Public Speaking Anxiety: Stop Locking Your Knees

Locked Knees. Stop It. You’ll Faint.

Imagine fainting half-way into your talk. It has happened to others and it could happen to you, especially if  giving a talk makes you stiff and nervous.

The worst, worst, worst thing you can do when you are suffering from public speaking anxiety is lock your knees. You will cut off blood to your brain and your brain will shut you down. That’s right. You’ll become famous for being the one who fainted mid-presentation. Of course everyone will be very nice about it, but the best thing to do is avoid the nightmare situation all-together.

Photo of Horse Guards Parade, featuring Queen Elizabeth II riding her horse "Burmese" and one prostrate guardsman who has fainted.
Horse Guards Parade posted on flickr by Leonard Bentley. “An unfortunate Grenadier Guardsman lies prostrate at attention, as all good Guardsmen should when they faint.”

So here’s what you should do:

  1. Take a moment to stand by yourself in your room. Lock your knees and unlock them several times. Notice how you feel both ways.
  2. Check in throughout the day. Do you lock your knees? When do you do it? When you’re nervous? When you’re focused? When you’re feeling insecure?
  3. Pay special attention to your knees during these times. And remind yourself – “Soft knees” every time you find yourself locking your knees.

As you progress, you will find yourself locking your knees less, reducing the likelihood that you will revert to the habit when you give your talk.  Keep your blood flowing and feel your public speaking anxiety melt away.

-Jenifer

To help me publish the most relevant content possible, Email Me about your public speaking anxiety!  You can even share the nightmare scenarios you fear the most.  I will not share your name or information, and I WILL respond to each and every one of you!


Like what you've read so far?
For more FREE tools & FUN tips to help you communicate better and present your research confidently, get our guide: The Top Ten Things You Can Do to Make Sure You Do Not Die During Your Science Presentation and tips sent to your inbox!