Manage Speech Anxiety

Once you have a clear understanding of speech anxiety, you are ready to consider ways to manage the anxiety. One strategy for managing speech anxiety is to ensure that you are prepared to deliver an effective speech. Therefore, several rules for effective public speaking are presented below:

  • choose a topic that you know well
  • have a positive attitude towards your speech
  • set realistic presentation goals
  • view the audience as a source of support
  • never memorize a speech
  • never read your speech
  • never apologize at the beginning of your speech
  • know that nervousness is not readily seen by the audience

Even the most accomplished speakers experience some level of arousal before a speech, the key is that they have learned to think of that arousal as excitement instead of a threat or anxiety. Although this learning curve can be steep, it is possible to teach yourself to think of your anxiety as excitement. No single technique will work for everyone but former City Tech effective speaking students have suggested:

  • give yourself a chance, you cannot improve if you do not try
  • be yourself
  • be prepared
  • do not expect to be perfect

In addition to these suggestions, relaxation techniques and stress management tools are often recommended to combat speech anxiety. Again, the best remedy for your speech anxiety is the combination of these ideas that works best for you. Think of what makes you feel better when you are stressed and give that a try first. Here are some options:

  • deep breathing exercises – to reduce heart rate
  • relaxation – do yoga, mediate, stretch
  • stress relief – have a massage, listen to music, engage in a hobby
  • exercise – run, lift weights, swim, take an aerobics class
  • maintenance – sleep and eat well
  • find a calm place – imagine yourself in a desirable location

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