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Old 10-16-2018, 03:03 PM #1
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Default Public Speaking Anxiety

I would like some opinion, comments, or suggestion from you.

I suffered many years with depression, but somehow I found a way to get my life back up and running. Recently I came back to college and I've noticed that I'm overwhelmingly anxious, which is a bit unusual for me.

I've always been shy in strange situations or among people I didn't know, but my fear of speaking in front of a group (even small) is incredibly frustrating. I enrolled at a public speaking class in order to overcome this fear, but every class is bringing me to a full PANIC level. I can't sleep, eat, relax, or do anything before it. The worst thing is that everyone else seems pretty confident and relaxed while I just 'freeze', get my face completely red and feel weak, like about to faint. Today was a horrible day for me because I felt completely embarrassed and ridicule after I failed at delivering a 1-minute presentation. When I left the room, I busted in tears and uncontrolled shakiness.

I'm a very articulated/ opinionated woman who studies 24/7, so this is really out of my control and depressing. I don't know what to do anymore...
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:25 PM #2
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Smile Re: Public Speaking Anxiety

I always had a serious fear of public speaking. I forced myself to do it when I had to & avoided it when I could. At first I thought perhaps by doing it I'd eventually overcome it. But I never did. So I'm afraid I don't have any great advice to offer you. However here are links to 4 articles, from PsychCentral's archives, that talk about overcoming the fear of public speaking:

Panicked Over Public Speaking? A Holistic Approach That Helps

Fear of Public Speaking | Healthy Romantic Relationships

How to Overcome Stage Fright in Almost Any Situation

6 Tips for Overcoming Performance and Test Anxiety

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Old 10-20-2018, 09:27 AM #3
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Default Re: Public Speaking Anxiety

I wish I had good advice but I don't. I am the same way though, I hate it. It takes me a long time to trust anyone enough to be my silly crazy self around them.... but just in general, I can't talk in front of people I don't know. I admire your bravery and I hope it can help

Maybe if you are not in therapy, that could help aid this too.
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:56 AM #4
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Default Re: Public Speaking Anxiety

I do public speaking every day. I hate to say it but the way to get better at it is to do it a lot.

A couple of things that helps me... speak slowly. To you it sounds super slow, to everyone else it sounds perfect.

I pretend that I am an actor stating lines... not me.. this helps take the embarrassment to me out of the situation.

Start every presentation with a joke. You can google these. It is a way of instantly getting the audience on your side.

Try not to look directly at the audience but look at the last row. To the audience it looks like you are looking at them but your eyeline is just above them.

Keep at it, you have to practice. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Trust me, I am a super introvert but after 14 years in my position I have zero fear of public speaking.
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:50 PM #5
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Default Re: Public Speaking Anxiety

I would rather die then give a public speech. I go into a complete panic attack. Shaking, unable to speak, think. Medication does help. Try getting a prescription for Xanax or Valium to take before a speech. That helps a lot. Or a couple shots of your favorite liquor to get you to relax!
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:08 AM #6
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Default Re: Public Speaking Anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily Fox Seaton View Post
I do public speaking every day. I hate to say it but the way to get better at it is to do it a lot.

A couple of things that helps me... speak slowly. To you it sounds super slow, to everyone else it sounds perfect.

I pretend that I am an actor stating lines... not me.. this helps take the embarrassment to me out of the situation.

Start every presentation with a joke. You can google these. It is a way of instantly getting the audience on your side.

Try not to look directly at the audience but look at the last row. To the audience it looks like you are looking at them but your eyeline is just above them.

Keep at it, you have to practice. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Trust me, I am a super introvert but after 14 years in my position I have zero fear of public speaking.


This is a great message! Thank you!!!
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:11 AM #7
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Default Re: Public Speaking Anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisinmd View Post
I would rather die then give a public speech. I go into a complete panic attack. Shaking, unable to speak, think. Medication does help. Try getting a prescription for Xanax or Valium to take before a speech. That helps a lot. Or a couple shots of your favorite liquor to get you to relax!

What I hear from most people is that the more you do public speeches, the more you get used to...
Lol, I thought about taking a shot of vodka, but then I would give them a show instead of a presentation. haha
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:16 AM #8
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Default Re: Public Speaking Anxiety

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Originally Posted by DP_2017 View Post
I wish I had good advice but I don't. I am the same way though, I hate it. It takes me a long time to trust anyone enough to be my silly crazy self around them.... but just in general, I can't talk in front of people I don't know. I admire your bravery and I hope it can help

Maybe if you are not in therapy, that could help aid this too.

Thank you! Indeed, I just started some therapy, so I am discussing this fear with her to see if I can get less anxious. I completely understand what you mean by not trusting people enough, so I think we should just learn how to manage this issue and let ourselves be 'silly' just a little bit, knowing when to stop so we don't hurt ourselves afterward...
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:10 AM #9
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Default Re: Public Speaking Anxiety

You can do it! You'll probably get better with time, as you do it.
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:59 PM #10
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Default Re: Public Speaking Anxiety

I can definitely relate and sympathize and empathize with how you are feeling. For me public speaking became somewhat easier by just having to do a fair amount in undergrad and then for my job, but never really got great at it. Had bad experience with a boss really scrutinizing me teaching a class and it was my worst nightmare so I have changed jobs and will never work another job that requires me to do a bunch of public speaking like the past job. It may help if you can take baby steps and gain confidence presenting to 2 persons you know well then 3 and maybe volunteer and teach something you know well and can talk about endlessly.
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