How To Be Scarily Calm & Quietly Confident Before Your Next Presentation
Updated: Oct 15
You have 5 minutes until you deliver that BIG presentation.
Your mind is racing faster than Usain Bolt in his prime.
Your palms are sweatier than a teenage boy knee-deep in puberty.
And your mouth is drier than the Sahara desert.
Time is of the essence.
What do you do?
In today's release of The Influential Communicator, we're going to uncover one simple technique for creating a state of calm and inner peace before your next presentation.
Let's get into it.
Let's set the scene
I'm not sure if I've told you this...
But earlier this year I decided to hire a 1:1 boxing coach.
Slowly but surely, I'm becoming OBSESSED with it.
My trainer, Max, is a 19-year-old weapon who looks like an extended member of the band One Direction...
Yet throws a punch meaner than Mike Tyson back in the '90s (or so he tells me)!
One day Max turns around and says...
"Ravi, let your hands go and stop overthinking it... you'll throw your hardest punches and truly connect when you're relaxed."
The truth is, this piece of advice can apply to so many different areas of our lives, including delivering high-stakes presentations.
So, how do you get a hit of instant relaxation in less than 5 minutes as a presenter?
Enter "The Box Breathing Technique".
The "Box Breathing Technique"
Before we get into it, know that this isn't some "woo-woo" method that hasn't been trialled or tested.
Box breathing is a form of yogic deep breathing used by US Navy Seals to stay calm, de-stress and improve mental clarity in high-stakes scenarios.
Meaning, you're in great hands.
It goes a little something like this:
SOURCE: EHE HEALTH
The goal is to create a breathing pattern that follows the outline of a box.
Step 1: Breathe in for 4 seconds
Step 2: Hold your breath for 4 seconds
Step 3: Slowly exhale for 4 seconds
Step 4: Hold your breath for 4 seconds
Step 5: Wait 4 seconds before you start again
P.S. Counting the numbers in your head allows you to focus on one thing and one thing only. This can put you in a meditative state and leave little room for rehearsing everything that could go wrong in your presentation!
See, when we're in a state of anxiousness, we engage in shallow breathing.
Funny enough, this increases our anxiety further.
Using strategies like box breathing allows us to remove ourselves from "fight or flight" and travel into the parasympathetic nervous system.
See, if you're stressed, your audience will feel stressed.
If you're calm, your audience will feel calm.
What I'm trying to say is:
First impressions are everything.
And there's nothing more charismatic than somebody who appears to be cool as a cucumber and comfortable in their own skin.
Go at your own pace and find a comfort level that works for you.
But know this...
Practice is mission-critical.
Practising in low-stakes scenarios ensures you're not playing with fire on "game day".
I'll see ya next week homie!
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