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Freedom From the Fear of Public Speaking
What Causes This Fear?
- Over activity of the part of your brain responsiblr for fear.
- Genetic link—Social phobias may be inherited.
- Having overprotective or overly judgmental parents
Build Your Skills!
- Know your material. Pick a topic you are interested in, using personal stories and conversational language to minimize the chance of forgetting your speech.
- Practice beforehand by rehearsing out loud.
- Know you audience. Begin by greeting people as they arrive.
- Familiarize yourself with the room by arriving early. Practice using the microphone and other visual aids.
- Picture yourself giving your talk in a clear and confident voice and manner. Imagine the audience clapping and how their positive response will boost your confidence.
- Realize that everyone is rooting for you. Audiences want you to be interesting, entertaining, and informative.
- Do not apologize for problems or nervousness. These usually go unnoticed.
- Focus on your message and the audience, rather than your anxieties.
- Gain experience to further build your confidence.
American Psychiatric Association http://www.psych.org
National Institute of Mental Health http://www.nimh.nih.gov
Canadian Psychiatric Association http://www.cpa-apc.org
Canadian Mental Health Association http://www.cmha.ca
Social anxiety disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/. Updated October 29, 2013. Accessed November 4, 2013.
Social anxiety fact sheet. Social Phobia/Social Anxiety Association website. Available at: http://www.socialphobia.org/fact.html#top. Accessed November 4, 2013.
Social phobia (social anxiety disorder). National Institutes of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/anxiety-disorders/social-phobia-social-anxiety-disorder.shtml. Accessed November 21, 2011.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 11/2013
- Update Date: 11/04/2013