End Your Fear of Public Speaki

Dec 14 08:52 2009 Sam Chapman Print This Article

Speaking in public is one of the greatest fears for many people, but they have to do it anyway.  Public speaking brings on great anxiety in many people.  The good news is that there are a number of good ways to overcome this fear.

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Many people have a fear of public speaking, but have to do it as part of their jobs.  I know first-hand what this feels like as I used to have to make presentations and I was usually very anxious right before presenting.  Many people will actually experience mild panic attacks before speaking in public.

So what does this fear of public speaking feel like and how can one overcome it?  It might look something like this:  You are a little anxious and have trouble sleeping the night before.  You may take medication or have a drink thinking it will help you fall asleep.  You drink a little extra coffee because you have trouble waking up.  The extra caffeine makes you more anxious and a bit jittery.  You review the presentation in your mind over and over to make sure you don’t leave anything out.  You get to the meeting and have trouble concentrating.  Right before the presentation you begin to sweat and your heart is pounding.  You have trouble breathing and might start to shake.

The good thing about a panic attack like this is that it will go away fairly quickly after the presentation.  The bad thing is that it leaves you physically and mentally exhausted.  By the time the anxiety kicks in it is probably too late to start it.  The key is preparing to sure the anxiety does not set in.

Some forms of anxiety can be treated with prescription drugs, but these should not be used if you are going to speak in public.  Many of these medications will slow you down to the point that you may not be able to focus.

The best thing to do is get on a natural anxiety treatment program.  This will need to be ongoing as treating any kind of anxiety is not a quick fix.  A natural anxiety treatment may include things like breathing exercises or meditation to help teach you how to relax.  It should include maintaining a good diet and getting enough sleep and exercise.  It might also include herbal treatments or self hypnosis.

Another trick that works for some people is visualization.  You can sit in a quiet room, close your eyes and put yourself in the setting where you will be speaking.  But when you visualize looking out over the crowd, you don’t visualize the audience.  You visualize a room full of friends and visualize the presentation being more like a conversation with friends than an actual presentation or speech.  If you practice this a few times, you should be able to pretend the audience is a group of friends when you give the actual presentation.

The key in ending your fear of public speaking will be preparation and retraining the way you think.

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About Article Author

Sam Chapman
Sam Chapman

Sam Chapman has lived and worked in the Austin, TX area since 1987 and does a lot of public speaking when volunteering with the American Cancer Society.   Learn more about natural anxiety treatments.

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