Public Speaking: how to stop racing through presentations
Q: “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:
- Breathing. If you can breathe comfortably, you’ll find it very hard to rush.
- 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.
- 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.