We all need the energy to perform certain tasks. Public speaking requires a lot of energy so that we can speak and focus our mind at the same time. In public speaking, breathing is one of the most important things but is often ignored. Breathing is vital. Our cells need a constant supply of oxygen. Breathing is the glucose of public speaking.
When you inhale, a large muscle called the diaphragm flexes downwards to help draw air into your lungs. Your lungs are one of the largest organs in your body. They both work together with the rest of your respiratory system to keep your body's cells supplied with necessary oxygen.
If you put your hand on your chest, you can feel it expand and contract as you inhale and exhale. That's the power of your lungs working together with your diaphragm to bring air into your body, and then to release it.
There is a difference between shallow-breathing and deep- breathing. Put your hand on your belly and breathe. Can you feel your belly moving outwards? Now exhale slowly. Your belly will shrink. If only your chest is moving in and out, then you’re shallow-breathing.
When we are nervous, stressed, or upset, our breathing becomes quick and shallow, which causes other reactions in our body. Stress hormone starts releasing and we get into a fight or flight mode. Breathing in a slow manner instantly calms us down, both mentally and physically.
Breathing in public speaking is required for the following reasons:
- To supply oxygen to the cells
- To pacify those tense muscles
- To slow down the heartbeat
- To give an impression of confidence
- To sound more confident
- To give you the energy to speak loudly and confidently
Make sure that before you go on the stage, you practice deep- breathing for a minimum of five times. Once the body is healthy, nourished, and calm, the body can soar to its full potential.
Try practicing breathing after every line, and after every pause. Breathing is glucose. The trick is to keep breathing!