Recently a client of mine was expressing how distraught she was with her feelings of tension related to public speaking. My response: “Please know that this is a common concern shared by many other people.”
Among the various techniques I presented was Progressive Muscle Relaxation, sometimes referred to as PMR. In case you’re unfamiliar with this term, it’s defined as a relaxation exercise that requires a person to alternate between tensing and relaxing different muscle groups throughout the body. Among the benefits of PMR is that you become much more aware of where you hold tension in your body and ultimately you are more effective at reducing it.
When using this technique it’s recommended that you find a quiet place free of distractions and lie down with your eyes closed. You can either proceed from head to toe or start at the bottom of your body and work up. (It’s your choice.) Your next step is to progress in the following order: toes, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, abdomen, buttocks, chest, hands, forearms, shoulders, neck, face, mouth, jaw, eyes, head. Finally, you can “scan” your body to see if you detect any particular areas of tension and then use PMR at that location.
As I told my client, it’s perfectly normal to experience tension in public speaking situations. The goal is to learn how to effectively manage it so it doesn’t consume you. Please let me know how I may assist you in this area (see the voice mail option on the right of this screen or e-mail me).
As always, I can’t wait to hear from you.