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Remember to Breathe

Chances are that if you are reading this, you are also breathing... It's so basic that we tend not to think about it too much. This may be why people tend to forget to breathe in speech.

It's frustrating to have sat through countless speeches and to still see one recurring issue - people rush through their speech while hardly taking a proper breath. It's difficult to watch somebody push through their entire presentation while short of breath.

I sometimes want to stop a speaker dead in their tracks and tell them to take a breath! It's hard to focus on what someone is saying if it looks like they're struggling to speak with such short breathing.

Don't forget to breathe during your speech. Take a deep breath before you begin. Wait a moment before moving on to each of your next points. Avoid rushing through your entire speech. Breathe deeply throughout your presentation. Give your audience a chance to catch up to your message. Take one deep breath to calm yourself down before moving forward. 

This is so important. It's far more important, in my view, even than your content, sources etc. You cannot perform at your best if you are not breathing.

The word anxiety is derived from 'angst', which in it's original meaning refers to constricting or choking. When put in a stressful situation we tense up our whole body, including our breathing. It's a terrible cycle that the more anxious you are then the shallower your breath. And as your breathing becomes more shallow your anxiety will intensify.

Huffing and puffing through a speech, this is not an effective presentation style! Remember to stop, take pauses, and breathe deeply.

Breathe well to speak well!