Public Speaking: how to stop racing through presentations

hostile audienceQ: “How do I stop racing through presentations? I always find myself rushing.  What’s the best way to pace myself?”
This is a common thing when public speaking. The question is WHY are you rushing through your presentations?

  • Is it because you are nervous and want it to be over now?
  • Is it because you are out of breath?
  • Or is it the natural response to the adrenaline released?

Usually I’d assess this problem by asking you a few questions and observing a presentation. However, the following could be useful to consider:

  1. Breathing. If you can breathe comfortably, you’ll find it very hard to rush.
  2. Think about your shoulders, chest and stomach. This area often becomes tight when a person gets nervous.  The result is shallow breathing and tension that can make some people feel out of control. Become aware of the tension, and practice letting it go.
  3. The pause. Find reasons to pause throughout your presentation (for example, after a sentence or major point). If you can relax and breathe enough to pause comfortably, you should be able to control the urge to rush.