Monday, April 15, 2013

Keys To Overcome Public Speaking Anxiety

Ange Akproh


On the weekend of March 1 -3rd, the Alpha Theta Phi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa gave me the opportunity to attend the regional conference that took place in Westchester New York. During the conference, several workshops were made available to the attendees. I personally attended the Public Speaking workshop from which I learned how to overcome speech anxiety.

            Speaking in public is and remains a challenge for most of us even after several years of practice. Most of the time we encounter some degree of anxiety when facing the public because we fear to ruin the moment. Even though it is hard to face this challenge, speech anxiety can be overcome through many different ways.

First, the choice of the topic makes a difference. Selecting a topic you know and enjoy makes the job easier. You’ll find researching and planning your speech delivery relatively easy which leaves more time for practice. When you’re familiar with the topic, it is also easier to explain it naturally as you would in a conversation with a friend. Your interest to the topic also adds enthusiasm to your speaking voice, which engages your audience even more.

            Second, practice is key. Resist any temptation to slack in preparing your speech. Select the topic as soon as possible, complete a clear outline and practice with a friend or in front of your mirror.

            Third, take care of yourself. Sleep well and avoid excessive sugar. Consume a light meal on the day of your speech, and then reward yourself when it’s all over.

Fourth, visualize success. Imagine yourself scoring a success such as presenting your speech without a hitch and winning enthusiastic applause from an appreciative audience. All of it helps reduce anxiety.

Finally, use relaxation techniques. Budget some time for an activity that you enjoy like watching a movie or gardening before the day of your speech. Exercising also is a powerful relaxation strategy as it releases your muscles and keeps you form having negative thoughts.

In conclusion, speaking in public can be very challenging but yet not impossible to overcome. With good practice, positive thoughts, and the use of relaxation techniques, every speech could be a little easier to face.

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