How To Stop Shaky Voice When Nervous-Presenting-Public Speaking

The  post I talk about in the end of the video can be found at the bottom of this post, but be sure to read this blog post first, or watch the video first. 

How To Stop Shaky Voice
When Nervous-Presenting-Public Speaking

If you often get nervous and you are wondering how to stop shaky voice when presenting, or just having anxiety in general, then this is the post for you. I’m going to share some easy tips and tricks you can try to, hopefully, overcome this embarrassing problem.

So, grab a cup of tea, sit down and stay for a while. This blog post is not exactly the same as the video, so I would recommend you both watch the video AND read the full post…

…so are you ready?

Good, because here we go!

How To Stop Shaky Voice When Nervous: Keep Your Upper Body Resonant and Open

Having a tense upper body, with a tight throat and chest with tense shoulders, is a big no no if we want to have a steady, confident voice when speaking.

Did you know that most people tense their neck and close off their throat (not completely, but enough to cause problems) when stressed or anxious?

So how do we go about doing this?

A toilet paper rollEnter the toilet paper roll…

…what, so how can this help!?

Well here’s the deal, when you run out of toilet paper then save the empty toilet paper roll because there is an exercise we are going to do…

…an exercise that will learn us how to speak with an open and relaxed throat.

Put your lips around one end of the empty toilet paper roll and take five big breaths. Notice how the air passes through the throat very easily. This is because you are very relaxed and open. Do it one more time and really pay attention to the relaxed and open feeling while you do it…

…now, take out the paper roll and speak few sentences. You should try to transfer that feeling you had in your chest and throat, when breathing through the paper roll, to your speaking. Repeat this exercise a few times and do it several times a week. Immediately after breathing through the paper roll you should speak a few words and transfer the openness to your speaking.

This will make your voice much more steady over time and not only that, but you will also have a much more resonant and fuller voice when you speak. In turn, this will help you sound more confident and authoritative.

How To Make Your Voice Less Shaky:
Fill Up With Magnesium

Most people nowadays are deficient in this little, but very important, mineral. Now magnesium is involved in several hundred functions in the body but what we are focusing in on here is…

  • Tense muscles
  • Trembling
  • Shaking

…think of a muscle like, when contracting, we step on the gas, and when relaxing again, we step  on the brake. Well, if you are defficient in magnesium your “brakes” are not working properly and thus the muscles lack the ability to fully relax after you contract them…

…and guess when this is becomes most apparent? You guessed it, when we are stressed or anxious. Now, when this happens to your muscles in your chest, shoulders, neck and throat you will probably get that embarrassing shaky voice, as those muscles are very close to the vocal cords.

So how do we go about fixing this?

Eat foods that are rich in magnesium and/or take a good magnesium supplement. Some examples of foods that are high in magnesium are…

  • Spinach
  • Whole grain bread
  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Black beans
  • Bran cereal
  • Brown rice
  • Cashews

Personally I also take a daily magnesium supplement and if you are suffering from nervousness or anxiety in general I highly recommend you do the same. This is because supplementing with magnesium can sometimes be enough to lower your anxiety levels by 10-30% or even more, you are deficient in it, of course.

What kind of magnesium to choose: You want to find a magnesium that gets absorbed easily and unfortunately, most of them don’t. Stay away from magnesium oxide for example. Go for magnesium glycinate or, my favorite magnesium L-threonate, click here to check pricing on Amazon.

How To Stop Shaky Voice When Presenting: Project Your Voice

If you are having problems with a shaky your voice when presenting or doing some form of public speaking then it is important that you learn how to project your voice.

So what do I mean? Just speak louder? …

…no not necessarily although that also helps, but projection is not the same as loudness. To project your voice simply means that you keep it focused, compact, riding on the air into the room.

So how do we go about doing this?

Think about how you spek if you are trying to say something to someone who is standing about 20-40 feet away from you. Without shouting, you would project your voice and not talk the same way you would, if the person was sitting on the other side of your kitchen table, taking advantage of your hospitality and drinking your expensive coffee.

Therefore, you should always imagine that you are speaking “far away” when you present something. Do this even if most of the people are sitting pretty close to you.

WHY?

This is because when you project your voice you are using your breath support correctly, supporting the air going out of your lungs, with your core muscles and thus your voice becomes much more steady. This will instantly reduce any kind of shakiness you have when you’re speaking…

…this leads me to the next subheading…

How To Stop Shaky Voice When Anxious Practice And Use “Breath Support”

OK, so as I already alluded to, breath support is absolutely crucial if we want to have a steady air stream going out. How do I know? Well, I have first hand experience with this as I’m a trumpet player, been playing for about 35 years, and the exact same goes for having a steady tone on the trumpet.

It is almost IMPOSSIBLE to speak with a confident, steady voice without any hint of trembling if you do not support your air and use a good breath support.

So how do we go about doing this?

Here is a helpful exercise you should do to learn this…

  1. Put your two middle fingers on your belly button (at that exact height)
  2. Now move them to the side of your body, the side of your stomach, one on each side.
  3. Press the two fingers towards your body, press them into your body about 0,5-1,5 inches or so
  4. Take a deep in-breath (the paper roll in-breath feeling)
  5. SPEAK a few words and WHILE you are speaking try to pusch back AGAINST the fingers with the muscles you have at the side of your body. Try pusing your fingers away from the body WHILE you speak.

It is when doing point number five that you are really supporting your air. This is what it should feel like in your core muscles when you want to speak with confidence, resonance and authority. If you practice this, and truly master it, it will reduce your shakiness significantly, if not eliminate it completely.

How To Stop Shaky Voice Anxiety
Keep Your Blood Sugar Stable

Say you have a public speaking event on Wednesday and today is Monday. You are already nervous about the upcoming event and you can already feel the anxiety in your body when thinking about it…

…it sucks, right?

Well, here’s a trick for lowering anxiety levels. Make sure you do NOT elevate your blood sugar rapidly.

WHY?

Every time you eat sugar, or fast carbs with a high glycemic index your blood sugar shoots up, as most of you know. But what not many people know is what happens about an hour or so after this…

…your blood sugar levels comes crashing back down and because you ate a lot of sugar, and they went REALLY high, they come crashing back down even harder. The come down so hard and fast that your levels will go down even BELOW your baseline.

It is when this happens that the problems starts because now a part of your brain thinks it’s an emergency, no sugar in the blood stream, the fuel is running out for the brain…your brain thinks. So it makes your adrenal glands quickly pump out a lot of cortisol and adrenaline because those two hormones raises the blood sugar back up.

Well, the problem is that those two hormones are also two very POWERFUL stress hormones. If you are prone to anxiety then you do NOT want a lot of adrenaline and cortisol in your body, let me tell you!

THIS will be ESPECIALLY important to keep in mind on that Wednesday that you have your public speaking event.

So how do we go about fixing this?

You have three options here…

  1. Intermittent fasting
  2. Ketogenic diet
  3. Only eating carbs that have a low GI value

Personally I fast on days I have to perform or do something that makes me anxious however, I do not recommend this if you are not used to intermittent fasting. This is because the first few times you try it your body can actually find it pretty stressful, so in worst case scenario it can backfire on you.

If you practice it a few times well before the event however, it is an effective way to keep your blood sugar stable with no risk of crashing during your speech.

The same goes for the ketogenic diet. It takes a couple of weeks to get your body to adapt to the low carb high fat life and thus, here too, I do not recommend just jumping into using it on your public speaking event if you are not used to it. But IF you are, it is as effective as the fasting.

Eating only LOW GI FOODS on the day of your event is something everyone can do and this is the option I would recommend you choose if you are not used to the two other ones…

…this will ensure the carbs you do eat are slowly turning into glucose and thus, when your levels come back down the won’t drop as quickly and won’t go as low. If you are unsure about what kind of carbohydrates have a low glycemic index then just google the words “low GI foods”

How To Have A Steady And Confident Voice When Speaking
Shoulders Down!

If I were to ask a group of people, “how often do you tense or raise your shoulders?” …

…most people would not have a clue. Why? …because most people are not aware of when they are doing it. And, almost all of us tense and raise our shoulders when we feel stressed or anxious…

…protection mechanism. It’s great that we have protection mechanisms, but we do NOT need them when trying to speak without our voice shaking. Then they will only make our lives worse.

So, what I’m saying here is that, even if you did not know it, if you were nervous, you were most likely raising your shoulders the last time you gave a public speech of some sort. We want to avoid this because if we raise our shoulders then we also tense them as well as the surounding muscles. The neck, chest and throat, and as you remember, they are all surounding the vocal cords…

…tense muscles = shaky voice.

So how do we go about fixing this?
  1. Practicing being mindful about your shoulders
  2. In everyday life, become aware of WHEN you raise them (especially try to think of it in stressful situations)
  3. As soon as you notice that “ahaa!, now I’m raising my shoulders again”, make an effort to not do it and to keep them relaxed.

As I’m sure you understand, this has to be practiced for several days until it becomes second nature for you. In other words, you have to make a habit out of it and forming new habits takes some willpower and concentraion to do, but you can do it!

Now, we want to create this habit because it would be best if you don’t even have to think of your shoulders when doing some public speaking, as you want to focus on what you are saying instead. I would recommend, that you only “check in” with your shoulders, quickly, during your speeking and not spend too much brain energy there.

How to stop your voice from shaking
Final Words

I really recommend you start practicing all these tips and I’m willing to bet that you will start seeing big improvements. Also remember to try having fun while speaking, because after all, life should not be about worry and anxiety as much as living…

…easier said than done, I know but, we can always find at least a little fun, in almost everything. We can learn to “love the challenge”

If you want to learn more about the natural anxiety supplement I mention in the end of the video, at the top of this page, you can find my review on it
by clicking here.

I hope this article has been helpful and please also check out the video. And if you found it informative then please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel for more tools, tricks and life hacks–>by clicking here.

And if you are already subscribed then, keep it locked in to my channel 🙂

Thanks for reading the post  “How to stop shaky voice when nervous

As always, keep going and stay strong!

-Scandinavian Bob-

Author: Bob Castle

Former Anxiety Sufferer...well, I still suffer a bit, from time to time.

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