Do you feel nervous when speaking to others?
Don’t worry, you are not alone. According to creditdonkey.com, 73% of the population struggles with a fear of public speaking to a certain degree. And surprisingly, women are more likely to be fearful of speaking in front of groups than men.
However, not being able to manage anxiety can negatively affect your speech. It may appear as if you are unsure about what you’re saying. Unfortunately, this situation is more common in people who stutter. They often become socially anxious and worry that their stutter will undermine their performance at work or school. But, just like anything else, with the right mindset, it can be managed.
So there’s no need to be anxious- it’s not a problem or weakness. Even if you cannot eliminate anxiety altogether, you can learn to reduce aspects that are influencing your condition. More importantly, you need to focus on learning how to overcome it and show the world your real skill and talent.
Want to learn tips on how to manage speech anxiety effortlessly?
Here are some simple speech anxiety cures that can help you the next time you have to speak in front of a group.
1. Always feel confident.
2. Read up on current trends and news so that you have adequate knowledge and will be able to converse with ease. Moreover, it will boost your confidence and diminish nervousness.
3. Breathe deeply if you feel a bout of nerves coming on. This will help calm you, provide much-needed oxygen to your brain, and steady your voice.
4. Speak slowly instead of rushing to finish a thought or sentence. The slower pace will calm you down.
5. Interject your sentences with brief pauses. Smoothen out your breathing to give a relaxed format to your style of speaking.
6. If it’s a long speech, prepare index cards to keep your train of thought in order.
7. Maintain eye contact with the people you are talking to. This helps build rapport as well as strengthens your confidence.
8. Concentrate your energies on having an engaging conversation. Instead of always thinking about what to say, listen to the other person. Active listening is a great skill that makes speaking that much easier.
9. Don’t fixate on the delivery. It’s the ideas that you are portraying that are more important.
10. Practice speaking with family members, friends, or in front of the mirror.
11. If you have to make a presentation or give a speech, invest a considerable amount of time in preparing and rehearsing. Know the subject well and monitor the timing.
12. Don’t be dull. Show emotion or empathy to build a rapport with the audience.
13. Give your mind a mental note to relax, whether it’s your facial muscles or the clenched hands at your sides.
14. Imagine a cheerful place full of positivity whenever you speak. This will help negate any negative emotions you may have about speaking in public.
15. Dress smartly and get in the mood. You’ll be surprised how much these little things can influence your level of confidence.
16. Assume the proper pose. Even if you feel weak at the knees, stand firm. Studies show that this stance while speaking, helps boost your confidence and improves the audience’s perceptions about you.
17. Anxiety and nervousness can cause your mouth to dry up. This can make you tongue-tied. Have a bottle of water handy and keep taking small sips so that your mouth remains moist.
18. Keep to a proper diet, exercise, and sleep routine. A healthy body is a key to a healthy mind.
19. Studies have shown that chewing gum can help reduce anxiety.
20. Caffeine and alcohol can make you more nervous. Reduce the intake of coffee, tea, sodas, or alcoholic beverages.
21. Practice stretching exercises to help relax the tension in your muscles.
22. Massaging your forehead can help to energize the front of the brain and speech center.
23. Sometimes it helps to move around to get rid of the nervous energy. But that’s only possible if you are taking on stage or walking with someone.
24. Stop beating yourself up about the way you speak. Most times, people are awed by what you are saying and not how you said it. It’s time to build your self-esteem.
25. Focus on the positives and recognize your achievements.
26. Ask for constructive feedback. But keep an open mind and use this to work on aspects that need improvement.
27. Learn from your mistakes using reflective practices.
28. Listen to yourself. Train your style of speech by using special devices designed to help individuals speak more fluently.
29. Celebrate what you have accomplished. Treat yourself to a decadent dessert or a massage at the spa. Make yourself feel special.
30. Smile. It’s not all bad … the world isn’t out to get you. ;)
Read More: Signs Your Child Needs Stuttering Therapy
Final words of advice
Continually being anxious and nervous can have a severe consequence on your physical and mental health. In fact, anxiety can increase the risk of developing heart disease by 26%. So you better believe it when it’s time to get over your speech anxiety. You need to take care of yourself.
If you find that the situation begins to overwhelm you or is too hard to handle, consider talking to a friend or a specialist. It just may be that a couple of therapy sessions are all you need to get over the fear of public speaking. Moreover, you will be in a better position to cope with other social phobias. Taking proactive steps earlier on can significantly enhance your abilities in all social environments later on in life.
Ready to give yourself another shot at public speaking- but now with more confidence and finesse?