How to Overcome Speech Anxiety

Anyone can become a calm, compelling speaker with these pointers. Commit them to memory before you deliver your next address.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Tape your rehearsal Tape yourself rehearsing your speech. Our biggest fear is looking foolish, and this gives you the opportunity to correct anything you don’t like. Practice until you are satisfied with your delivery.
  • Step 2: Stand up Stand up a few moments before you take the stage. When you go from sitting to standing, your blood pressure drops, leaving your brain with less oxygen for about two minutes.
  • Step 3: Count backward Starting with 100, count backward by seven as you wait to be introduced. This engages the left side of your brain, which turns off the panic going on in the right side.
  • TIP: Forget the old saw about picturing your audience naked. Talking to a bunch of nudists would make most people more nervous.
  • Step 4: Smile Smile. Even if it’s fake, the physical act of smiling actually tricks the brain into thinking you’re happy, so you’ll feel calmer.
  • TIP: Ask your doctor about prescribing a beta blocker, which will reduce your anxiety by slowing your heart rate.
  • Step 5: Be prepared Be prepared for questions you can’t answer. You can promise to look into the matter, refer the person to someone else, or throw the question out to the audience.
  • FACT: Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking.

You Will Need

  • A video camera
  • Time to rehearse
  • A prescription for a beta blocker

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