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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Public Speaking and Speech Anxiety: 5 Ways To Overcome Nervousness

 by Dr. Craig April, Director of The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

For many, public speaking can be a nerve rattling proposition.  If you get nervous or experience anxiety when giving a speech or in any form of public speaking, you are not alone.  In fact, fear of public speaking is one of the most frequent anxiety issues around.

Why Is Speech Anxiety and Nervousness In Public Speaking So Common?

There are a variety of reasons, but one of the most reasonable explanations is that we are social beings and care about how others perceive us.  Part of this concern is healthy.  Unfortunately, for millions of people, the concern has reached an unhealthy level.  They worry too much about being evaluated and lend too much importance to public speaking performance.  This then leads to anxiety or even a phobia.

So, in order to assist those with speech and public speaking anxiety, here are:

5 Ways To Overcome Nervousness and Anxiety in Public Speaking:

1.)  Focus on what you can give to the audience, not on your performance.

When you focus on how you're presenting to the audience and what you are doing wrong, you're moving away from the reason you're speaking to the audience - To give them something.  Focusing on your performance creates anxiety.

2.)  Over prepare.

Unless it's an impromptu speech, prepare well so that you remove anxiety about forgetting the material.  Also, being prepared inspires confidence. 

3.)  Practice presenting in front of a pretend audience at home.

Practice presenting as if you are speaking to the most critical, hostile audience you can.  That way, when actually giving your speech, you'll be ready and aware that this real audience is friendlier and less difficult.

4.)  Maintain a realistic perspective.

People don't care as much about your performance as you think they do.  They just want the information.  And if you can give it to them with a smile and engaging explanations even better.

5.)  Find a public speaking role model and imitate them.

Role models are guides for behavior we wish to cultivate.  Search for a model at work, in the media or even in your social circle.  Ask yourself how and why this person appears so comfortable. How do they engage an audience?  How do they carry themselves?  Then act accordingly.

Of course, these tips are for more mild fears and anxiety symptoms in public speaking.  If you find that your speech and public speaking anxiety is severe,  seek treatment from a doctor specializing in anxiety

All the best,

Director of The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

P. S.  Don't forget to sign up for my anxiety newsletter on my website's home page where you'll receive free anxiety tips!

The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles and The South Bay

The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management is committed to helping you remove the destructive barriers of anxiety, so that you may lead a calmer, healthier, happier life.

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