1. Understand the fear – We all fear public speaking for different reasons, and they can change for each speech we have to give. Often times it is either:

    1. Being judged – We do not want to appear foolish, or make a mistake.

    2. Failure – There is a lot riding on this speech, I can’t afford to mess up.

    3. The Unknown – We simply have not given many public speeches and are unfamiliar with them. Just like any skill it takes some getting used to!

  2. Practice – The best way to overcome speech Anxiety is to practice. This makes you more familiar with the topic as well as simply standing up and speaking. So practice in front of other people is even better as you begin to face the anxiety on a smaller scale before giving the final version.

  3. Use your Imagination! There are many ways to trick ourselves out of noticing and thinking about the crowd of people in front of us.

    1. Imagine that you are someone else, an alter ego with super human confidence and charisma!

    2. Visualize a successful speech before you go up there, what will you say, how will you conduct yourself?

    3. Fake it! It is alright to pretend to be confident, the audience will not know the difference if you are committed to your performance! Plan on having to give an acceptance speech at the Academy awards for the performance you’re going to give!



Prepared by GVSU Speech Lab Consultants

Information adapted from Stephen Lucas' The Art of Public Speaking, Tenth Edition.

Page last modified May 22, 2013