Five Relaxation Techniques Before a Speech or Other High Stress Event

1. Place one hand on your stomach, and breathe deeply. Focus on filing your belly up like a balloon so your hand rises and then let your breath out slowly. Repeat three times

2. Breathe in slowly counting to three then hold your breath in for a count of three then breathe out very slowly on a count of three.

3. Place one hand on the chest just under your neck and the other on your stomach breathe in slowly and see which hand moves the most.  When we are under stress we breathe shallow breaths high in the chest. To relax focus on your breathing low and slow till just the hand on your stomach moves when you breathe.

4. Close your eyes and imagine yourself walking by the ocean. Feel the warm sun on your skin. Feel the sand. Hear the waves come in and out. Breathe slowly in and out with the waves. Say to yourself I am relaxed.

5 .Close your eyes and imagine the audience smiling and leaning forward as you come up to speak. Imagine your relaxed and confident energy as you begin your speech.  See the audience in your mind's eye nodding their heads and showing interest.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at