How can I calm down before a presentation?

‘Box breathing’ tip for serenity and calm

‘Box breathing’ tip for serenity and calm. I found an article on an NHS site, not for patients but for staff on how to cope in difficult times by using this technique.

I tried it myself, shared it with some 1-1 public speaking clients and students on my acting workshop last month, and was pleased with their response. So here it is:

Imagine a square box in the air in front of you.

Take a moment to relax and gather yourself.

Breathe out, then breathe in for four beats, tracing your finger up the side of the ‘box’ in the air.

Holding your breath, trace along the top for four.

Breathe out for four, tracing your finger down.

Hold for four, tracing your finger along.

Now you’re back where you started – go round again.

Once you’ve learned it, just imagining the finger counting bit while you’re doing the breathing bit helps you feel calmer and more collected, ready to face whatever’s happening, in business and in life.

Philippa x