8 Ways to Deal With Public Speaking Anxiety

Ashish Arora
4 min readJul 19, 2022

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Tingling fingers, shivering hands, squeaky voice, palpitating heart, and shaking legs — don’t they sound familiar? Well, we’ve all been through phases of anxiety when we were told to address people. Be it ten, twenty, or a hundred people; we have all found ourselves in the same shoes of fear and anxiety at some point in our lives. Addressing such fears is extremely important if we want to overcome them.

With the help of the following tips and tricks, you can conquer your fear and manage it efficiently.

Long-Term Things

Good things take time, don’t they? Thus, here are a few long-term things that can be done to manage anxiety and pluck it off from its roots. While these things might need a little bit of patience, they have helped innumerable people fix such fears.

1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness helps slow down the pace of life for a few minutes and address what is bothering you. Over the course of time, this practice can help one overcome anxiety and even chronic stage fear. Spending a few minutes on mindfulness activities, such as breath-work, meditation, and journaling can help you eradicate your fear from its base.

2. Have a Good Sleep Routine

Make sure to craft a routine where you sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Doing so will create a pattern of consistency. Thus, when your big day arrives, you will not find yourself lying awake in bed all night or waking up extremely early due to anxiety. This good sleep routine will help you treat the day as ‘just another day’ and will trick your mind into believing so.

3. Identify Your Triggers

The best way to identify your triggers is by jotting down all the things that come to your mind while you think about speaking on the stage. Try to list as many things as you can and continue to do so for a few days. After a few days, you’ll realize that there are some terms common on all pages, and they are the roots that might be holding you back. These can be questions as well, such as -

- Are they judging me?

- Are they making fun of the way I look?

- Will these factors affect me?

Understanding our triggers help us handle them in a better manner, for it is when you know that you have a bruise, that is when you would use a band-aid.

4. Seek Help

If you find yourself struggling to deal with public speaking anxiety, try to seek help from life coaches, therapists, or counselors, who have been guiding people for ages. They will not only help you calm your nerves instantly, but will also guide you through a more practical approach.

Short-Term Things

What happens if you’re on the stage and you suddenly get cold feet? The long-term things would probably be of no help at that moment. Here are a few things that can be done on stage to calm your senses for a while.

5. Focus on Yourself

What if you are performing and suddenly find somebody giggling about you in the audience? What if someone in the other corner judges the way you speak? There are a thousand such possible situations that can come true and that we need to be prepared for.

Therefore, whenever you come across any such circumstances, divert all your attention towards yourself and your content. Remember the purpose of your speech, the sole reason behind gathering your guts and standing on the stage, and use this reason to fuel your confidence.

Diverting your attention towards yourself can help you boost confidence and raise your spirits. It can help you ignore all noises and focus on your presentation.

6. Organize Your Content

This is a fail-proof way of managing your anxiety on stage. Organizing your speech into parts and sections from introduction to conclusion can help you become more sanguine about your presentation.

Try to outline a draft, and create your presentation along the same lines. You can use placards to remember the series of your speech and deliver accordingly. It will help you stay calm and will vanish any possibilities of forgetting due to fear.

7. Prepare and Practice Intensively

Practice makes a man perfect and also pushes away fear and anxiety. It helps you regain confidence and master your content to perfection. So, rehearse multiple times a day, from weeks before the main event. When your mind understands that you are prepared, your anxiety will automatically begin to fade away.

8. Have a Few Friends in the Crowd

Speaking while you’re anxious can be a big task, but when you’ve got somebody in the audience who can cheer you up, the task becomes quite less burdensome. It gives you a sense of comfort and makes you feel safe. Thus, try to have a couple of your friends or family in the crowd who can reassure and encourage you during your presentation.

Conclusion

When you’re on stage and find your heart pounding so loud as if it is to bounce right off your chest, remember to acknowledge yourself. When anxiety kicks in, it is extremely difficult to utter a word or even sign off from the stage. With consistent practice and persistence, you can easily overcome your battles, for you are not alone in this!

We hope that this article helps you manage your fears and overcome them flawlessly.

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Ashish Arora

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