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The Tickle That Nearly Ruined My Presentation … and How To Deal With it If You Experience Something Like It Too!

Up until about a year ago presenting was not something I ever thought I would do.

When I was a kid it made me cry everytime. My mom even had to take me out of dance classes because I actually ran off the stage crying on performance-night.

…. and when I was older my piano teacher told me to drink wine before recitals because I was such a spazz about it. I would play SO loud and SO fast it actually made the audience laugh (which tbh didn’t help with the nerves. lol).

So, the fact that I’ve been “getting out there” all year is quite a big miracle!

To be honest, I thought I was over it. But just last week I was working on a free live training and was struggling a lot. I didn’t cry or scream into the mic (except for that one time) but I kept getting a tickle in my throat.

It’s funny how anxiety or nerves show up sometimes isn’t it!?

So I asked around, got some really helpful advice and decided to share them with you!

Jump on in for this awesome read if you struggle with a bit of stage fright too!

Francia Santana Shared Some Breathing Advice

When it happened to me it was because I was under a lot of stress and very self conscious about showing it through. Breathing helped a lot.

5 sets of long breathing.

  1. A set of 5 – Inhale counting to seven, hold your breath to count of 3, release to the count of seven. At the same time press your thumb and index finger.
  2. Same as set one, this time pressing thumb to middle finger
  3. Same set pressing thumb to ring finger.

I am not sure why nor do I have a physical explanation as to why it works, it did for me. Hope it helps !

Francia works for travel brands, you can find her here.

Pam Carpenter Told Me To Gargle Baby Medicine

“I buy a bottle of children’s Benadryl. Roughly five minutes before you take the stage, gargle with it and hold it a bit in the back of your throat. Don’t swallow!!! Just gargle with it for 30-45 seconds.

It reduces inflammation and suppresses the cough reflex. You’ll be good to go for about two hours. 😉 Works every time!!!

Also, if you’re going the water route, drink warm water, not hot. Warm soothes the vocal chords without shocking them. Add a teensy bit of apple cider vinegar to your lemon and honey. That works, too.”

Pam helps people create courses and membership sites. You can find her here.

Susan Jones Told Me To Eat A Banana

Her advice was to make sure that I am super hydrated. Then, to eat a banana before starting – because banana’s lubricate the throat.

Susan works with Female Founders to launch leveraged, world-changing startups & get their 1st customers in 60 days You can find her here.

Jennifer K. Dayley Tried To Make Me Drink Something Really Gross

“Drink very warm water with fresh squeezed lemon juice, raw honey, and a good pinch of cayenne pepper.

Drink slowly.

Works like a charm. I got a super sick girl who lost her voice and was coughing, to stop her symptoms and perform through her theatrical play perfectly about an hour later, by doing this.

Its one of our favorite natural remedies, no drugs needed. 🙂

Also… in addition to the above, Gelsemium homeopathic remedy (either 30c or 200c) is awesome for nervousness before “performing”. So that might help as well. There are instructions all over the internet for homeopathic dosing. “

Jennifer is a natural health educator. You can find her here.

Brónagh Cannon Told Me To Breathe, Drink, and Do Yoga 

“If you aren’t sick at all then it’s probably just latent nerves causing your throat to dry.

  • Take some bachs rescue remedy (or a shot of whiskey!) 😉 
  • Maybe do some meditation or calming breathing techniques. (find a scripted video online and follow along).
  • Stand in the superman pose for 90 seconds before you start – studies from John Hopkins show this actually improves performance! (Google it, its fascinating).”

You can find Bronagh here.

Ashlee Miller Gave Me An Essential Oil Cure

“I work with several speakers and singers and this is the oil blends we use! It opens everything right up! “

Ashlee is a natural health coach and you can find her here.

LeighAnn Heil Gave Me Some Breathing Techniques Used By The Pros

“My best Trick to calm a racing heart!

When we get nervous, the fight or flight reflex causes physiological changes in your body. These changes range from sweaty palms, to shaking hands, to a heartbeat racing like a formula one motor!

You can easily and quickly calm your heart rate with one easy but scientifically proven breathing technique.

  1. Breathe in—quick and deep, to the count of 4. Really expand your lungs.
  2. Breathe out to the count of 8, very slowly.”

LeighAnn is a Public Speaking, Media, Mindset Strategist. You can find her here.

Here’s what worked for me

So, I have to admit that I didn’t try all of these. I was actually really busy so couldn’t make it to the health food store to get all of the homeopathic remedies – which is a bummer! I really wanted to try those.

But, I could make it to the grocery store and pharmacy. So this is what I tried:

  • Warm (not hot) water with lemon and honey. I kept forgetting the damn Cayenne!
  • The Banana
  • The Children’s Benadryl
  • LeighAnn’s breathing exercise
  • And, this vocal warmup

And, combined it all worked.

I have to admit that my voice sounded the best after the vocal warmup. But I didn’t do it for all the 10 takes. But it all worked out because the banana, children’s benadryl, and warm water stopped the tickle! (horray!).

What now?

Well… start going live, start recording training videos, start teaching live …. JUST START!
….Because you’ll never get over it unless you keep doing it.

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About Susanna Miles: ...Designer, Stylist,  branding coach, and photography aficionado

Susanna turned to online marketing in 2008 to escape the suffocating fashion industry. And much to her amazement, she landed right where she started > with a life in pursuit of helping women love and accept themselves. Then expressing who they are confidently. 

In this age of personal branding, she shares a unique perspective for freelancers, creators, and coaches trying to understand how the personal and business brand work together with content marketing, design, and selfies.

And because of what she has done and where she has been, she is able to help bootstrapping brand as well as booming ones! 

~ Why fit in when you were meant to stand out?