Overcoming speech anxiety
It never is an ideal situation to be stuck with any kind of social phobia, in this case speech anxiety. It cripples and limits. That is why there is a need to undertake some measures to overcome this anxiety. What are the ways in which one can overcome this phobia?
Be Thorough in your Preparation
Understand the topic at hand completely. Find out all there is to find out about it. That way, if there is any doubt about the topic at hand, you can clear them and prepare a speech that is thorough and well researched. Making clear notes about the same is seen to help make the speech even better.
Know your Audience
How does knowing the audience help? Studying the audience helps because you know their general psyche, what they expect from the orator, what makes them tick and what doesn’t. This can be deduced from a number of factors like age, background and the like. Knowing the audience will help you formulate the speech to make maximum impact on them.
Practice in Different Scenarios
So, you know your matter and you know your audience and that will help you in perfecting the speech well. But to ensure that the speech goes according to how you have planned it, there has to be a lot of practice done. There are several ways in which this can be achieved. You can practice in front of a mirror to study and improve upon your style of delivery and body language. Another way to perfect your speech is to practice in front of a small audience of family members and friends so that they can give you a feedback when needed. Similarly you can either audio or video record your speech to check for the same and bring about a change.
Psyche yourself for Success
Some people are so tensed when giving a speech that they don’t realize it when they set themselves up for failure by constantly feeding their minds with things like ‘I am going to bungle this up’, ‘I’m going to forget my lines’ etc. Refrain from doing that and give yourself auto suggestions of succeeding at the task on hand instead. Keep telling yourselves that you are going to give a perfect speech and everyone is going to love it. This will add up to all the preparation and research that you’ve done and help you achieve your goal.
Usage of Props and Other Equipment
Another effective way in which you can tackle speech anxiety is by using different visual aids like charts, powerpoint presentations, slides, audio and video clips and the like. This works in two ways. One, it enhances the speech and gives it more character, and two, it reduces the actual speech time. One does not have to merely concentrate on the speech anymore and can use that time to explain the speech better with the help of the aforementioned props. This also helps the audience in understanding the speech better.
Use Relaxation Techniques
For all the physical and psychological symptoms that speech anxiety brings along, there needs to be a solution found. It has been studied that using relaxation techniques, which primarily focus on breathing exercises are known to reduce this anxiety and bring about calm. Some people will meditate, others will concentrate on deep breathing, still others will probably listen to a soothing song or take a walk. The point being that each one of us has to find a tool that helps us in relaxing and reducing considerably, if not completely, the speech anxiety that makes way.