Public Speaking: Fear – Shaky Hands

February 6th, 2009 by Frank Damelio

10180735As promised, first we will delve into the outside-in approach for veiling your fear of public speaking. Later we will uncover long-term methods to deal with your fear of presenting.

When we feel the fear of public speaking from within, what telegraphs that fear to our audience? One of clearest “tells” of our discomfort is the shaky hand.

Fear not . . . this one is easy to veil.

The problem:  Your fear of public speaking releases excessive adrenaline, which would be great if you were about to engage in a fight. However, since you’re just standing there, the energy has no release, and the result is that your hands begin to shake.

The solution: If you rely on notes, never hold a single piece of paper or index card.  Leverage dictates that a small shake in your hand will look huge by the time it reaches the tip of your paper.  Everyone will see your shakes magnified by this leverage.  You will see it too, and you will become even more nervous. If you need notes, hold something heavy underneath them.  It’s that simple.  By holding a leather padfolio beneath your notes, the sheer weight will flatten the shakes.

If you are not using notes, start your presentation with your hands held behind your back. Research shows that the beginning of the presentation is the most nerve-wracking.  Also, if it is not a formal presentation, you can then move to one hand in the pocket, and it is okay to hold a pen in the other hand as long as you do not fidget with it.

There you have the first tip towards veiling your fear of public speaking.  From this point forward, you will not telegraph your fear of presenting through your hands.

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2 Responses to “Public Speaking: Fear – Shaky Hands”

  1. Target Intellect Blog » Public Speaking Fear: Stop the shaky voice Says:

    [...] Master Public SpeakingPower of PersuasionInterviewingProjecting the Executive PersonaAchieve SuccessTrade Show StrategyCreating a Winning TeamSales Success Share & Learn « Public Speaking Fear: Stop the shaky hands [...]

  2. Target Intellect Blog » Public Speaking Fear: dry throat Says:

    [...] is quite simple, once you know the quick-fix tricks.  We’ve already discussed how to stop the shaky hands and how to stop the shaky voice.  Now we’ll share a simple technique for handling the dry [...]

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