If you’re looking for public speaking anxiety treatment you’ve come to the right place.
In this article I’m going to discuss a simple 3-step public speaking anxiety treatment you can use right now.
I’m a public speaking trainer with years of experience helping people from all walks of life overcome their fears of public speaking.
When you think of the word “treatment” it might conjure up images of pills or lying on a doctor’s couch.
The “treatment” I offer is neither of these things. It is a different way of thinking about public speaking that most people have never considered before. It’s easy to implement and you can do it right away without waiting for counselling or pills to work their magic.
Redefine Public Speaking
The fear of public speaking is often driven by worry around judgment and mistakes.
Speakers tend to be afraid of what audiences will think of them. Perhaps the speaker has never met the audience before and worries about that first impression. Maybe it’s an audience of peers and the speaker worries about the audience feeling different about them after seeing them do a presentation.
The first step to overcoming public speaking anxiety is to look at the speech or presentation as a conversation rather than a production. We tend to get so wrapped up in public speaking being a “performance” that in our minds it takes on all the attributes of drama or theater where mistakes are costly and reputation-damaging.
Treating public speaking as what it actually is, a conversation, dimishes the costs associated with mistakes and judgment.
If you say the wrong words or forget a fact during a business meeting or in a social conversation, everyone just moves on. The same goes for a speech. Apologize if necessary and move on.
Release the Pressure Valve
Even with the knowledge that public speaking is just a conversation…
…Even with less worry about making mistakes or being judged…
…There’s still the likelihood that you’ll be anxious just prior to stepping on stage and for those first few moments.
Here’s how to release that anxiety pressure valve:
Start your speech or presentation by asking the audience a question related to your presentation topic.
At the start of your talk the spotlight is on you. But when you ask the audience a question, you shift the focus from yourself onto the audience. This gives you valuable seconds to gain your composure and feel more comfortable on stage.
Bonus points if you ask a question which prompts some discussion amongst the audience. It buys you more time and gives your speech a much more conversational feel.
Maintain Low Pressure
You started off releasing the pressure by asking the audience a question, but unless you do something the pressure is going to build again as eyes fix back on you.
Here are two things you can do to maintain the low pressure:
Invite the audience to ask questions anytime
It can be a pain to deal with random questions throughout your speech, but it gives it a much more conversational feel which reduces the pressure on you.
Before you know it the time will have flown by!
Ask questions at regular intervals throughout your presentation
The more questions you ask, the more involved the audience will feel. The more questions you ask, the less one-sided your speech or presentation will feel (and the less pressure there will be on you.)
This public speaking anxiety treatment has been successful for thousands of people I’ve worked with. I’d love to hear from you about the success you’ve had with it.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.