Most of us tend to experience some performance anxiety before delivering a speech, whatever the occasion. Public speaking is considered to be one of the greatest fears of all. Speech anxiety symptoms may be as minor as slight nervousness or as extreme as debilitating fear. Affected individuals may suffer from sweating, shaking, dry mouth, squeakiness of voice, butterflies in stomach, and increased heartbeat.
It may not be possible to completely get rid of speech related performance anxiety; however there are many ways in which patients can overcome it and even turn it around so as it becomes beneficial for them.
Discussed below are 3 tips that can help control pre-speech performance anxiety:
1. Get enthused about the speech: All of us are able to talk about a movie that we like or some other topic of interest to a group of people for a long time without experiencing any performance anxiety. The same holds true when singing a song at karaoke in front of strangers, but speech anxiety takes over during an audition, etc. So find a reason that makes you excited about the speech that you will give later. For example, if you are going to talk about your book then think of it as an exciting step to realization of your dreams.
2. Visualize something pleasant: Speech anxiety often occurs due to the fact that you speak in front of strangers and that you are anxious about the judgment and reciprocal applause from the audience. All these factors can be put away by ensuring that you remain happy when giving the speech. This can be done by visualizing the presence of your partner, family, or friends in the audience. You may also keep a picture of your love on the photo and pause to have a look at it whenever you feel performance anxiety.
Visualization can be accompanied by physical movement on the stage as well as controlled breathing. This will help a great deal. Moving about the stage can help clear and realign the thoughts, reduce the pace of the speech, avoid confusion, and distract you from performance anxiety. Taking deep slow breaths also helps decrease the heart rate as well as slow down the speech to normal conversational levels.
3. Correct and fine-tune the speech: Rehearse the speech many times over, with proper articulation and projection, till it is near perfection. It is not possible to memorize an entire speech (speaking from wrote-memory is not recommended); but rehearsing the speech can help finesse it, thereby reducing the chances of goofing up and almost eliminating performance anxiety.
It may also be noted that you are the only one who knows what the speech is all about. Thus, even if you goof up the audience will not know about the mistakes. Remember this fact and make it a motto to completely eliminate speech anxiety.
Besides rehearsing, it is vital to get adequate sleep. Staying awake the night before the speech and preparing will only exhaust the mind and trigger anxiety when the actual time comes. Hence, sleep well the night before.
Do You Get Performance Anxiety? Share Your Experiences Below In The Comment Section.