Two Ways To Overcome Public Speaking Anxiety
by Bret Bradshaw
Summary: You can find many ways to overcome public speaking anxiety. This article will discuss two methods, which are discovering what your fears actually are and visualizing yourself giving a public speech. You may be afraid and not know why. The importance of public speaking is immense. There is no reason to let your fear of public speaking keep you from progressing in life.
Method 1: Discover What Your Fears Are
Draw a line down the middle of a sheet of paper. On the left side list all the worst things you think could happen to you. For example you could be afraid of being criticized, so you would write “be criticized,” maybe you are afraid of looking foolish, or maybe it is stumbling over your words, you might be afraid of your mind going blank.
On the same left side next to your emotion articulate what your feelings are about that emotion. Let’s use “be criticized” as an example. If you are criticized write down how you think being criticized will affect you. In this example let’s assume you will feel stupid if you are criticized. You will write “feel stupid,” next to be criticized.
Understand that in most cases your worst fears will most likely not happen. Your deepest most ingrained fears are probably because of past experiences in a performance condition. Maybe you were involved in a performance condition and you were criticized on your performance and it made you feel horrible and stupid.
Time may have passed, but the experience is etched into your subconscious. It could be holding you back and you don’t know it. By bringing this experience to your remembrance you can analyze it in depth. Often by analyzing your past experiences you are able to shoot holes in your faulty assumptions or beliefs. You can better see things as they really were and thus be able to move forward.
Writing a journal is a method to analyze your past. Say it all and be specific. This will help unshackle the chains your public speaking anxiety and fear has on you. When you are given an assignment to speak in public, write in your journal about your feelings and emotions up until you give the speech. Assess your level of anxiety by ranking it on a 1 to 10 anxiety scale.
Ranking your anxiety will help you focus on what you need to work on first. Work on the higher numbers first. After analyzing your experience you may realize that your anxiety is unfounded. Your belief about your anxiety has now changed and your new beliefs have erased out your prior anxiety. Your feelings are based on your beliefs. Change your beliefs and your feelings will change.
If analyzing your experience still doesn’t do the trick, study it in depth. Read books and articles about it, or talk to someone who knows more than you do about that condition. Being able to come to terms with your past is important so you can be in the present. When you are giving a public speech you don’t want anything to hold you back even if it is subconscious.
On the right side of the paper on the top write down what you want to happen. Focus on what you can control. If you are interviewing for a job, you can’t control if you will get the job. So don’t write be hired because being hired is out of your control. You can control if you are confident, calm and poised in the interview which will make it more likely you will get the job.
Method 2: Visualize Giving Your Public Speech In Your Mind
Everything is created spiritually or mentally first before it is created physically. Dreams that come true happen because they were first a dream. Find a quiet place to meditate. Picture yourself in your mind’s eye giving your public speech. Visualize giving your speech in as much detail as possible.
Conclusion: Anxiety and public speaking can be overcome through analyzing your fears and visualizing yourself giving a speech. Research has proven that performance is improved when visualizing in your minds eye your performance first.