3- Practical-Ways-To-Get-Over-Public-Speaking-Anxiety

Public Speaking Anxiety – Three Practical Tips

Maria Pellicano Business Voice Coach, public speaking

Do you have public speaking anxiety?
Most tell me they their afraid of not feeling good enough, or afraid of being found out that you are fraud.  Does that sound like you?
To overcome public speaking anxiety you must have a strong enough reason to see you through fear.
For me singing in public came earlier than speaking. Through repetition my nervous system learnt to become familiar with the challenge.
I learnt to be ok to feel exposed and vulnerable. I paid the price of wanting my voice heard and not dealing with the regret of giving up.
I became more aware of my breath, I prepared and strengthened my voice to stand in the storm and feel the confidence rise even though I was challenged. 
The more I stepped up on platforms and stages, the more feedback I got both positive and critical. I gained experience just being out on the ground and doing it time after time.
But some never get started fearing that they will freeze with worry.

Fear of speaking in public is the worst of all fears. Jerry Seinfeld says that being in a casket is easier than speaking in on a platform doing an eulogy.

Public Speaking Anxiety is known as Glossophobia
Glossa comes from the greek word language, tongue, speech.

Breathlessness, loss of memory, speaking too fast, loss of voice volume and a sense of feeling frozen are some of the symptoms of public speaking anxiety. It is a debilitating problem and without deliberate strategy and muscle memory re-enforcemnt,  many fall helplessly under the struggle of its power.

Did you know that women are more likely to have public speaking anxiety than men.  Research show us that 75% of are women and 73% are men.  A total of 74% of human population suffer speaking in public. 

From my work with clients, singing students and actors, I have found that some personalities are more prone to fear of public opinion.  Extroverts and introverts process public speaking in different ways.  From my work I have found common patterns.

Public speaking anxiety is an issue for compliant and stable EDISC behavioural profile. Both are introvert profile behaviours.  Introverts don't like speaking in public because it creates exposure and vulnerability.  Being afraid of not being good enough or found out that you are a fraud creates the anxiety.  

When you are anxious your voice tone changes. You speak softer and your breath is very shallow and you become breathless.  When your body looses control of breath you forget your words and start to mumble. 

When singing or speaking,  I use these three ways to help me stay relaxed, when having to address an audience.  

Here are three practical ways how to get over public speaking anxiety.

1. Prepare your content and memorise it. 

Know you material well, rehearse the structure and content.    Visualise the words in the order you want to say it.   Make it flow and attach each section so it is flowing like a story.  Memorise it in steps,  like part 1, 2, 3.  To overcome public speaking anxiety you must remove feelings of content overwhelm.  Break up large chunks of content into  smaller chunks.  Reword language  you don’t usually use and make it your own description and style of delivery.  Don’t copy how others deliver and speak on platform.  Don’t try to be anyone else but yourself.   Speak in-front of a mirror at home and record your voice.  Listen back to your voice and be brave to critic your own speaking.  Observe yourself speaking in front of a mirror, noticing your body language and facial expression.  Confront your fear of judgement and make necessary adjustments so that you are happy with yourself. Get comfortable and accept yourself for where you are at the moment.  

2. Make sure it is of value to your audiences, find the WHY for them.

What is in it for your audience to listen to you. Make sure you feel the value of what you are saying. Feel the purpose and deeper reasons for delivering this information. Be passionate about it and committed to the words you speak.  “Mean what you say and say what you mean” Get your purpose connected to your core values and belief systems. Its about what you believe and what you must deliver. You can overcome public speaking anxiety when you believe what you are saying. It is very difficult to deliver public speaking when you are in conflict or are not convinced.  You must commit and be  convinced that what you are saying is good information and it will make a difference. You must be proud of what you are about to deliver to others. No one will buy something you don’t want to buy yourself. Phrases in green have been marked to show passive voice.

3. Warm up and extend your voice pitch range before you speak. 

When you are not feeling good enough, the first thing that disappears is the sound of your voice. The anxiety of speaking in public causes your  breath to become shallow.  It is no longer a deep relaxed diaphragmatic breath. 

Watch this video to see what a good diaphragmatic breath is. 

This makes it hard to speak because not having enough  breath is like having no fuel for driving a car. The volume of your voice drops completely away and you start to mumble. When you are anxious, your voice tone becomes squeaky.  You can can  lower your voice tone, by learning to keep your throat more relaxed, giving you a feeling of an open space.  You can be aware of your tongue and jaw and change these feelings that help you speak more with more ease.

Your vocal cords are effected by the emotional nerve that sends a signal to change the tone of your voice depending on your feelings and environment.

Read the research on how the lymbic nervous system effects the larynx.

That is why people say to me that their voices change when they are not comfortable. When you learn to control your voice you can control speaking even when under pressure because your muscles are stronger and able to function better,  even when under stress.


6 FREE Voice Technique Exercises to Improve Your Public Speaking Voice. 

Try them out.  I have just updated fresh new voice exercise that will help you control the tone of your speaking.  From warm-ups to making your voice deeper,  brighter, energetic to volume, monotone and clarity speaking limitations and issues.  

Check it out now, try some of them and see what you never knew would be possible.

You can find out more information on this topic in my book.   Purchase your copy here and down load you two FREE chapters.  

For more information read my book about three critical aspects of powerful speaking and how aligning your voice, mindset and message can help you become an influencial and engaging speaker.

The art of powerful communication

Thank you for reading this post.

To arrange a voice coaching sessions or to arrange a workplace workshop that will help you have a stronger speaking voice please contact me on www.mariapellicano.com

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