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STRESS MANAGEMENT: Fear Of Public Speaking | Manage Performance Stress

Updated on May 7, 2015

Have you experienced the feeling of sickness in your stomach before an important presentation or delivering a speech?

We have all experienced the sweaty palms, dry mouth, the raised heart rate, shaking voice, tense neck and upper back muscles as these events approach.

Those are physical symptoms of the body’s flight or fight response (stress response).

The symptoms and signs of the fear of speaking in public usually include also feelings of anxiety or nervousness.

These feelings are perfectly normal and even the most seasoned speaker will tell you that he or she feels those butterflies in a stomach nervous before facing an audience.

When prepared in advance you are going to be alright - learn how to deliver a winning presentation.

Don’t let you fear of public speaking paralyze your business or performance.

Not confronting your fear of public speaking can impact negatively on your social, academic and career opportunities.

The best way to conquer any fear is to face it head on by taking action.

Take Action to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

  • Accept the fact that you will experience nervousness and anxiety when you have to speak in public.
  • Visualize. Imagine yourself speaking well in front of an audience, feeling comfortable and confident throughout your speech by training your brain to think positively. When you picture yourself delivering your speech or presentation and envision yourself answering even the most difficult question in your mind, the likehood of everything working out well in person will rise significantly.
  • Practice.Ensure that you are properly prepared by practicing and rehearsing your speech or presentation many times. Prepare what you want to say in advance. Do not make the first time you give your full speech be in front of the audience.
  • Rehearsing for a stressful event such as an interview or a speech helps you to polish your performance and boost your self confidence. Each time you rehearse your performance, you make the flow of words or actions smoother and more polished.
  • Stay positive and focused by repeating positive affirmations such as “I am confident that I can do this”.
  • If a difficult audience member asks you a question, the best way to deal with it is to agree or pay him/her a compliment – for example, “Thanks, that’s a great question.”
  • Speak, don’t read. The spoken word tends to be more informal than the written one. Consider it a conversation, not speech.
  • Maintain good eye contact with your audience by shifting your focus around the room. Be present, stay here and now.
  • Calm yourself before speaking by listening to soothing music, practicing deep breathing and deep muscle relaxation exercises, meditation or yoga.
  • Use herbal and homeopathic remedies to ensure that your nerves remain soothed and calm. They are safe to use without being addictive.

About the Author

Dr.Inese Millere , M.D. is lifestyle coach in holistic stress management and mindful eating for busy women after 40 who want to be Fit, Balanced and Ageless: to manage stress, stress eating, have a healthy and joyful relationship with food and enjoy healthy living and longevity.

If you'd like to talk about working with me, please contact me directly at with a brief description of your situation.


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