It’s important to prepare for a meeting or presentation. Often people place a great deal of emphasis on the content that needs to be covered in the meeting or presentation (and they are important) and not on preparing themselves.
Nerves can have an effect on the voice. To present well, it’s important to have a strong voice. When we’re nervous we tend to shallow breathe, having an impact on the effectiveness of the voice. This can have a domino effect on the overall presentation.
It’s important to breathe deeply to relax the muscles and the vocal chords. Breathing exercises will assist you in your voice control, modulation and projection.
Here are some voice exercises to assist you in combating nerves and presenting well.
- Open your mouth as wide as you can and then purse your lips like a fish. Repeat rapidly several times.
- Practise the ‘yawn/sigh’. Open your mouth as if you were yawning and sigh. Let a long ‘ah’ flow from the back of your throat. As you slowly exhale, control the amount of air you expel. Repeat several times.
- Practise breath control. Take a deep breath and while you exhale count to 10 or say the alphabet. Try gradually increasing your volume as you count using your abdominal muscles, not your throat, for volume.
- Drink plenty of water to clear your throat.
A Point to Note
I’d suggest that you practise these exercises in a quiet place away from an audience as it may look strange practising the exercises in front of your clients or potential clients.
When you feel confident in yourself, it’ll come through in your voice giving a professional impression of your abilities and knowledge at your next meeting or presentation.