How To Stop Shaking When You’re Nervous
How to Stop Shaking when Making a Speech
Public speaking makes almost everybody anxious. Even seasoned speakers need to calm themselves down (or pump themselves up) before they give a presentation. If you're worried about your hands or other parts of your body shaking while you talk, the first thing to do is release your worry. You can also reduce shakiness by practicing breathing and muscle control. Calm down before you give a speech by getting out your adrenaline and prioritizing a good night's sleep. Finally, follow some simple tricks to disguise any shaking when you speak.
Controlling Your Shaking
Practice tactical breathing.Tactical breathing is used in the military to calm combatants. It's highly effective at calming your body when it's in an anxious state. Practice tactical breathing a little every day, even when you are calm, so that you will already know how to do it when you are nervous.
- Breathe in through your nose for a slow 4-count.
- Hold your breath for a slow 4-count.
- Breathe out through your mouth for a slow 4-count.
- Hold your breath for a slow 4-count.
- Repeat this process four times.
Clench your posterior muscles.Many people find that their hands do not shake if they clench a different muscle. Try clenching your buttocks or your thigh muscles. Your audience won't be able to tell, and it just might stop your shaky hands or any other shaky body part.
Subtly push on a pressure point.You may have noticed yourself pressing on your temples or rubbing your hands when you're stressed. You do this because it stimulates nearby bundles of nerves and releases cortisol, which can help calm your nervous system. To subtly release some relaxation onstage, press some fingers into the fleshy part of your hand between your fingers and thumb.
- You can do this behind your back, or behind a podium while you speak.
Consider seeing a doctor.If you shake from anxiety, a therapist may be able to help you find ways to lessen your symptoms. If your shaking is changing and becoming worse, let your doctor know. Your doctor may also refer you to a therapist who can help you come up with a long-term plan for dealing with your anxiety.
- While anxiety can cause tremors, it's also possible that another condition is contributing to your shaking. Your doctor can help you investigate the possibility of an underlying condition.
Calming Down before the Speech
Get a full night's sleep.Sleep deprivation can make it a lot harder to prevent your body from shaking. Try to get to bed around the same time every night. Get at least seven hours of sleep if you are an adult, and at least 9 if you are a teenager.
Practice in front of others.If you only practice speaking when you're alone, you're more likely to get anxious when you deliver the speech to an audience. Get as many sessions in as you can in front of friends, family, colleagues, and small groups.
- Practice a little every day, but on the night before you deliver the speech, don't practice. Just relax.
- If you notice that there's a section of the speech that makes you the most nervous, practice it extra. For instance, if you always get nervous right at the beginning, devote extra practice time to the beginning.
Visit the location of your speech.If you can, spend some time in the place you will give your speech. Practice there if you can. If the location is in your workplace or school, visit it frequently to practice. Relax there as well. If the location won't be accessible until the day of the speech, try to come a little early so you can acclimate to the environment.
Focus on relaxing.In the days before the speech, and on the day itself, avoid stressors. Don't talk to anyone who makes you anxious. Take some "me time" every day to do things that relax you, like taking a hot bath, reading a book, or watching a comedy.
Exercise before a speech.Running and other forms of vigorous movement can use up your extra adrenaline. Try taking a jog, going for a rapid bike ride, or even dancing out your nerves on the morning before you present. If you can't do something vigorous, take a brisk walk instead.
List the things that you're afraid of.Write down what makes you nervous about a speech. Consider each of them individually. What's the worst that could happen in each case? If it happens, what will you do?
- For instance, if you're scared that you'll forget what to say next, think, "I'll just pause and look at my notes."
- This technique may not work if you are prone to catastrophic thinking. If you are someone who tends to worry about the worst case scenario, don't try this method.
Moderate your caffeine consumption.Generally speaking, caffeine is not bad for anxiety. It can even have a positive effect. However, if you consume an excess amount, over 300 mg in a day, it can make you shake. Limit yourself to one or two cups.
Delivering Your Speech
Use notecards or a screen instead of sheets of paper.If your hands always shake while you present, you don't want to be holding a standard piece of paper. When your hand shakes, paper crinkles and amplifies your tremor. Instead, use small note cards, or read off a screen that is open on the podium or table in front of you.
Focus on the audience, not on yourself.If you focus on yourself, you'll get self-conscious and feel more nervous. Instead, focus on delivering your message to the audience. Look at their faces if you can see them. Smile, and act emotionally engaged in what you are saying. You'll get their attention, and you'll also distract them from any shaking you might be doing.
- If the crowd is smaller, try bantering a little with them. Ask questions, or tell a joke or an anecdote.
Present confident body language.Instead of focusing on the part of your body that shakes, focus on your posture and presentation. Face the audience fully. Stand as straight as you can, as if a string were pulling you up from the crown of your head. Relax your shoulders.
Control your gestures.You don't need to gesticulate wildly to emphasize every point. Instead, keep your hands resting lightly on the podium beside you, or relaxed (as much as you can) by your side. When you have a big point to make, make a single, simple gesture.
- If your hands are shaking and distracting you, take a break from using them. Clasp them behind your back, or tuck them in your pockets.
Pause to calm mounting anxiety.Check in with yourself as you go. Notice if your shakiness gets worse, or if you start to feel dizzy, confused, or blank. If any anxiety symptoms arise, take a pause. Breathe deeply, take a sip of water, and remind yourself that you're okay.
- It can help to address yourself by name in your head. Think, "Okay, James, calm down."
Avoid wearing noisy jewelry.If you shake a lot, you don't want to wear clanking bracelets, watches, or anything else that will make noise. Confine yourself to some rings or a nice necklace or tie.
- If your tend to tap your toes nervously, wear shoes that won't make too much noise.
QuestionHow do I get over making a bad speech?Community AnswerRemember it was only a few minutes of your life, and everyone makes mistakes.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I stop shaking if I have a microphone?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's always good to try putting the microphone as far as you can from your mouth to put away the shivering sound. Though, don't put it too far away, and make it look normal. Also, before your speech, try to exercise and move your blood around to feel confident.Thanks!
QuestionAre there any pills or something to drink or use before my presentation so that I don't shake in front of people?Community AnswerDrink water only before speaking. You do not want a sugar rush (or worse) when you are up there. Don't try any pills, it is not worth it.Thanks!
QuestionIf my body starts shivering during presentation, then how do I control it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerContinue with the presentation and keep your hands low if possible. Breathe deeply and take meaningful pauses. If you have a slide set, turn to it and point occasionally for a break away from the audience's gaze. Remind yourself that you know your material and that it's going to be okay.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I stop my legs from shaking during a speech?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBefore your speech, take a few minutes to exert yourself. Jump up and down, swing your arms around windmill-style, and then take a few slow, deep breaths. This will help fend off nervousness.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I make sure that my speech will not be boring?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMake sure you use different tones of voice throughout your speech and make eye contact with your audience. If you're allowed, use props or background photos to make things more engaging.Thanks!
QuestionIf someone laughs while I give a speech, I start to shiver. How can I avoid doing this?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you incorporated humor into your speech, it's normal and good for people to laugh. In the future, take deep breaths and blow on your thumb before the speech to reduce your anxiety.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I stop getting afraid while talking to a new or strange person?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry talking more to the people at home as it helps you improve your people skills with everyone else.Thanks!
QuestionMy head moves when I give presentations. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to stay calm and pretend that you're just saying this to a friend or family member, and also drink water and keep breathing.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I stop my legs from shaking when I'm about to give a presentation in class?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerLock your knees. If that doesn't work, focus your eyes on a single fixed thing and force your legs to stop moving. Take a deep breath. If your legs are still shaking, then maybe walk around a little bit.Thanks!
How can I stop my cheeks from vibrating when I am nervous and talking?
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Video: How to Stop Shaking From Anxiety | EASY TIPS HOW To Stop Shaking Hands When Nervous
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