How Can I Control My Heart Rate During Public Speaking

Picture this: You’re about to step onto a stage, knowing dozens or even hundreds of eyes will be on you. Your heart starts racing, and suddenly you can’t remember what you were going to say. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there at some point in our lives.

Public speaking can be nerve-racking, but it doesn’t have to be! As a speech and performance coach, I’m here to share some strategies to help you control your heart rate and stay calm during public speaking.

Now, let’s dive into the heart (pun intended!) of the matter. Why is it that our hearts start pounding just when we need them to stay steady? It’s because our body reacts with a fight-or-flight response, releasing adrenaline and increasing our heart rate.

But don’t worry – together we’ll explore techniques that will help you take control of this natural reaction so that you can step up on stage with confidence and deliver an engaging presentation that leaves your audience inspired and impressed.

So sit back, relax, and get ready for your journey towards mastering the art of controlling your heart rate during public speaking!

Understanding The Fight-Or-Flight Response

Imagine you’re walking through a dense forest when you suddenly come across a wild bear. Your heart rate skyrockets, adrenaline pumps through your veins, and you’re ready to either fight or flee. This is the body’s natural fight-or-flight response taking over.

While we may not face bears in our daily lives, public speaking can feel just as daunting and provoke similar physical reactions. Stress management and confidence building are essential to help you control your heart rate during public speaking so that you can deliver your message with clarity and poise.

As a speech and performance coach, I have seen countless individuals harness their nerves by understanding their body’s natural response to stress and learning techniques that allow them to remain calm under pressure. One powerful method for achieving this state of calmness is by focusing on our breath which will lead us into our next topic: breathing techniques for calmness.

Breathing Techniques For Calmness

Now that we’ve delved into the fight-or-flight response and its impact on our body, it’s essential to learn effective techniques to manage your heart rate during public speaking. One key strategy is mastering the art of controlled breathing. Breathing is something we do unconsciously, but when anxiety takes over, our breath can become shallow and rapid, exacerbating nervousness.

By incorporating conscious breathing techniques, you can counteract these effects and bring a sense of calm to both your body and mind.

  1. Inhale awareness: Begin by taking slow, deep breaths through your nose. As you inhale, focus on expanding your diaphragm and filling up your lungs with fresh air.

  2. Hold: Hold your breath for a few seconds at the top of the inhale, allowing time for oxygen to circulate throughout your system.

  3. Exhale tension: Slowly release the breath through your mouth or nose as you let go of any stress or tension accumulated in your muscles.

  4. Pause: Take a brief pause after exhaling before beginning the next cycle.

By practicing this simple yet powerful four-step breathing technique regularly, you’ll not only be able to control your heart rate during public speaking but also foster a greater sense of overall well-being in everyday life.

As we continue exploring strategies for successful speaking engagements, let’s dive deeper into mental preparation and visualization techniques that can further enhance our ability to stay grounded and confident on stage.

Mental Preparation And Visualization

One of the most powerful ways to control your heart rate during public speaking is through mental preparation and visualization.

Before stepping onto the stage, take a few moments to center yourself with mindful mantras and confidence boosters that resonate with you.

Close your eyes, visualize yourself on stage, confidently delivering your speech, and feeling the positive energy from your audience.

As you imagine this scenario, breathe deeply and steadily to help regulate your heart rate.

This process not only allows you to get mentally prepared for the task ahead but also helps in building a strong foundation of self-assurance.

Once you’ve mastered the art of mental preparation and visualization, we can further enhance our presence by focusing on practicing effective body language.

Practicing Effective Body Language

Now that we’ve covered mental preparation and visualization, let’s move on to another essential aspect of public speaking – practicing effective body language.

When you stand tall with posture improvement, not only do you command the room, but it also has a confidence-boosting effect on your mind. By adopting confident postures and engaging gestures, you’ll naturally feel more at ease during your speech. Moreover, this will help regulate your heart rate as your body perceives less stress in a confident stance.

As we venture into embracing and channeling nervous energy, remember that mastering your body language is an invaluable tool for staying calm and composed throughout your presentation.

Embracing And Channeling Nervous Energy

Embracing and channeling your nervous energy is a powerful way to transform those feelings of anxiety into a force that drives your public speaking performance. You see, nervous energy benefits us by providing an extra boost of adrenaline which can actually enhance our focus, passion, and overall presence on stage.

To harness this potential, consider implementing these energy redirection strategies:

  1. Accept the nerves: Acknowledge that it’s natural to feel nervous before speaking in public. Embrace those sensations as a sign that you care about delivering your message effectively.

  2. Ground yourself: Use grounding techniques like deep breathing or visualization exercises to center your mind and body before stepping onto the stage.

  3. Channel the energy into movement: Incorporate gestures and purposeful movements into your speech to release some of the built-up physical tension from nervousness.

  4. Use positive affirmations: Repeat empowering statements to yourself like ‘I am confident’ or ‘I’ve got this’ to create a positive mindset.

So next time you find yourself with racing heartbeats before addressing an audience, remember that you have the power within you to redirect that nervous energy towards enhancing your performance instead of letting it hold you back. Embrace it, channel it, and watch as your public speaking skills soar to new heights!


In conclusion, remember that it’s natural to experience some anxiety when speaking in public.

By understanding your body’s response and utilizing techniques such as controlled breathing, mental preparation, and effective body language, you can successfully manage your heart rate during presentations.

As a speech and performance coach, I encourage you to embrace the nervous energy and channel it into delivering a powerful and engaging performance.

With practice and perseverance, controlling your heart rate will become second nature.

About Skillabilly Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff at Skillabilly is a team of Personal and professional experts in the education and career services industry led by Shalev Morag. We have been creating Skill guides and tutorials since 2022, and Skillabilly has become an impactful free skills and abilities resource site in the industry.