Burning Adrenaline and Saying Good-Bye to Fear of Public Speaking Forever!

Burning Adrenaline and Saying Good-Bye to Fear of Public Speaking Forever!


By Elizabeth Peterson, M.A.,CCC-SLP

Excerpt from, How to Speak like a Broadcaster and Lead like a CEO



As stated earlier, the sensation of fear of public speaking comes from adrenaline.  The good news is, there are ways to physically burn it off and get it out of your system before it is time for you to do your public speaking. For individuals who experience mild symptoms of speech anxiety after the first five minutes of talking, the physical signs of feeling nervous began to fade away or even disappear. That is because the physical act of talking burns off that adrenaline burst.  As soon as you recognize the physical signs of stage fright, follow your plan (that you are about to make), to actively burn some of it out before you head for the podium. It is easier and more reasonable to do than you might think.  You can look and feel confident with your public speaking


A variety of strategies to burn off fear of public speaking is in this article.  They are so discreet that your friends, colleagues, and audience members will never know what you are doing.  The best way to burn energy is to move your body.  The following techniques will provide you with natural opportunities to complete gross and fine motor movements designed to burn nervous energy away.

  1. Initiate a greeting-physically

Before your speech, walk around and introduce yourself to audience members.  Ask people where they are from or what brought them to your presentation.  Ask something relevant with regard to your topic, such as: “What are you hoping to gain by attending?”  The act of walking around and shaking hands burns off adrenaline.  In addition, it is a helpful ice breaker because you and your audience are interacting together. Doing this will not only help you look friendly and approachable, it will also enhance the mood and intimacy of the presentation before you take the podium.  

  1. Breathe deeply.

Diaphragm breathing will greatly help with expelling unwanted nervous energy. Take several full-diaphragm breaths while you are waiting to give your presentation. You can do this standing up, sitting down or while walking up to the podium. The physical action of deep-breathing sends calming messages (plus lots of oxygen) to your brain.

  1. Sing or hum.

Using a diaphragm breath while singing or humming burns anxiety plus provides a calming effect in your body. As a benefit, it also releases the “feel good” endorphins hormone.  Sing anything, it does not matter (Happy Birthday or Ave Maria). Humming quietly while setting up your presentation or doing your preparation work will burn adrenaline and help you to feel good before you begin to speak.

  1. Walk the stairs.

If you are speaking in a hotel room or conference center chances are there is a flight of stairs somewhere. Before you go to your meeting room, walk up a few flights of stairs for a more aggressive way of burning excess energy.  When finished, you will have improved blood flow and feel a sense of positive energy.

  1. Practical approaches for burning adrenalin.
  • March in place for 2 minutes. Lift your knees and arms and march anywhere, even in the restroom!  After a couple of minutes, you will feel the adrenalin decreasing.
  • Complete a few isometric exercises. You can do this by increasing tension in a specific muscle area and then releasing it. This is an effective way to discreetly burn unwanted nervous energy. Do several repetitions. Below are some examples, but more can be found on the Internet.


  1. Push your hands together firmly, then release. Repeat several times.
  2. While sitting in a chair, place your hands on the lower rim of the seat with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Bear down with force then relax.
  3. While sitting in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, squeeze your quadriceps and then relax them. Squeeze your biceps and triceps muscles in your arms and then relax.
  4. Create your own combinations.

While waiting to speak, complete a series of isometric exercises while sitting followed by deep relaxing diaphragm breaths.  On your way to the podium, hum silently.  Your nervous energy will be reduced significantly.

The feelings of worry or panic can be frustrating and overwhelming to deal with before public speaking in front of others.  With good rehearsal and by using some of the strategies for burning adrenaline, you will feel better, more relaxed, and confident before you speak in front of others and be great at public speaking.

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