Public speaking is difficult for many reasons. The speaking anxiety a person feels before a performance can be overwhelming. Doubt, fear, and discomfort about people watching and criticizing the speech creep in and all of those fears can seem impossible. Thankfully, there are ways to address these feelings.
Public speaking is difficult for many reasons.
The speaking anxiety a person feels before a performance can be overwhelming. Doubt, fear, and discomfort about people watching and criticizing the speech creep in and all of those fears can seem impossible. Thankfully, there are ways to address these feelings.
Giving a speech in front of any sized audience is one of the most common fears humans have. The truth is, this fear comes as a part of being human. Combatting speaking anxiety by trying to rid oneself of the fear of speaking magnifies discomfort and stress.
To deal with public speaking anxiety, a person should first accept that it’s normal to be scared. The fear is real, and in truth, it’s not going to go away no matter how many times a speaker practices a speech or how many speeches the person gives.
Conquering public speaking anxiety is about understanding the performance emotions and learning how to cooperate with them. If a speaker can find a way to relax before going on stage, they can learn to give a fantastic performance despite having public speaking anxiety.
Humans have a unique capacity for creating pictures in their minds, and these pictures affect emotions and thoughts.
Someone can picture a bright yellow lemon in their mind. Then, they can imagine cutting into the lemon with a knife and biting into it. If someone were to do this, their mouths would salivate because their body responds as if the lemon they ate was real.
Visualization is a proven process that helps to relax performers before high-stakes situations. Athletes and astronauts visualize how they want routines or performances to go before doing the real thing to prepare their minds for their emotions during the real version. Since they have “seen” the situation before, it’s easier to relax and enjoy the moment.
In preparation for speeches, speakers can visualize their performances by imagining the stage, the audience, and themselves giving the speech. They can imagine the feelings of being onstage and prepare their minds for the emotions they will feel. They will feel more relaxed and focused during the actual speech.
On the day of the performance, speakers can close their eyes before going onstage and imagine smiling faces from the audience, people nodding their heads with interest and delight. They can also think about the excitement, rather than the anxiety, of being on stage. These images generate excitement and joy, allowing the person to breathe, focus and remain calm.
A speaker can imagine this scenario in less than a minute to set the tone for the kind of performance they want to have. Visualizing will prepare the speaker for the wide range of emotions they will feel and have a great speech despite their presence.
Visualization works for public speaking anxiety, and it also helps with daily life.
If there’s anything someone is nervous about, they can set aside time to visualize the event to prepare themselves for it. They can also describe the experience they want to have in an online journal or a free online diary. These writing tools help solidify and define the desired experience. They can also discuss these visualizations with therapists in online therapy or in-person therapy.