Speech Anxiety – How to Overcome Your Fear of Speaking in Public
To the normal person, speech anxiety can seem like a minor irritant. It's hard to imagine how frightening it could be to someone with severe anxiety who's giving a speech to a roomful of people. Fortunately, many cases of speech anxiety will go away on their own. But for others, speech anxiety can be debilitating and potentially embarrassing, so it's important to seek treatment to eliminate this problem.
What is speech anxiety?
It's a condition where you experience physical symptoms arising from extreme fear or worry about speaking in public. Many people who suffer from this condition have difficulty breathing, shaking, trembling, and an intense fear that they'll embarrass themselves. Some of the more common symptoms of speech anxiety include: nervousness, shaking, sweat, butterflies in the abdomen, dry mouth, fast heart rate, and squeaky Voice. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical advice immediately because the earlier it's treated, the better.
Treating speech anxiety doesn't have to involve drugs or expensive behavioral therapy. In fact, several short-term relaxation techniques may be all you need to overcome your fear. One of the best ways to relieve some of your apprehension is to practice deep breathing exercises. The more controlled your breathing is, the less stressed you feel.
If you're not comfortable having a therapist to talk to you about your speech anxiety, you can learn to relax yourself by engaging in cognitive behavioral therapy online. CBT is a form of psychotherapy that has been shown to be very effective in treating many different types of psychological disorders including fear and stress. You can get started on CBT by visiting a psychologist or clinical psychiatrist who can provide you with individualized CBT sessions that will help you identify and combat the fear that's driving your anxiety disorder. You can also take advantage of online therapy that's specifically designed for people who fear speaking in public.
Self-hypnosis is another effective means of combating speech anxiety
When you self-hypnosis you can focus on relaxing your facial muscles and reduce your levels of stress throughout the day. This can make a big difference in how you feel about speaking in public. People who suffer from speech anxiety often find that the stress of speaking in public builds up in their nerves until they're simply unable to go on. Self-hypnosis can give you a new lease on life.
If you need a little boost to get over your speech anxiety, practice your confidence and speak confidently
Practice being confident in front of friends, family, and work associates. Make sure that whenever you're talking to someone, you've introduced yourself properly and are making eye contact. Don't sit too still as well. Your nervousness will show on your face, so you want to keep moving or change the topic if possible. Making eye contact and introducing yourself properly will help you regain your confidence.
Finally, do your best to stay positive. If you do your best to be positive when facing your fear, it will help you overcome your speech anxiety. Speak confidently to anyone who may doubt you, and enjoy the opportunity to speak in public.
Speak with confidence and comfort your nervousness
Remember that even if you don't think that you're going to have an anxiety attack during public speaking, you might. If you do, try to relax more so that you can avoid becoming overly anxious. You'll soon see that overcoming speech anxiety isn't as hard as it sounds. With some work, you'll overcome your fear of speaking in public.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Both Social Phobia and Speech Anxiety
The most frequent symptoms of speech anxiety include: fast heartbeat, sweating, twitching, dry mouth, shaky voice, and rapid heartbeat. Although it's often impossible to eradicate speech anxiety from your life forever, there are a number of ways to treat it and even harness it to your benefit. It can be a frustrating ailment because you're unsure how to address the problem. Below are four tips for coping with and eventually overcoming your speech anxiety.
A big part of dealing with speech anxiety is taking the time to prepare for a speech or presentation. The more you prepare before an event the less likely you'll be overcome by nervousness once the event takes place. One way to prepare for an upcoming speech or presentation is by doing research. Read up on the topic, familiarize yourself with its key terms and definitions, become comfortable with the material. Taking the time to do research can also help you determine how you may address certain elements of the material which will help you avoid unnecessary nervousness.
The second step to addressing speech anxiety is to recognize that it's not abnormal. While it may feel strange to associate speech with being nervous, anyone who's ever tried to deliver a speech in front of an audience or been called upon to speak in front of a group of people knows that feeling. Even successful public speakers fall into the nervous zone from time to time. That doesn't mean you have to let speech anxiety take over your entire life. In fact, managing anxiety for speech or presenting a speech in front of an audience is quite easy. Here are a few tips for handling your nerves before a big moment.
Although some people will experience heightened levels of anxiety before a speech, the majority of us will not
If you have been called upon to speak in front of a group of people and feel extremely anxious, try to pinpoint what might be causing this anxiety. Are you anxious because you're worried about your performance? Or could the stress of your audience make you break out in a cold sweat and literally start shaking uncontrollably?
Some speech anxiety is brought on by fear of failure. If you are preparing for a presentation and think that you may have stifled a smile or laugh because you thought your topic was great, the fear has probably manifested itself. It may even be a fear of looking foolish or of embarrassing yourself in front of an audience. Fear of public speaking can keep you from enjoying your presentation and can lead you to distraction and procrastination.
Other times speech anxiety may come from long-term patterns of nervousness or fear
If you've always felt that you are uncomfortable when speaking in public, then you most likely have developed this habit. Sometimes this habit is something that's hard to break. If you find that several of your close friends have spoken in front of large audiences and you feel very nervous when you find yourself in front of even smaller groups, you need to identify what could be triggering this pattern. You may need to take a few steps to break the pattern and develop new, more comfortable social skills.
Other people may have speech anxiety as a result of their phobia of public speaking. If you've been terrified of speaking in school or at the office, this may be contributing to your symptoms. When you're asked to speak in front of a crowd, your anxiety may be heightened because you instantly compare your situation to those you've seen in movies or on television. The truth is that most people have experienced public speaking at some point in their lives, but they rarely compare their experience to the ones portrayed in media.
In order for speech anxiety and social phobia to be treated successfully, they must be identified and treated
Like many other disorders, there are specific medical treatments available for symptoms such as panic attacks or depression. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is often very effective for disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. You may want to speak with a professional about ways to treat your speech anxiety and social phobia, or consult your doctor about possible medications. Regardless of which treatment you use, it's important to remember that symptoms can be treated and overcome.