Keep Your Cool: 8 Strategies to Control Emotions While Speaking

control emotions while speaking

Effective communication is not just about the words we speak; it’s also about how we manage our emotions while conveying our message. Whether it’s delivering a presentation, participating in a meeting, or engaging in a conversation, our emotions can profoundly influence the way we communicate with others. In particular, the ability to control emotions while speaking is essential for delivering a confident and compelling message. This article explores the strategies individuals can employ to keep their cool while speaking, addressing common challenges, potential consequences of unmanaged emotions, and scientific findings supporting effective techniques. By mastering these strategies, individuals can enhance their communication skills, build confidence, and succeed in various speaking engagements, both personally and professionally.

  1. How Do Emotions Influence Our Capacity to Communicate Effectively?
  2. What Are the Common Challenges People Face When Trying to Control Their Emotions While Speaking?
  3. Is Having Emotions Always A Bad Thing?
  4. Are there Studies supporting Emotion Control Techniques in Speech?
  5. What Strategies Can Individuals Employ to Control Emotions Before Speaking Engagements?
  6. Conclusion

How Do Emotions Influence Our Capacity to Communicate Effectively?

Emotions are a big part of how we communicate effectively. They can shape how we express ourselves to others. When we’re feeling excited or passionate, it can make our communication more lively and convincing. But if we’re feeling scared, angry, or nervous, it can make us stumble over our words or struggle to get our point across.

Our emotions also show in how we act without speaking. Like, our facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, and gestures all give away how we’re feeling. Sometimes, even if we say one thing, our nonverbal cues can say something different, which can confuse people.

And it’s not just about how we express ourselves; our emotions also affect how well we listen and understand others. If we’re too wrapped up in our feelings, it can be hard to get where someone else is coming from or to connect with them emotionally.

So, yeah, emotions are pretty important when it comes to communication. Learning to recognize and handle our emotions can make us better communicators and help us get along better with others.

What Are the Common Challenges People Face When Trying to Control Their Emotions While Speaking?


When individuals feel anxious or nervous before speaking, their bodies may react with physiological responses such as trembling hands, dry mouth, or increased heart rate. These physical manifestations of nervousness can exacerbate emotional turmoil, making it challenging to maintain a calm and composed demeanor while speaking.

Fear of Judgment:

The fear of being judged or criticized by others can stem from a desire for acceptance or a fear of failure. This fear may be particularly acute in situations where individuals feel exposed or vulnerable, such as public speaking engagements. Concerns about negative evaluation can heighten emotional sensitivity, making it difficult to manage reactions effectively.


Feelings of self-doubt or imposter syndrome can undermine confidence and contribute to emotional instability while speaking. Individuals may question their abilities or feel unworthy of their role, leading to heightened anxiety and self-consciousness during speaking engagements.


The pressure of the moment, coupled with high expectations or perceived stakes, can create a sense of overwhelm that overwhelms individuals emotionally. Feeling inundated by the magnitude of the task at hand can trigger stress responses, making it challenging to regulate emotions and stay focused on effective communication.

Past Trauma:

Previous negative experiences with public speaking or traumatic events can leave emotional scars that resurface during speaking engagements. Memories of failure or humiliation may trigger intense emotional reactions, such as fear, shame, or panic, which can be difficult to manage in the present moment.


Striving for perfection or fearing failure can create immense pressure to perform flawlessly, leading to heightened stress and anxiety. Perfectionistic tendencies may result in unrealistic expectations and a constant fear of making mistakes, which can impede emotional regulation and detract from effective communication.

Lack of Preparation:

Insufficient preparation or unfamiliarity with the topic can amplify feelings of uncertainty and insecurity, contributing to heightened emotional distress. Without adequate preparation, individuals may feel ill-equipped to handle unexpected challenges or questions, leading to increased anxiety and difficulty controlling emotions.

Physical Symptoms:

Physical symptoms triggered by emotional responses, such as trembling hands, sweating, or a dry mouth, can be not only discomforting but also distracting during speaking engagements. These physiological manifestations of emotional arousal can interfere with clear communication and exacerbate feelings of nervousness or tension.


External distractions or interruptions during speaking engagements can disrupt concentration and exacerbate emotional instability. Whether it’s background noise, technical issues, or unexpected interruptions, external disturbances can make it challenging to maintain focus and composure while speaking.

Pressure to Perform:

The pressure to meet or exceed expectations, whether self-imposed or external, can create a significant burden that weighs heavily on individuals during speaking engagements. The fear of falling short or disappointing others can intensify emotional responses, making it harder to regulate emotions and deliver a confident and effective presentation.

Is Having Emotions Always A Bad Thing?

Emotions are an intrinsic aspect of human existence, shaping our experiences and influencing our interactions with the world around us. However, the question often arises: Is having emotions always a bad thing? While some may argue that emotions can lead to irrational behavior or cloud judgment, it is essential to recognize the multifaceted nature of emotions and their potential to enrich our lives.

For example, Weddings are a celebration of love and unity, marked by heartfelt speeches that often evoke a range of emotions in both the speakers and the audience. Consider the maid of honor delivering a speech filled with anecdotes and heartfelt sentiments about the bride and groom. As she recounts cherished memories and expresses her love and support, tears may flow freely, not only from her but also from those listening. In this moment, emotions are not perceived as a hindrance but rather as a testament to the depth of human connection and the significance of the occasion.

While emotions can be overwhelming at times, they possess the potential to serve as powerful tools for communication and connection. Instead of suppressing or dismissing emotions, it is essential to learn how to channel them effectively. One way to achieve this is by cultivating emotional intelligence, which involves recognizing, understanding, and managing one’s own emotions as well as those of others. Hence, through this blog we can learn how to channelize emotions in an effective way while delivering a speech.

Are there Studies supporting Emotion Control Techniques in Speech?

Yes, numerous scientific findings and studies support the effectiveness of certain strategies in controlling emotions while speaking. Here are some examples:

1. Positive Self-Talk:

Scientific evidence supports the efficacy of positive self-talk in reducing anxiety and improving performance in various domains, including public speaking. By replacing negative or self-critical thoughts with affirming and encouraging statements, individuals can boost their confidence, reduce self-doubt, and enhance their emotional well-being while speaking.

2. Power Posing:

While some initial studies on power posing have garnered attention, subsequent research has produced mixed results regarding its effectiveness in altering hormone levels or improving performance. However, adopting confident body postures before speaking engagements may still have psychological benefits, such as enhancing subjective feelings of power and reducing feelings of stress.

3. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT):

CBT-based interventions, which focus on identifying and challenging maladaptive thoughts and behaviors, are effective in reducing public speaking anxiety. By addressing cognitive distortions and implementing coping strategies, individuals can learn to manage their emotions more effectively and improve their speaking confidence.

Overall, scientific research provides empirical support for the effectiveness of various strategies in controlling emotions while speaking. However, individual differences and contextual factors may influence the efficacy of these strategies, highlighting the importance of personalized approaches and continued research in this area.

What Strategies Can Individuals Employ to Control Emotions Before Speaking Engagements?

Strategies that individuals can employ to manage nerves, anxiety, or control emotions before speaking engagements include:

1. Preparation and Practice:

Thorough preparation and rehearsal can boost confidence and reduce anxiety by increasing familiarity with the material and the speaking environment. Practice allows individuals to refine their delivery, anticipate potential challenges, and feel more in control of the situation.

2. Visualization and Positive Affirmations:

Engaging in visualization exercises where individuals imagine themselves delivering a successful presentation can help reduce anxiety and build confidence. Additionally, repeating positive affirmations or self-talk statements can counter negative thoughts and bolster self-belief.

3. Deep Breathing and Relaxation Techniques:

Practicing deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation can help calm the body’s physiological responses to stress and anxiety. These techniques promote relaxation and reduce tension, allowing individuals to approach speaking engagements with greater composure. Research has shown that diaphragmatic breathing techniques, which involve deep abdominal breathing, can reduce physiological indicators of stress and anxiety, such as heart rate and cortisol levels. Studies suggest that practicing diaphragmatic breathing before speaking engagements can promote relaxation and emotional regulation.

4. Mindfulness and Meditation:

Incorporating mindfulness practices or meditation into daily routines can enhance self-awareness and emotional regulation. By focusing on the present moment and observing thoughts and feelings without judgment, individuals can cultivate a sense of calm and resilience in the face of stressors.

5. Setting Realistic Expectations:

Managing expectations and reframing perfectionistic tendencies can alleviate pressure and reduce anxiety before speaking engagements. Recognizing that imperfection is a natural part of the process can foster self-compassion and ease fears of failure.

6. Physical Exercise and Stress Reduction:

Engaging in regular physical activity, such as walking, yoga, or jogging, can release endorphins and reduce stress levels. Incorporating stress-reducing activities into daily routines can promote overall well-being and resilience to anxiety.

7. Seeking Support:

Talking to trusted friends, mentors, or mental health professionals about fears and anxieties related to speaking engagements can provide valuable support and perspective. Seeking reassurance and guidance from others can help individuals feel less isolated in their struggles and more empowered to manage emotions effectively.

8. Focusing on the Message:

Shifting the focus away from personal fears or insecurities and towards the message being conveyed can help individuals stay grounded and confident. Emphasizing the importance of the content and its impact on the audience can help individuals channel their energy into effective communication rather than dwelling on their own emotions.


In conclusion, mastering the art of controlling emotions while speaking is a crucial skill that can significantly enhance both personal and professional communication. Emotions play a pivotal role in shaping how we express ourselves and connect with others, making it essential to recognize and manage them effectively. By understanding the influence of emotions on communication, identifying common challenges, and implementing proven strategies, individuals can navigate speaking engagements with confidence and composure.

The challenges individuals face, such as nervousness, fear of judgment, and self-doubt, are common experiences that can be addressed through preparation, mindfulness, and positive self-talk. Employing techniques like diaphragmatic breathing, visualization, and progressive muscle relaxation can help alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation before speaking engagements. Moreover, setting realistic expectations and focusing on the message can shift the emphasis away from personal insecurities and enhance overall performance.

Failing to manage emotions effectively while speaking can have detrimental consequences, including decreased performance, impaired communication, and damaged relationships. However, scientific findings support the effectiveness of various strategies in controlling emotions, providing individuals with evidence-based tools to navigate speaking situations with confidence and poise.

In essence, by honing their emotional intelligence and implementing proven techniques, individuals can enhance their communication skills, build credibility, and foster meaningful connections with their audience. Keep your cool, and with practice and perseverance, speaking engagements can become opportunities for growth, learning, and success.

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