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5 Ways to overcome public speaking anxiety

5 Ways to overcome public speaking anxiety

  • 4 Types of public speaking anxiety
  • 5 Tips for overcoming public speaking anxiety
  • 1. Take time to prepare and practice
  • 2. Make a recording
  • 3. Picture a successful outcome
  • 4. Be nice to yourself
  • 5. Try breathing techniques
  • Key takeaways

Being a great public speaker doesn’t come easily for everyone. In fact, there can be a great deal of public speaking anxiety present in just about anyone. This article discusses the different types of anxiety, and if you are struggling to get yours under control, there are also some tips you won’t want to miss.

Does the thought of speaking in front of an audience make your palms sweaty and knees weak? Are you unsure how to even start approaching your anxiety? We’re here to help!

Public speaking can be challenging for many reasons, and those reasons can vary from one person to the next. While one person may be worried that their audience will judge them on their views, others may have a lack of experience that is holding them back. Others may worry they won’t perform their speech well or simply don’t have the confidence to pull off a public speaking performance. 

In this article, we will discuss how to get over public speaking anxiety. We’ll cover:

  • 4 types of public speaking anxiety

  • 5 tips for overcoming public speaking anxiety

4 Types of public speaking anxiety

You may be surprised to learn that there are a few different types of public speaking anxiety, and how you address them can depend on the type. Here’s a closer look at four types: 

  • Anticipatory. One of the most common forms of anxiety involves the time leading up to the public speaking event. You may find yourself becoming nervous or worried about the event long before the date arrives.

  • Performance. This type of anxiety occurs when you are giving your speech. You may become lightheaded or start sweating. Your heart may also start racing. All of these factors make it more challenging to give your speech.

  • Situational. Another type of anxiety only appears when you are speaking in certain situations. You may be perfectly fine speaking in front of a crowd of strangers, but you may become nervous when speaking in front of people you know, for example.

  • Cognitive. This form of anxiety is a little more complex. With cognitive anxiety, you may worry about embarrassing yourself in some way, which can lead to worries about areas of the event other than the speaking part. This may also lead to self-doubt or negative thought patterns.

5 Tips for overcoming public speaking anxiety

Anxiety can vary from one person to the next and can also come with different levels of intensity. It’s important to remember that some anxiety is normal. It’s when the anxiety becomes crippling and makes it impossible to perform that the problems begin. Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to overcome public speaking anxiety. 

Here are some  public speaking anxiety tricks to try:

1. Take time to prepare and practice

Practicing and preparing in advance are two of the most important things you can do when you are faced with a public speaking event. You should practice many times, including several sessions in front of an audience of friends and family. During these practice performances, set things up just like they will be on the day of your speech. Use any presentations or visual aids, and don’t forget to ask for feedback!

2. Make a recording

Along with practicing in front of friends and family, practice by yourself and record your session. A recording lets you hear how you sound and see your movements so you can make improvements before the actual speech.

3. Picture a successful outcome

Oftentimes, it’s our mental state that holds us back. When trying to overcome public speaking anxiety, visualize a successful outcome. See yourself as a confident orator and build your self-confidence.

4. Be nice to yourself

When you are preparing for your speech, practice a healthy lifestyle. That includes taking care of your mind and your body. Don’t talk down to yourself and stick with foods that are going to make you feel good.

5. Try breathing techniques

Breathing techniques can also be very effective for those who deal with large amounts of anxiety. Taking slow and deep breaths before your speech can help you relax and calm your nerves. Practice this ahead of time and try some breathing techniques just before you take the stage to attain a relaxed state .

Does your public speaking anxiety spill over into your job interviews? Our interview prep and simulation service can help you be ready! Check it out today. 

Key takeaways

  1. There are several types of public speaking anxiety and each comes with its range of severity.

  2. Some levels of anxiety when public speaking are natural, and you can’t completely eliminate the anxiety.

  3. Practicing, recording yourself, and being nice to your body and mind are all tricks for eliminating strong feelings of public speaking anxiety.

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