MANAGING FEAR AND ANXIETY
Accept fear. Anxiety is a natural reaction to stress. It can be helpful to speakers by releasing adrenaline, which improves performance.
Develop confidence through practice. It is critical for to practice, and to obtain as much feedback as possible. Two major feedback sources for speakers are videoing themselves, and soliciting the opinions of others.
Eliminate logistical uncertainty. Four practices can help reduce anxiety caused by uncertainty:
- Commuting in advance to the speaking location.
- Checking the setup of the room.
- Pretesting the technology.
- Learning about the audience.
Reduce stress in the hours before the speech. There are many effective stress-relieving approaches, including:
*Getting a good night’s sleep.
*Drinking warm liquids and eating lightly.
*Taking a walk.
*Listening to music.
Speak slowly. People under stress naturally speak faster than usual. To slow down, it helps to fill one’ lungs with air every few sentences; pause at commas and periods; and clearly enunciate.