How to Prevent Public Speaking Anxiety

How to Prevent Public Speaking Anxiety

Have you ever begun preparing for a speech and started stressing about the day you have to speak in front of an audience? No matter how much you prepare for a speech, do you still have stage fright?  Majority of people who have to give a speech experience public speaking anxiety and it is probable that the stress can lead to a poor performance.  This anxiety can actually be controlled with physical and psychological strategies.

1.    Prepare: Most speeches begin with a written outline or note cards.  In order to write a speech, research should be done on a topic so that the speaker understands the subject well.  These are individual speech writing projects that should have deadlines so that time is managed.

2.    Practice: The speaker should rehearse the speech a few days in advance so that the speech feels more and more familiar and natural.  If there are any visual or audio aids, these should be checked and tested out before hand.  It might be helpful to practice the speech in front of a mirror or small group.

3.    Gestures: While practicing, do some gestures that may enhance the speech. For example, if you will be stating three points, use your fingers to number them.  Making eye contact seems frightening, but can help grab attention from the audience.

4.    Walk: Standing stiff during a speech can be stressful and restricting. Some people find it comfortable to walk around and keep the audience attentive.

5.    Visualize: Picture yourself actually giving the speech and create positive expectations. Picture yourself doing exactly what you want to do when you give the speech.  When you go to actually give the speech, the environment will feel familiar.

6.    Breathing: Stress-control breathing should be performed a few days before speech day and while you wait to speak on the actual day.  As you inhale, the abdomen expands out. As you exhale, the abdomen goes in.  Create a breathing rhythm to maintain the technique.  Research yoga breathing because it is a good example of proper and relaxed breathing.

7.    Be positive: Keep a positive attitude throughout the preparation days and the day of the speech.  This will boost confidence and help deliver the message effectively.

By using these strategies to prevent or reduce Public Speaking Anxiety, you will be able to deliver a speech with confidence.  A confident and comfortable speaker will receive positive feedback and evaluation from the audience.

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