I recently did a presentation. The content was fine but the minute I started to talk my mouth dried-up; it was like sand paper! This kept me from emphasizing my main points and hurt the delivery of my speech. This seems to happen every time I speak. I’ve got a major speech coming up and could really use some help on this!
Ms. Sand Paper
Dear Miss Paper,
No need to panic, it’s perfectly normal to have a dry mouth in public speaking – just your body telling you ‘yikes, this is scary’. If you can still do a good presentation, even under these circumstances then you’re very lucky – other people have more obvious afflictions! I often notice a faster heartbeat when I’m doing an important talk – and I often blush. If I worry about it, that causes more problems… if I let it slide it soon disappears.
A couple of things for you to ponder about while thinking of your dry mouth in public speaking:
What is the difference in the way you ‘give yourself permission to speak’ at this presentation?
What can you notice in your mental habits? Are you :
- being a perfectionist?
- focusing too much on yourself?
- what negative self talk is going on?
Identify your mental habit and then search for a solution that gives yourself permission to relax. Follow the links above to learn the Ginger method to address each mental habit.
On a more tangible level, identify an ’emergency’ get-out; something to do to break the ‘sandpaper’ state when you notice it. Have a glass of water, for example, which will help you swallow, relax and then remind yourself to enjoy.
Much of our public speaking fear is based on our perception. Fortunately we can “train” ourselves to not get derailed. Remember that you KNOW your stuff, people WANT to hear you, and most of all HAVE FUN with it. You’ll soon find that you can overcome a mouth like the Sahara in no time!