No matter how interested and experienced we may be in public speaking, anxiety cannot be avoided. We experience it especially as the day of the speech gets closer. We start to ask questions that make our stomachs churn. For example: Will the audience like me? Will my mind go blank when I begin to speak? Have I prepared adequately?

If the thought of delivering a speech makes you nervous, you are not alone! According to a commonly quoted survey, more people are afraid of public speaking than they are of dying. People who experience a high level of apprehension while speaking are at a great disadvantage compared to more conversational, confident people.

Individuals who confidently express themselves are viewed as more competent. They also create a better impression during job interviews and are more likely to be promoted than apprehensive people.

Confidence develops a positive impression while anxiety creates a negative one. When we speak, we are communicating in three ways – verbally, visually, and vocally. Our verbal delivery may be clear and well organized; but when we are anxious, the audience will likely notice more our negative vocal and visual signs (for example, lack of eye contact, poor posture, hesitant delivery, and strained vocal quality). Yet, when we are confident and our verbal, visual, and vocal signals are in unity, we look more credible.

If we want people to believe us when we speak, if we want to improve the impressions we make, we need to boost our confidence. This series will give you some tips on how to manage speech anxiety to give more confident and professional deliveries.

Call it speech anxiety, stage fright, or communication apprehension; you have to understand it for numerous reasons. First, speech anxiety can incapacitate you. Second, misconceptions about it can strengthen your anxiety. Finally, knowing the strategies for managing speech anxiety can help lessen your apprehension.

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Positive self-imagery can be used in many aspects in life. It can help us manage apprehension in job interviews, problem-solving discussions, testing situations, or any circumstances in which our confidence needs a boost.

To succeed in public speaking, you have to visualize yourself as a successful speaker. No amount of talk, encouragement, or practice will make you successful if you deem yourself an anxious or ineffective speaker.


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