Reproduced from 50 Training Activities for Administrative, Secretarial
and Support Staff by Elizabeth Sansom and Christine Newton, HRD Press
Handout 50-2
(1 of 2)
Overcoming Presentation Nerves
Deep Breathing
Never underestimate the positive effect of deep breathing. Most of us have heard about
it, but few of us actually do it when it would help us. Make yourself one of the exceptions
to the rule!
1. Either stand with feet slightly apart and your weight equally balanced, your
shoulders down, and head in an alert, central position, or sit with your bottom
well back on a chair, your back straight, and feet slightly apart and firmly on the
2. Place your hands over your stomach with the tips of your index and middle
fingers just touching.
3. Exhale to empty your lungs as much as possible.
4. Inhale deeply while counting “one second, two seconds, three seconds” and
hold for a similar count of three. (Your finger tips should have parted slightly.)
5. Exhale while counting “one second, two seconds, three seconds.” (Your finger
tips should touch again.)
6. Repeat #4 and #5 above at least five times.
1. Remove your shoes and lie flat on the floor. (If you have a back problem, put a
small pillow under your head and raise your knees while keeping your feet on
the floor.)
2. Close your eyes and become conscious of each point of contact your body has
with the floor. Start with your feet, slightly apart, and think through all the parts
of your body that are touching the floor.
3. Clench one muscle group at a time, as tight as you can, hold while you count
“one second, two seconds, three seconds,” then release. Start with your toes,
then your calf muscles, thigh muscles, bottom muscles, stomach muscles,
hands, arms, shoulders, and finally your face, making as screwed up a face as
you can, then release.
4. Now combine this with #2 through #6 of the deep breathing exercise above.

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