Public Speaking Anxiety | Achieving Effective Speaking Skills

I am talking today about public speaking anxiety which is also known as Glossophobia and also achieving effective speaking skills because at sometime in your life you may have to speak publicly to a work or community group and you want to be able to do that without stressing out.  Giving a speech or presenting before a group, whether the group is a thousand or just ten, qualifies as one of people’s biggest fears. It is not uncommon to find a person who is terrified at the prospect of having to speak to a roomful of people.conference-2

But why do we fear speaking in front of others so very much?  Psychologists believe that it is not really public speaking that make people experience so much STRESS but the fear of making a mistake in front of others. In my personal experience that is true, but also when you talk publicly people actually look at you and to me I feel they are judging how I look as well as how I speak. Being glossophobic can however be conquered with the right attitude, knowledge and commitment.

Here are some points that can start you in your path towards achieving effective speaking skills:

Speak about what you know
Talking about something that you have a passion for and know about will not only lessen the anxiety that you may experience but will also make you appear fervent and enthusiastic about the project. If you want to develop effective speaking skills then this would be the what I would do first.

Use Humor
What’s the best way to impress an audience? To make them feel connected to you. And how do you exactly do that? Use humor. Open your speech with a joke or a funny observation. Everyone loves to laugh. This can also help you relax. It’s also a good strategy for covering up errors when they happen.

Practice
When you practice, the chance of making a mistake decreases. The biggest benefit though will be that it will make you feel more self confident, knowing that you have prepared for the speech and that you have done your best to present it.  I am the kind of person who likes to be prepared so this tip is something I would do anyway.  So, prepare your speech then practice it and you will find yourself less stressed and less glossophobic.

Involve The Audience
The best way to appear competent before an audience is to actually acknowledge their existence. Say hello to them and you could even ask them a question.  Also when you do this it makes the speech less formal and more comfortable for everyone. A less formal approach can excuse the speaker from some blunders.  Hey and I will made them over the years.

My secret and main coping technique in regard to public speaking anxiety is to think of the audience as children. Children are accepting and not critical aren’t they.  Find what works for you though as we all react differently to stress. I have heard people say that they image the audience naked, but hey, that just doesn’t work for me at all.  Maybe all you need is to listen to is some RELAXATION MUSIC beforehand and that is what I do as it brings my stress levels down quite dramatically.

So the bottom line is don’t stress the next time you have to speak to a group, follow my tips and you will be fine and well prepared.

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Social Anxiety | My Experience (Part 1)

I suffer from social anxiety.  Social anxiety Disorder is a recognized psychiatric condition and is common in both sexes and which causes distress and impaired ability to function in social situations in a person’s daily life. This is my personal story but I must say that I manage my anxiety well now, and keep my stress levels down as much as possible.  I won’t say that I am ‘cured’ but I am learning again to enjoy the things I once feared.

Continue reading Social Anxiety | My Experience (Part 1)

Reduce Stress – Take a Vacation

Reduce stress lay on the beachI recommend a vacation to reduce stress in your life.  I have just been on a 10 day vacation to a beach side destination and I must say it has made me feel a new person.

I love the ocean and the waves are so relaxing.  Sitting on the sand watching the tide come in and go out is what I use to center my thoughts for stress relief and as also as a meditation technique.

You don’t have to go anywhere though to get the same results if you have a relaxation tape with ocean sounds,  a nice cool breeze and a sun lounge to lie in but experiencing the real thing now and then is fabulous I must admit.

Pick a vacation location where life moves at a slower pace.  Relax and don’t crowd too many activities into a day.  Read that book you bought ages ago but never had the time to before.

Get some good quality sleep.  Go to bed early and get up late.  Have a nap in the afternoon if possible.  Lay in a sun lounge (in the shade) and have 40 winks.

Walk along the beach, swim in the ocean or hotel pool.  Nothing makes you sleep better than exercise during the day.  Don’t forget that you are aiming to reduce stress in your life.

OK I can hear you saying you can’t afford a vacation.  If so then why not do it all in your mind.  I often will walk along the beach in my mind.  Take a day to do nothing but rest, revive and reduce your stress.  You are worth it!

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How to manage travel anxiety

travel anxietyI love to travel but I also get stressed out by the preparation and the actual traveling but I still go and I have fun the majority of the time.  I am going on a cruise and so for the last week I have felt my anxiety levels rising.  When I feel like this I know I have to start to bring that anxiety down.

I tell myself to relax as often as I remember to. This helps a lot over the day if I remember it enough.  Relaxation music is also helpful and I listen to that before I go to sleep and I find it helps too at the airport to relax me and diffuse that travel anxiety I might be feeling.  Download this music to your iphone, ipad or Kindle so you have it with you when traveling.

I find it difficult to sleep on planes and this music helps me to relax and get some sleep on long haul flights so look at the many kinds of music that can help you here —> Binaural Beat Sleep or Relaxation Music

travel anxiety railSome of the ways I manage travel anxiety are:

  • I stop and think why I’m having a vacation.  I had a dream and I put a plan into action so it would become reality.  Now is the time to enjoy this time and look forward to it.  This is the time to enjoy the experience.
  • Be organized when I am at the airport and/or the cruise terminal.  I have all my documents handy and together. This helps me be more confident and relaxed.
  • I limit what I drink as far as alcohol is concerned as that makes me feel hot and confused which just makes my anxiety about traveling a lot worse.  I usually settle with one drink at dinner if I feel like it.
  • I keep a travel diary so that I can go back and relive the memories and it reinforces how well I managed on that trip.  Looking at all my diaries reminds me how many times I have traveled and it makes me feel good about myself.
  • I accept that not everything will go as planned and that sometimes you have to accept that change happens and planes get relayed or canceled or the hotel you picked online is really quite seedy or the excursion you booked is not really what you wanted but I have learned to be open to that change and go with the flow.  This has been the most challenging part of traveling for me.
  • Traveling also makes me trust my decisions and to make more choices.  I wouldn’t have done that before. I found it hard to make any decisions in case I made the wrong ones. Now I can make the decisions I need to and if I made a mistake I have realized its not the end of the world.
  • I don’t worry about everything little thing but just enjoy and have a good time.  I try not to over analyze everything that’s going on around me.  Worry doesn’t achieve anything anyway.
  • Traveling has really empowered me and given me many great things including opening up my mind to new places, different people and being more tolerant, but the greatest thing I have achieved from traveling is confidence in myself.

I now manage my travel anxiety pretty well now and have all the tools to send it packing but in the other direction.

If you need some help with your anxiety then check out PANIC AWAY