Friday, 8 April 2011

Do you have a fear of speaking in public?

An estimated 75% of all speakers experience some degree of anxiety/nervousness when public speaking.The fear of public speaking, or stage fright is extremely common, and even has its own name, Glossophobia from the  Greek word glōssa, meaning tongue, and phobos, fear or dread.

Symptoms include:

Intense anxiety prior to, or simply at the thought of having to verbally communicate with any group, avoidance of events which focus the group's attention on individuals in attendance, physical distress, nausea, or feelings of panic in such circumstances.

This anxiety can be grouped into physical and verbal categories.  These symptoms include acute hearing, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, dilated pupils, increased perspiration, increased oxygen intake, stiffening of neck/upper back muscles, and dry mouth. The verbal symptoms include, but are not limited to a tense voice, a quivering voice, and repetition of "Umms" and "Ahhs", vocalized pauses, which tend to comfort anxious speakers.

Some nervousness before speaking is good, it heightens your awareness and gives you that adrenalin rush to perform at your best. Try the following tips next time you speak.

1.Channel your nervous energy into the performance
2.Believe in yourself: never say 'I can't' - you always can
3.Remember - everyone started somewhere
4.Imagine how you'll feel when it's gone well
5.Focus on your strengths... and don't forget to smile!

Simply presentations run 1-1 sessions for presentation anxiety.