How Can I Control Sweating While Public Speaking?

Do you experience speaker's anxiety or nervousness and sweat a lot?  Lisa B. Marshall, aka The Public Speaker, explains steps you can take to reduce sweating. 

Lisa B. Marshall
2-minute read

Today’s blog post comes from a reader. Here’s the email I received:


I would like some tips to control excessive sweating while speaking. Also, I want to let you know that I get nervous before speaking.  Please help me.

Thanking you,

Wapang jamir

Here’s my reply: 

Hello Wapang, 

Thanks for connecting with me and sending your question about sweating and handling nerves. 

In order to answer this question, it’s first important to understand that sweating is one of the body’s natural responses to anxiety. So, my first tip is to simply remind yourself of that fact when you begin to sweat. That alone can help reduce sweating. 

Also keep in mind that you don’t really want to completely stop the sweating.  When you overheat you really don’t want to stop your body from using sweat to cool down. Instead, what you need to focus on is the reducing your speaker’s anxiety (which leads to the excessive sweating). You need to find a way to control your heartbeat and calm your nerves, so that your body isn't heating up and sweating to compensate. Lucky for you, I’ve already written many episodes of The Public Speaker that may be able to help you: 

Does Public Speaking Make You Nervous?
Overcoming Nervousness 
The Secret To Great Public Speaking
Simple Exercises to Achieve Proper Breathing
How To Breathe

After listening to these episodes and practicing some of the techniques, check in with me and let me know how things are going. Remember to try a few different strategies at the same time!

As you’ll learn in the episodes, research suggests that the best way to overcome issues with nerves is to take a course in public speaking that includes video.  I offer an inexpensive online course called Powerful Presenter.  You may want to consider taking that course. (More details about my Powerful Presenter Course.) I also offer one-on-one coaching, which includes video reviews.  

But a good start before you hire a professional is to listen to this interview I did with Matt Abrahams about handing nerves. He's also got a book, Speaking Up without Freaking Out, which I highly recommend. You might want to pick that up. 

Finally here are some links about excessive sweating from reliable sources. You might also find them helpful:

What To Do if You Sweat Too Much - QDT’s House Call Doctor

How Much Sweating Is Too Much  - From WebMD

Do You Sweat All the Time?  - From Prevention

Let me know what you try and how it goes! 

This is Lisa B. Marshall helping you to lead and influence.  If you'd like to learn more about compelling communication, I invite you to read my bestselling books, Smart Talk and Ace Your Interview, and listen to my other podcast, Smart Talk. As always, your success is my business

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.