- Centred breath is essential
- take in a deep breath low into the body and let it out slowly with a sigh.
- The sigh relaxes you. Yawn and let the breath out with a long sigh.
- Smile broadly saying "eeeh" Tighten the area below your jowls so you feel bulges on either side of the front of your neck.
- Purse your lips strongly and say "oooh" Repeat 10 times
- Screw your face all into the middle. Hold. Relax. Open eyes and mouth as wide as you can. Hold. Relax.
- Pinch your eyebrows between thumbs and forefingers. Hold. Release.
- Tilt your head back slightly, supporting it at the back with your hands. Push lower jaw out and up until you feel tension in chin and throat. Make 20 little upward thrusts with your jaw. Relax. Repeat three times.
- Drop the jaw. Repeat the word jaw pushing the mouth open wider with each repetition. Repeat 10 times.
- Sit up straight.
- Tilt head to one side as if you were trying to touch your ear to your shoulder. Don't lift shoulder to ear. Hold for count of five. Repeat on the other side. Repeat entire exercise four times.
- Facing forward turn head to one side as far as possible, as if trying to look behind you. Hold for a count of five. Repeat on the other side. Repeat entire exercise four times.
- Keeping shoulders still, rotate head in a wide semicircle to the right, then forward and down then up to the left. Don't do a complete circle. Rolling the head back may do damage to the spine.
SHOULDERS AND ARMS
- Cross the right arm over the chest and grasp the shoulder muscle. Hold. Circle the left arm backwards three times. Push the arm straight down to a count of five. Release your hold. Repeat the exercise with the left arm holding the muscle of the right shoulder.
- Sit up straight. Roll one shoulder forward in a wide circular motion making three complete circles. Repeat rolling backwards. Repeat entire exercise with the other shoulder, then with both shoulders simultaneously.
- Reach arm over left shoulder to touch shoulder blade. Hold for a five count. Repeat with left arm. Relax. Repeat.
- Clench fists tightly. Let tension go up the arm into the jaw. Hold. Relax. Shake out the arm. Let the jaw drop.
- With elbows out to the sides, clasp hands at chest height by hooking fingers. Pull back as if trying to break your own finger hold. Hold for a count of five. Relax. Repeat.
- Stretch arms out in front of you, fingers locked. Push outward with upper arms and shoulders as if trying to force your shoulder blades apart. Tuck head to get a good stretch. Hold for five count. Relax. Repeat.
LEGS AND FEET
- Curl toes. Hold. Relax.
- Place hands on outside of knees and press inwards. At the same time try to force knees apart. Keep up the resistance to a count of five. Relax. Repeat.
- Cross right leg over left. Stretch right foot, pointing toe down as far as possible. Relax. Repeat 8 times. Then repeat with left foot.
- Steeple your fingertips together and push as hard as you can for a count of three. Then, relax.
- With one hand on a table or lectern, push with your fingertips down hard to a count of three. Relax.
- Hold your hands at your sides with thumbs and forefingers on each hand touching. Apply no pressure. You'll be surprised at how relaxed your upper body will become. Continue to keep one hand in this position and use the other for gestures.
- Establish a 'home base', a place to rest the fingertips of one hand. Return your fingers to the home base after gesturing or moving. It will anchor you.
- Take a brisk walk before you speak to burn off nervous energy. Remember a nervous presenter makes the audience nervous.
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2003 Karen E.Hamilton