Public Speaking Anxiety – 2 Ways To Tackle It

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Years of training public speakers has taught us that there are only two ways of tackling this problem of public speaking anxiety. One is a short-term policy which helps every speaker immediately, and the other is a complete cure, which takes a few months to achieve.

Short-term Policy for Public Speaking Anxiety

A would-be speaker should begin making speeches as quickly as he can. In our classroom we start right away by bringing a student on to the platform, where the instructor begins a conversation with him. The instructor continues the conversation but he moves away from the platform, and the student goes on talking. Soon he finds himself alone talking to the instructor, who is at the back of the hall. Then he continues on his own—and all this in front of strange faces. Mistakes are made, of course. Some may feel uncomfortable, but they are so very glad of this afterwards.

We tell them to make all their mistakes in the classroom before strangers, and they won’t worry then nearly so much when facing an audience.

Far from affecting their confidence in themselves, this new method of teaching actually creates confidence.

The Cure

If first by prac­tice, and later automatically, your muscles can be relaxed, pre-speech nerves will go forever.

Just think of that. No if’s or maybe’s, but a complete cure. However, this won’t happen by itself. You have got to do something about it.

If you do, you will find that before many months have passed, so soon as you are faced with any situa­tion which normally would bring tenseness followed by public speaking anxiety, your muscles will automatically relax themselves, and no tenseness will be felt.

By Albert Tack

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