This is a cracking little technique you can use before your speech or any other big occasion.
Power posing: the act of adopting powerful poses to make yourself feel more dominant.
Social psychologist Amy Cudy gave an amazing talk at TED Global 2012 where she presented her findings that people who adopt a dominant style posture not only makes us look more powerful and confident, it makes us feel more powerful and confident.
How? Striking a powerful, expansive pose changes our biochemistry. It increases testosterone, decreases cortisol, and generally makes us feel dominant.
Amy Cuddy's study (see video above) found that participants who struck power poses for several minutes before beginning a mock job interview received better reviews and were more likely to be chosen for hire. Even though the poses were not adopted in front of the evaluators.
How to put power posturing into practice
In the lead up to your speech, find somewhere quiet, maybe an empty room or even a bathroom stall. Stand tall, puff out your chest, pull back your shoulders and let your arms drop by your side. It's surprisingly effective. After just a minute you will start to feel more confident.
Try to keep this posture when you give your talk. Not only will you look more confident. You will feel more confident.