Public Speaking Anxiety – Be Ridiculous

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Public speaking anxiety affects many people to varying degrees. For most people they can beat their stage fright by applying some simple strategies. One such strategy is using speech drills.  

Speech drilling, which requires a student to speak with ex¬aggerated force and big gestures, will help overcome stage fright. For instance, in private practice or with other people, do the following speech laboratory exercises:
Choose a favorite hobby (your most active one.) Tell and show an imaginary audience how to take part in it. Do this with much pep. Put zip, spirit, and sparkle into your tones. Let your feelings show in your face, eyes and body. Overdo it! Feel that people must share your hobby, not tomorrow or next week, but as you talk about it.
Talk with force and pep, much louder and faster than you usually talk, and with an active body from head to toe. This is only a speech drill so don’t be afraid of high pressure or any¬thing else. As you talk nod your head vigorously (when the thought calls for it), shake your fist, or point directly and force¬fully to demonstrate a point. Make any kind of bodily move¬ments that will explain or emphasize. But make all movements big and positive. No little, easy, timid movements.

Speak earnestly with your eyes and face. Plead with them Plead with your whole being for your audience to believe and act upon your ideas. Be so much in earnest an audience must believe.

The purpose of drills is to help control and direct nervous energy rather than check or kill it.

If taken seriously this speech drill will help a person beat public speaking anxiety because the stretching caused by being ridiculous makes it easier to face an audience when being serious. 

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