Communicating is an integral part of the job for most business leaders. Whether it’s giving a presentation at a conference, giving commentary to media or delivering a keynote speech, the higher you climb the corporate ladder, the more likely you are to be tasked with communicating effectively and confidently to various audiences. However, one aspect of effective and confident public speaking that is often overlooked is the importance of breath control.
Let’s explore the role of breathing exercises in public speaking and how mastering these techniques can help you become a more effective and engaging speaker.
Understanding the Importance of Breath Control
Even though we all breathe naturally, too often, we do it thoughtlessly. We breathe quickly and shallowly, depriving our body of oxygen and other benefits of deep breathing. When it comes to public speaking, the way you breathe can hugely impact how you speak and the impression you make on your audience.
Your words can come out rushed, or your delivery may lack confidence. On the other hand, however, with controlled breathing, your body is all-around more at ease. You speak more measured and thoughtfully. Controlling your breath is essential to delivering a polished speech. Be mindful, and adjust accordingly when you feel yourself giving in to shallow breathing.
How to Practice Breath Control
One of the best ways to practice breath control is through a regular practice of breathing exercises specifically designed for public speaking. Here are a few examples:
- Diaphragmatic breathing involves breathing deeply into your diaphragm rather than shallowly into your chest. To practice this, place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Take a deep breath through your nose, allowing your stomach to rise as you fill your lungs with air. (Imagine your stomach being a balloon that you’re inflating.) Exhale slowly through your mouth, allowing your stomach to fall (deflate the balloon). Repeat this several times. You’ll feel relaxed.
- Pursed-lip breathing can help you control your breath during a speech, slowing down your breathing rate and helping you speak more calmly and steadily. To practice, inhale deeply through your nose, then purse your lips as if you were about to whistle, and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this several times.
- Counting breath is a simple but effective technique that helps to focus your mind on your breath and slow down your breathing. To practice, inhale deeply and count to four, hold your breath for four counts, exhale for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this several times.
The key to effective public speaking is not only the words you say but also how you say them. By mastering the art of breath control through a regular practice of breathing exercises, you can become a more effective and engaging speaker and make a more significant impact on your audience. And with the help of speechwriting services, you can take your public speaking to the next level.