To prepare myself for speaking engagements—especially when I’m doing a new presentation for the first time—I activate a few practices that have helped me over the years.

  • The right scents. In the shower, I put on a lavender scented body lotion, which seems to calm my nerves. I also dab my wrists with a lavender essential oil afterwards, and peppermint oil, which together help take the edge off. There’s also a combination of oils that comes in a bottle with a roll-top, called Past Tense, which I buy from doTERRA. According to research, certain fragrances and oils, strategically applied to our bodies or inhaled, influence our nervous system in positive ways.
  • Food. I find food a source of strength and calmness. It’s not a good idea to avoid eating before a presentation-even if you don’t feel hungry-because your tummy could grumble aloud and embarrass you at the microphone. To have the right energy for my early workshops and speeches, I need a healthy, substantial breakfast with some kind of protein. I’ve learned not to rely on whatever might be served because just fruit and little rolls aren’t enough for me. Avoid too much caffeine as it can add to your stress level.
  • Prosperity panties. Many years ago, my good friend, Rosa Peralta, introduced me to the Ecuadorian tradition of giving and wearing yellow underwear on New Year’s Eve. It symbolizes the color gold and is supposed to usher in a prosperous 12 months. Now I have a collection of yellow and silver underwear I call my “prosperity panties.† I put them on for important speaking engagements, giving me confidence literally from the inside out!

What traditions can you adopt before your big performance?

A delicious massage, a long run or walk, listening to your favorite music, and watching a funny movie are other proven rituals to help you relax. Whatever you choose, I wish you rave reviews for your next presentation! 

Get Tips to Capture Their Attention When You Begin Speaking! Click here to enjoy this free excerpt of How to Open to Keep Their Attention on You and Not Their Phones, a workshop Anne B. Freedman recently provided the Fort Lauderdale Chapter, National Association of Women Business Owners.

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