3.1 Before you Talk/Speak ……..…..……………………………………………………………8
3.2 Beginning your Speech ..…………………………………………………………………….10
3.3 During your Speech ……….…………………………………………………………………..10
3.4 After you are Done ….………………………………………………………………………..11</li></ul>1. Anxiety<br />1.1 Oxford Dictionary Definition<br />A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an upcoming event or something with an uncertain outcome. <br />Desire to do something, typically accompanied by unease. Psychiatry a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.<br />Anxiety is a common problem suffered by many people. Everyone with anxiety has slightly different symptoms. Some people, for example, cannot write in public because they fear people are watching and their hand will shake. Others have anxiety about eating or drinking in the presence of other people. Blushing, sweating, and "
are other symptoms. Some people with anxiety feel that a certain part of their body (such as the face or neck) is "
.<br />1.2 Some Examples of Anxiety<br />Here are some examples to understand how people feel anxiety in their daily lives and how they are affected by it.<br />A man finds it difficult to walk down the street because he’s self-conscious and feels that people are watching him from their windows. Worse, he may run into a person on the sidewalk and be forced to say hello to them. He’s not sure he can do that. His voice will catch, his "
will sound weak, and the other person will know he’s frightened. More than anything else, he doesn’t want anyone to know that he’s afraid. He keeps his eyes safely away from anyone else’s gaze and prays he can make it home without having to talk to anyone.<br />A woman hates to stand in line in the grocery store because she is afraid that everyone is watching her. She knows that it is not really true, but she cannot shake the feeling. Now, she has to talk to the person who’s checking out the groceries. She tries to smile, but her voice comes out weakly. She is sure she is making a fool of herself. Her self-consciousness and her anxiety rise to the highest level.<br />A student would not attend her university classes on the first day because she knows that in some classes the professor will ask them to come on dice and introduce themselves. Just thinking about sitting there, waiting to introduce herself to a room full of strangers who will be staring at her makes her feel nervous. She knows she would not be able to think clearly because her anxiety will be so high, and she is sure she will leave out important details. The anxiety is too much high, so she skips the first day of class to avoid the possibility of having to introduce herself in public.<br />2. Understanding Speaker Anxiety<br />Speaker anxiety is when you feel nervous, fear, uncomfortable while speaking in front of someone or a group of people like a class, a mob, an event etc. Speaking before audient is rated as the most fearful thing in traditional ranking. The fear of speaking in public is the Number 1 fear of all fears. The fear of dying is Number 7. It is very difficult for most people to be at ease or simply giving the impression of being at ease. There are few people who can approach the audience without the feeling of discomfort. Over 41% of people have some fear or anxiety dealing with speaking in front of groups. Speaker anxiety is also defined as<br />“When you predict that something bad is going to happen to you as you perform. Along with this thought is a second prediction that you will be unable to do anything about it”.<br />Stage fright is not just about an ordinary person. Great politicians, musicians, celebrities, teachers etc feel anxiety when they speak before audience. Although most of the people deny to accept this fact, but still it is true. Some of the world's most famous presenters have freely admitted to nervousness and stage fright. “There are two types of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars”. Everybody feel anxiety, some people admit it while some people lie. The level may differ. Some people are at higher level while others are at lower level. There are people who do not feel uncomfortable while speaking in front of audience. That is a different case. The person may have a lot of practice or experience or he may be addressing the same kind of audience on daily, weekly or monthly bases. So he knows the audience, the topic and its details.<br />The ability to speak well in public is vital to success in our career-oriented world. Empirical studies have linked oral communication ability to such measures of success as finding a job and progressing in a career. It is imperative that students become at least competent speakers.<br />2.2 Symptoms of Speaking Anxiety<br />People feel anxiety in different ways depending on the level of fear being experienced by the speaker. All symptoms are internal, none are visible to the audience. What you feel internally in not obvious to the listeners. These signs may begin right before your presentation, hours or days before it, or even at the moment you find out about it, and they can persist during your presentation or talk. Sometimes they make it impossible for you to do a good job. Most of the people that suffer from speakers anxiety feel and think that it is almost impossible to get rid of.<br /><ul><li>Increased heart rate.
Shaking hands or legs</li></ul>There are many more symptoms which vary from person to person.<br />2.3 Speech Anxiety and Communication Apprehension (CA)<br />During my research I found that there are two different things. i.e. speech anxiety and communication apprehension. I will make a difference here. Communication apprehension is also a form of anxiety when you are talking with others. It’s a form of social anxiety.<br />According to Phillips (1991), “it is clear that fear of speaking in public is different from anxiety about social contact”. True communication apprehension means that the sufferers wants to keep quiet in all circumstances. I explain the difference this way:<br /><ul><li>If you are afraid to give a speech in front of the class, you have speech anxiety.
If you get terrified in the grocery store when the checker says, “Hi, how are you today?” you have communication apprehension.</li></ul>2.4 Types of Fear<br />Fear of speaking in public has been very common. However, this is not a universal fear. These fears take one of five forms:<br /><ul><li>Career terror - Career terror is an awful feeling that your job, your career, your future is on the line every time you step before a group, enter a meeting, or pick up the telephone
Perfectionism - Perfectionism paralyzes the speaker when they demand of themselves that each speech or presentation be perfect.
Panic - Panic is the combination of unreasonable expectations with fear of failure and real physical symptoms.
Avoidance - Avoidance is a self-sabotage that virtually guarantees anxiety, fear, and diminished performance.
Trauma - Trauma is fear rooted in a long time. For example you are told you are not good enough by parents, friends, teachers, brothers and sisters etc. </li></ul>2.5 The Three-Stage Process<br />There is a three-stage process that a performer goes through when under the influence of stage fright:<br /><ul><li>You make a prediction that there is something threatening or dangerous in the performance situation that can lead to failure.
You experience anxiety as a result of your fear-provoking thoughts.
You use the anxiety and discomfort you feel as evidence confirming the accuracy of your original prediction.</li></ul>3. Managing Speaking Anxiety<br />Speaking anxiety is not something which cannot be cured. One should not be disappointed if he is a victim of speaking anxiety. Even great leaders, politicians, musicians, celebrities etc feel anxiety. There are innumerous ways to get rid of this problem. These methods differs from person to person. Most of the students that suffer from speakers anxiety feel that it is almost impossible to get rid of. However, there is hope. Most of the experienced speakers know today what they did not know then, which is how to fight and overcome this type of anxiety. These speakers have learned how to transform fear into confidence and self-control; and you can learn too. In this report I will review the steps make a good presentation. These steps are:<br />3.1 Before you Talk/Speak<br />Think about your audience<br />Are you going to present in front of a small or a large group? Do you know their backgrounds or interests? Learning about them would help you to become more relaxed; and tailor your presentation to that particular group. <br />Research your subject/topic<br />Even if you know your subject/topic, get more information about it. Doing this would help you to feel more confident, and would enable you to answer more questions. <br />Write down your presentation. <br />It will help you prepare yourself. You can have this material in front of you if you decide to read your presentation to your audience. Even if you decide not to read it, it will be there in case you get lost and need to get back "
. If you want to deliver a better presentation, develop an outline of the headline and main ideas from your written presentation. Then, avoid reading and use the outline for your presentation. <br />Rehearse your Presentation<br />Imagine yourself as if you are in front of your audience and rehearse your presentation out loud. Rehearsing will allow you to evaluate and improve your presentation, as well as practice your gestures and other non- verbal elements. <br />Tape yourself. <br />Tape your rehearsal and check the content, pace, and length (time) of your presentation. By listening to yourself you can find out what is OK and what needs to be changed. Organize the rest of your work accordingly. Ask a friend or classmate you trust to hear your presentation. This person can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your presentation and provide some helpful advice.<br />Coach yourself<br />Talk to yourself. Tell yourself what you are doing right and motivate yourself to practice what still seems to need some improvement. Avoid telling yourself what you do not want to happen. Emphasize what you want to do, not what you want to avoid. Use statements such as "
I will do my best,"
instead of "
I will not be nervous"
. <br />Prepare Yourself Completely<br />What do you think is the worst that can happen? Having to request a delay because you have to run to the bathroom? Noticing some variation in your voice? Skipping a section of your presentation? Not being able to talk because of your dry mouth? And what do you think your audience would do? Would some of them leave the room? Would they laugh at you? Think about it. You may be investing too much energy worrying that some of these things may happen. Chances are they would not. And even if they do happen now you can do something about each of them. You can go to the bathroom, you can take a deep breath and relax, you can realize that everybody may miss a part of their talk, and all these will change for the better with practice. And regarding your audience, remember, there is always the possibility of somebody leaving the room or laughing during a presentation, even if the presenter is doing a good job.<br />Use Physical Relaxation<br />If you know how to relax, practice it. If you do not know how to do it, learn to relax before your next presentations. One of the best ways I know to relax uses tensing and relaxing each of the major muscle groups in your body. Tense them very tightly. Then gently relax your muscle. This simple exercise can calm your body and relax strained muscles.<br />There are some other things that you may do if you need them.<br /><ul><li>Get enough rest before your presentation
Find a safe position if your hands or legs are shaking
Use handouts</li></ul>3.2 Beginning your Speech<br />Gain supporters even before your presentation. <br />Talk to one or more of your audiences. The more people you meet before your presentation, the easier it will be for you to see them as a friendly group. <br />Present yourself<br />Give your name and the title of your speech before moving on. Making some introductory remarks about yourself and about the topic you will be presenting. It produces a more relaxed feeling in your audience. Even making some positive remarks about your audience can help in the same way. <br />Use a powerful opener<br />Start with a relevant story, relevant statistics, or an important question. These will set the stage for your presentation, getting people's attention and interest. <br />3.3 During your Speech<br />Speak clearly<br />Do not eat your words. During your practices, check for the correct pronunciation of specific words. If you cannot pronounce them correctly, choose a synonym. <br />Use rhythm and drama<br />Go slowly. Pause when appropriate. Change your voice volume to emphasize important points. Spice up your talk with some dramatic silences. <br />Breathe in and out<br />One of the most common difficulties speakers experience is maintaining a normal breathing pattern. Usually, they lose their air as they talk. A way to prevent this is exercising some of the breathing methods.<br />Look at people<br />Some of the speakers advice staring at people during your presentation and some prefer to make no visual contact. My choice is to make eye contact with the persons in the room. I think looking at people helps you to overcome your anxiety and keeps them attentive.<br />Move around<br />You cannot be standing up and sitting down at the same time. By the same token, you cannot be moving and freezing at the same time. Moving around will calm you down! <br />Make your point<br />Deliver the best information you can, and make your point(s). Let people know the results of your research by stating your main point(s) clearly. They are there to learn, so let your audience learn something from you. Introduce interesting details now and then, throughout your entire presentation. Colorful details will engage people's attention. <br />Use a powerful end<br />Finish with a relevant summary, a clever closing remark, or an important question. These will round out your presentation. <br />Have fun<br />If you use some or all the techniques described here, you may have fun doing your presentation. The audience is there to learn, and you have something they can learn from. If you do a good job your audience will appreciate it, and you will enjoy the experience.<br />3.4 After You are Done<br />Leave room for questions<br />Save some time for questions. As long as you do not take them in a negative way, questions can help you to restate, correct, or clarify some point(s). What about not having questions? You can come up with one of your own (one that you can brilliantly answer!) or you can use that time to thank your audience. <br />Reward yourself<br />Whether you did well or not, reward yourself for doing, and surviving your presentation! You deserve it. <br />Later on<br />Evaluate your performance. Find out what you did right and save it for the next time. Then, focus on what did wrong. Do not dwell on the mistakes you might have made. You are supposed to make some mistakes. Use them as a guide for what needs to be improved. Work on improving them over time. <br />Gain Experience<br />Speaker Anxiety diminishes with knowledge, practice and experience. Practice builds your experience and experience builds confidence which is the key to effective speaking. Most beginning speakers find their anxiety decreases after each speech they give.<br />