Almost everyone might have had the chance to address a large group of people. For some, it must have been a great opportunity to express themselves, whereas for others it might have been a stressful experience. Nonetheless, it is of utmost importance to find and seek an anxiety attack help to lead a better, more confident life.
Reasons For Public Speaking Anxiety
Anxiety is usually triggered in situations where one finds himself or herself in a position of vulnerability. “Anxiety is the sense of discomfort, restlessness, or uncertainty that is internally generated,” says David Spiegel, MD, director of Stanford Medicine’s Center on Stress and Health. “It’s being a worrier without having the stressors outside.” Standing alone on the stage, with hundreds of people staring can definitely make a person feel vulnerable, and hence consequently anxious.
Tips To Cope With Public Speaking Anxiety
“I was terrified: as a student, my heart used to race at the mere thought of raising my hand in class. For weeks beforehand, I had nightmares about forgetting my lines, waking up in a cold sweat. No matter how much I practiced, for the three days leading up to the speech, I could hardly breathe.” – Adam Grant, Ph.D.
“The good news is that schools are increasingly tuning in to mental health needs, and they’ve gotten better at diagnosing anxiety disorders,” says school counseling expert and researcher Mandy Savitz-Romer. There are several ways to cope with these feelings of anxiousness during public speaking; a few are mentioned below to help out.
- Practice makes perfect
One of the biggest causes of public speaking anxiety stems from the fear of either forgetting what one has to say or saying the wrong thing. Hence, this is why practice is the key to perfection in this case. It is important to set aside time for practice. Try writing down your speech to remember it clearly, time yourself and also try speaking in front of a mirror. Persistent practice will definitely help you master the skill of public speaking.
- Focus on rhythm
It would be a great idea to structure your speech in such a manner that it allows you to create rhythm while you speak. Try keeping your sentence short, so that you not only forget them, but it also gets easier for your audience to understand them. Also, try taking small pauses in between key points; it will make your audience anticipate your next point.
- Get a friend’s critique
It is always best to try your speech on a test audience. Find a friend who is free to listen to your speech and give you an honest opinion about it. This constructive criticism will help you fix any error before the big day, hence making you feel more confident about what you are going to say.
- Warm water
You might feel your mouth getting dry and itchy after speaking for so long; it might make you feel self-conscious and nervous. A good tip for this would be to drink water that is either warm or at room temperature; perhaps squeeze in the lemon as well. It will prevent your throat from drying out as you speak.
- Dress comfortably
Sometimes the fear resides in facing the crowd. You might feel your legs are jelly and you cannot stand confidently on the stage. Dressing to please your own self, perhaps in something that you are comfortable in, would be a great idea. This way you would not have to care much about how you look and would rather concentrate more on delivering your message to the audience.
- Pick something inspiring
Choosing the right topic to talk about is important. Try picking something that interests you or something that you are extremely passionate about. Furthermore, you must also be comfortable with speaking about the topic in public; prior research would really aid you when you are preparing your speech.
- Channel your energy in the right direction
Nervousness is in itself a form of adrenaline rush a person might feel while facing a huge crowd. The key is to learn ways to channel this excess of energy in a positive manner by giving a more impassionate speech. In addition to this, one must also try meditating every day for five minutes in order to feel in control of his or her emotions.
Therefore, the best technique of dealing with the fear of public speaking is to understand what scares you the most. By understanding the source of your anxiety you can find the perfect way to cope with it.