What do every pro-athlete performer and speaker do daily that is crucial to their success?
We’re going to answer that question today on Moxie Talk.
7 DAILY PUBLIC SPEAKING EXERCISES
Hey everyone, I’m Fia Fasbinder, welcome to the Moxie Talk blog, where we help you find your voice share your message, and lead with confidence.
Are you wondering what that routine is, that they do daily, to help their confidence? It’s:
- Warming up
Every athlete, every performer, and every speaker knows that a daily routine helps lead to success. Today we are going to create a speaker warm-up that you can use daily and especially before a big high-stakes presentation. It’s kind of like muscle memory: The more you do it, the easier it’s going to be. This will not work if you wait till right before a presentation and try to do this warm-up. That’s why we want to do it daily.
The good news is you don’t need anything to do it except your body. You can do it in the shower, you can do it in your office, you can do it when you get up in the morning, you can even do it outside.
So let’s start. What we’re going to do is one of the techniques every single day for 7 days until you’ve learned all the different techniques and then we’ll put them together and then from day 8 on you have a speaker warm-up.
DAY 1: COME TO THE PRESENT MOMENT
On day 1, the most important thing to do at the top of your warm-up is to come to the present moment. You can do this at any time. You can even do it with me right now.
You can do this by closing your eyes so you can get some body awareness and start to listen to the sounds in the room around you. Feel the sensation of the air in the room where you are. Feel the sensation of your feet on the ground. Feel the sensation of your shoes on the ground or your feet inside your shoes. When we focus on the physical, it really helps us snap into the present moment and forget about all the things that are going on in our heads.
So on day 1, you really want to try to let go of everything that happened before your warm-up. Don’t worry about anything that’s going to happen after this warm-up and come to the present moment by closing your eyes and focusing on the physical: Your physical surroundings and the feelings in your body. So that’s day 1.
DAY 2: DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING
Day 2, we are going to do what I call belly breathing. The correct term for this is really diaphragmatic breathing and this is so crucial to a speaker warm-up. It not only helps us calm and focus, but it helps our voices too.
After you’ve had your eyes closed and you’ve come to the present moment, you are going to put one hand on your belly and you’re going to imagine that you are breathing in and filling up a giant red balloon. Then on your exhale, all that air comes out of your balloon and out of your nose and mouth.
Sometimes I’ll tell clients to breathe low and slow because your breathing is coming from your belly, not your chest. You’re not heaving your chest up. You’re breathing low from your diaphragm. Another way to think of this is horizontal breathing.
I’m breathing in and out instead of up and down.
So on day 2, with your eyes still closed for some body awareness, you’re gonna take some nice deep breaths into your diaphragm and you’re gonna hold your breath, and you’re going to:
- Inhale for a count of 4,
- Hold for a count of 4, and
- Exhale for a count of 6
Go ahead and go through this 3 times.
Now you notice that we’re breathing through our nose. We sometimes call this dragon breathing. You can imagine a dragon with their nostrils flaring and you notice that when we blow, it’s like trying to blow out a candle. Make sure on your inhale you do the dragon breath through your nostrils, and on your exhale you blow out a birthday candle.
The further away you put that birthday candle, guess what? The harder you have to exhale, and then guess what happens. The bigger you inhale, which is a great thing. So you’re going to do this deep belly breathing with the 4-4-6 ratio at least 3 times. That’s day 2.
DAY 3: FILL BODY WITH ENERGY/LIGHT
Now we’re going on to Day 3. Day 3 we are going to do that same breathing but we are going to imagine that when we inhale, we are filling our body with energy and light and positivity and when we exhale, we are letting out any negativity, any doubt, or any stagnation.
So you’re gonna go through your same breathing but this time really imagining your body filling up with light on the inhales and exhaling anything negative in your body. That’s Day 3.
DAY 4: VISUALIZE SUCCESS
Day 4 you are going to close your eyes and do a visualization of you having a successful speaking experience. I want you to get as detailed as possible. See yourself, see what you’re wearing, see the people watching you. Hear your voice, see you walking, hear them laughing, see them smiling at you. The more detailed you can get, the better.
Visualizations really works! They trick our brain into thinking we’ve had a positive speaking experience just from visualizing it. That’s your day 4.
DAY 5: RELAX BODY
Day 5, you are going to relax your body. So you’re going to roll your head around and you’re going to roll your shoulders around and then you’re going to roll your top half of your body around. And then even you can do what I call ragdoll: You can drop over and hang. You might be able to go farther if you’re flexible and then come up one vertebra at a time like someone’s pulling your puppet strings.
After you’ve done that and really relaxed your body you’re gonna shake it. You’re gonna shake out all that excess energy by shaking your hands and your arms. You can shake your legs like a little dog is stuck to your foot and you’re trying to shake it off. Do that with both legs. Then you can shake your whole body like you have ants or fire stuck on your body. So then you have relaxed your body, you’ve energized your body, and that is day 5.
DAY 6: VOCALIZATION
Day 6 is a little bit of vocalization because obviously, we have to speak in our presentations.
First, you’re going to stretch your mouth and something I call lion mouse. It goes like this. Open your mouth wide like a lion and then you’re going to scrunch your face into a teeny tiny mouse. You do that 5 times, the lion-mouse.
Next, act like you’re chewing 17 pieces of Bazooka bubblegum, really stretching out your mouth and then blow through your lips like a horse.
The last thing is to hum. Humming is the best way to warm up your vocal cords. So if you can hum for a little while, and then hum on a scale, low to high to low.
Now you’ve warmed up your mouth, you’ve warmed up your voice, you’re ready to speak.
DAY 7: POWER POSE
On the last day of your warm-up, you’re going to do a power pose like throw your arms up in the air and you’re going to give yourself a mantra that makes you feel confident. I don’t care what it is, think of something that you can say to yourself that’s gonna make you feel powerful and confident. You’re gonna do that 3 times while throwing your hands in the air out loud.
There you go. Those are the 7 steps of your warm-up. you’re going to put all of those together and voila, you have a pre-presentation warm-up that you can do on a daily and you can use to relax calm and energize before any speaking event.