Archive for August, 2011

Breathe!

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Proper breathing is essential for a good presentation delivery.

Try this exercise: breathe in, then exhale completely.  Then try to speak.  You’ll probably make some sounds, but they are not strong.  That is what happens to your voice when you run out of breath. You will also limit the supply of oxygen to your brain—definitely not good for speaking!

Practice breath control at home.  Avoid shallow, throat breathing.  Take deep breaths. Here is an exercise you can do to improve your breathing:

Breathing Exercise:

  • Stand with your feet a comfortable shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your knees unlocked. Support the weight of your body through your hips and legs.
  • Consciously release and relax your shoulders.
  • If you’re holding your stomach in, let it go.
  • Place your hands on your stomach.
  • Breathe in through your nose to a slow count of four. As you inhale, feel your diaphragm rising. Breathe out through your mouth to the count of four and now feel your diaphragm expanding.
  • Do several rounds of inhale and exhale to a four count while making sure you keep your shoulders, stomach and legs relaxed.
  • Once you have mastered the four count, increase it. Through regular practice you will soon be able to extend it for an eight or ten count.

See Write-Out-Loud.com for more exercises, and enjoy your next presentation!