Often times, we find ourselves in a situation where we have to speak in front of an audience. Whether it is a meeting at work, a presentation for school, or a speech at a friend’s wedding, these stations can be anxiety-provoking. You may experience sweating, upset stomach, shakiness, or stuttering. Anxiety due to public speaking is common. There are strategies that you can use to reduce your anxiety is you find yourself in one of these situations.
– Rehearse! Practice your speech for a trusted friend or family member, or even by yourself at home. Familiarizing yourself with the material will help you to think clearly.
– Challenge irrational thoughts. Thoughts such as “I’ll sound awful” or “Everyone will hate my speech” are unhelpful and often wrong. Think more realistically “Not everyone will love my speech, but that’s ok.”
– Accept minimal levels of anxiety. Everyone gets nervous, especially in those situations. It is normal to feel some “jitters” before speaking publically.
– Use visualization. Imagine yourself giving your speech, and doing it well! Imagine yourself calm and collected, with a receptive audience. This imagery can reduce anxiety.
– Seek therapy. If you have a job or another obligation that requires you to speak publically often, and you experience severe anxiety, therapy can help to alleviate these symptoms.
If you or someone you know has the concerns about anxiety, there are many options available, including professional counseling and assessment services. Please call us at (215) 487-1330 or email us at Greenridge@intercommunityaction.org for more information about our counseling services.
Author: Joclyn Malys, M.S.