mood and public speaking

The Role of Mood in Public Speaking: 6 Strategies for Success

You can’t avoid being in a bad mood. It is an inevitability of life. It can ruin your day, end your productivity, and worse… it can happen on the day of your most important presentation. Do not panic yet! Let’s take a look on how to understand and control it.

There are situations you can control, but when it comes to mood, there are more than you can’t. The smallest things can influence your mood.

Feeling down, depressed, or slightly anxious will lower your cognitive abilities – solving problems or improvising in case of need is more difficult.

Mood and Emotion

Moods and emotions are two different things, yet frequently mistaken for each other. An emotion is what you feel in a specific moment. For example, you get angry about something. Then it fades. Moods are different. Sometimes, you just wake up in rage or depressed for apparent no reason. Unfortunately, moods don’t go away easily.

While there are people who recognize what they are feeling, many of us are not that aware of our moods. That’s why you need to work on yourself and understand your feelings.

The effect on your state of mind

The effect on your mood will have in your presentation varies from person to person. Here, we’ll focus on the most widespread impact of the most common moods.

Let’s start with the depressive mood. It is normal for everyone to feel depressed now and then. Unfortunately, things do not always go the way we want, and we feel sad. The biggest problem with a depressive mood is that it takes your energy away. It makes you less productive and focused. The outward impact it can have on your performance is that your audience will mistake it for a lack of enthusiasm.

Besides, the depressive mood makes you more inclined to notice the flaws. You focus on the things that didn’t go that well and underestimate the good ones. A terrible day is waiting for you if you are already very self-critical.

The biggest problem for a speaker is anxiety. Anxiety makes it difficult to work, focus or even say something coherent. Focusing is impossible when your heart is speeding, and you feel in danger. You can’t think of anything else but how to make that feeling stop. It’s impossible to focus.

Lastly, let’s talk about excitement. Well, most of us don’t think about it as dangerous or something that could harm a presentation, right? Well, it depends. High levels of excitement make it difficult to focus. You may want to tell everything at the same time, making your message confusing and making your audience tired. Besides, you tend to move a lot without direction.

The Path of Control – tips to help you

First, let me tell you: you will never control your mood. Now that we established that, let’s look at a couple of ways to help you deal with it.

The first step is to know yourself. Take a step back and ask yourself what you are feeling and why. If there is a concrete reason, you may address it before you get too depressed or anxious to perform.

Otherwise, you can follow these simple tips to help you control your moods the day of your presentation:

Sleep! – Yes, you must sleep 7-8 hours to feel okay. The lack of sleep is one of the reasons people feel depressed with no apparent cause. So, make sure you have enough sleep the night before.

No Social Media – It sounds cliche, but it is proven that social media is not good for your mental health. So you may want to give your cell phone and other devices a rest while focusing on yourself.

Create morning momentum – Think about things that can energize you, then establish a morning routine to prepare you for the day. Having a specific routine before presentations or speeches can help you focus, giving you the energy you need for your performance.

Step into the Sun – Have you ever noticed that some people get depressed in the winter? That’s because of the lack of Vitamin D. The so-called “sunshine vitamin” has already been linked to depression and cognitive impairment. Try to take a walk, as close to nature as possible, and absorb the sunlight if you can. It helps you to feel better almost instantaneously.

Meditate – Meditation helps you to calm down and recover your peace. You can also use it to think about your emotions and to connect with yourself and your feelings. Neuroscience shows us that simply labeling your emotions and mood helps to reduce their power over you. So, look inside with no judgment and find out what’s happening in you.

Take control of your mood

Emotions, moods, and feelings are scary because you can’t control them. Sometimes you don’t even know what you’re feeling. So, start there. Understand yourself, think about it, and try to take over your own mood.

Never underestimate what you’re feeling. It has a profound impact on your performance.

Cátia is a psychologist who is passionate about helping children develop and train social skills.


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