Confession time. I do not like writing about public speaking anxiety. The subject is over-saturated,…
Thanksgiving has past, Hanukkah is upon us, and the holiday season will bubble along until the New Year. All of this bustle can be anxiety-making in a normal year. This is still not a normal year.
The pandemic adds a level of complexity to interactions and conversations which were already sometimes fraught. So, if you have been around for any amount of time you will not be at all surprised that this post is about breathing. Breathing to give yourself time to think of what you wish to say or whether you should keep your silence,
Social and virtual interactions have made us more reactive. The desire to have the quick reply, the clever aside, the answer to everything is more present than at any other time in my twenty years of voice work. The noise of interaction can make one step away yet, many more are launching themselves more fully into the fray.
So here is my suggestion: Exhale slowly, Inhale easily, and Decide what, and whether, to respond. This response pattern is honestly the secret of my poise when speaking and how I have survived some interesting family dinners.
- Listen to what has been said
- Exhale slowly so you can sort out what you feel
- Inhale as much air as is easily available without tension
- Decide whether you should engage or not
You then have plenty of air to support your words if you need them and can exhale to let it all go if you decide to take a pass. That is it. This is useful always as it will slow you down long enough to make your responses line up with your intentions. It is especially useful when you are feeling reactive or when emotions start to build. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Happiest Holidays to all. Let’s have a great month.
Gina Razón is the Founder and CEO at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service verbal communication studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over two decades of experience as a teacher of voice and speech, is a communication and change facilitator, and is a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.