F-B-T (Focus, Breathe, Time) to Conquer Public Speaking Nerves
(Rhode Island, USA.)
Focus, Breathe, Time; picture by Maria Li
Standing up in front of an audience to speak publicly can be extremely nerve wracking for some individuals. A method I use is called the F-B-T method, or, "Focus, Breathe, Time".
FOCUS: When standing in front of an audience, I tend to focus my attention in two places, my notes, and on inanimate objects in the room (spots on the wall, an empty chair, a lamp, etc.) I try not to look people directly in the eye because it makes me nervous to see their expressions during my speech. But if my eyes dart around the room on inanimate objects, it gives the audience the IMPRESSION that I am making eye contact with the people.
BREATHE: I make sure to talk slowly, and take deep breaths during my speeches. This not only helps my body to relax, but it also helps to prevent me from saying a word incorrectly, or stuttering.
TIME: Take your time! Rushing through a speech will only cause you to go off course, the speech will sound extremely sloppy, and the audience will be able to pick up on your nerves. Go with the flow of things, and don't try to hurry yourself off of the stage.