. You should drink regularly 20 minutes before speaking. Water covers the vocal cords with mucus that protects them. It is also important to drink regularly during the speech. Avoid carbonated drinks, whose effects on the body need to be avoided when we speak in public. Similarly, caffeinated drinks should be avoided because they have a diuretic effect that dries the body tissues.
These few well-being tips will help you cope with long and stressful speeches more calmly.