3 Ways to Manage Public Speaking Stress
Last month, Dr. Natasha Vani shared the secrets to understanding, recognizing, and managing stress. But for most Canadians, aside from doing taxes, what is typically one of our most stressful activities?
What is our biggest fear — even more than death itself
Psychologists believe that there’s a reason why public speaking is one of the things we fear more than death.
It’s not just because we’re afraid of feeling embarrassed or judged, but because we fear rejection.
In ancient times, if we were ostracized from our tribe we’d have to defend ourselves against predators all on our own. And that would probably be a death sentence.
Keep reading for 3 surprising tips on how to manage your public speaking stress in the world today.
How to deal with public speaking anxiety
Pivot. Turn your nervousness into excitement. A recent study suggests that it’s hard to bottle up your nerves. Instead, it’s much easier to channel your anxiety into another strong emotion like passion, delight, and enthusiasm. When you say to yourself: “I’m excited to speak,” you’re ready to become more confident.
Prepare. Build up your tolerance to speaking anxiety by practising in front of a small group. Speak at a local chapter of Toastmasters or in front of your colleagues at work. It’s always useful to record yourself on video, but it might not be as stressful as the time when all eyes are on you.
Perspective. Your identity and value as a human being is defined by more than just your ability to give speeches. And even if you stumble over your words or blank out, it’s not the end of the world — your audience may not even notice. In fact, there are always opportunities to do better in the future.
Public speaking anxiety is believed to be deeply rooted in our nature as social animals. But if you pivot, prepare, and get perspective, you’ll be able to handle just about any public speaking-related stress.
So don’t be afraid.
Be excited to speak!
Ron Tsang, MBA, DTM (Guest writer for Satori Health & Wellness)
Executive Communication Skills Coach