Speech anxiety

Xenz

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Aug 17, 2018
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#1
Hey, I'm 16 and have speech anxiety. I've read tons of tips about how to overcome that, but the problem is that it just happens automatically. I can't control that. I know that everything will go well, I am always 100% ready with my presentation or speech, I'm never afraid that someone will laugh at me or that I'll say something wrong. So I don't really know why I'm suddenly turning red and my voice is cracking when I have to say 3 words about myself to a class of 15 people. It's even worse with reading or presenting something, I just sound as if I'm going to cry although I'm not going to. My heart begins to beat faster 1-2 minutes before I have to present something. The worst thing is that I can't even control that. Does anyone have any ideas what could I do? Please don't say anything like "just imagine you're talking to one person" or "be always prepared", as I already know that but still can't control my anxiety.
 

denydritz

Coaching Member
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May 27, 2018
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#3
Hi @Xenz do you have a past trauma about speaking in public or merely saying something and other people (maybe close or important to you) respond in a way that makes you feel bad?

If it isn't a trauma, then I want to say there is actually nothing 'wrong' about speech anxiety. Since you say you can't control it, and you're 100% prepared for your speech, then the way you deliver your speech is the way you deliver it. It isn't 'bad' per se - only how you see yourself delivering the speech makes you think it's 'bad'.

Does your audience understand the message you want to say? Then your speech is effective, even if you get red or stutter along the way. If your audience gets the message, then maybe your worry is about a perceived 'self image' you want to construct, an image where you speak fluently (despite that not being the main goal, where the main goal is to deliver the message in any way).

Cheers!
 

Xenz

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#4
Hi @Xenz do you have a past trauma about speaking in public or merely saying something and other people (maybe close or important to you) respond in a way that makes you feel bad?

If it isn't a trauma, then I want to say there is actually nothing 'wrong' about speech anxiety. Since you say you can't control it, and you're 100% prepared for your speech, then the way you deliver your speech is the way you deliver it. It isn't 'bad' per se - only how you see yourself delivering the speech makes you think it's 'bad'.

Does your audience understand the message you want to say? Then your speech is effective, even if you get red or stutter along the way. If your audience gets the message, then maybe your worry is about a perceived 'self image' you want to construct, an image where you speak fluently (despite that not being the main goal, where the main goal is to deliver the message in any way).

Cheers!
Hey, it might be a trauma as I didn't have this problem at all before I started in middle school. Then I started in middle school, got some new friends and it became harder. I don't really remember what happened as it was nearly 3 years ago, but I know that someone was always responding in a bad way. It's been 3 years and I don't go to school with these people anymore, and I really stopped caring about that but it's still happening and I can't control it.
 

Mick IOM

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Mar 15, 2018
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#5
It might be helpful to you to start loving this anxiety. Maybe it helps if you conquer it with humor.

Instead of being ashamed (I don't know if you're) about turning red and being unable to get anything out of your mouth, maybe turn this into a joke.

This shows self-awareness and makes you human and less "weird" to the people that are listening.

You'll just have to embrace where you're today, accept yourself fully, and once you can do this, your anxiety might disappear as snow for the sun.

I hope this helps you!

All the best,
Mick
 
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#6
Xenz,

I used to feel the exact same way. Let me give you the best advice I ever got on this. It literally changed my life forever.

You need to know something very important and be fully aware of it:

As long as you don't SHOW IT, nobody actually knows that you're nervous ;)

What does that mean?

When you start feeling that heat in your head, on your face. That feeling in your chest that makes your voice all rusty. Sounds familiar?

Well what do all these things have in common? You're feeling them from the INSIDE. And once again, trust me, nobody can see that from the outside. Especially not if they're sitting far away from you!

Once you're aware of this, you can control it. Everytime you start feeling nervous just remember: Only you can feel it in the beginning. Don't try to fight it, though! That'll make it worse. Instead, allow it to sink in. You heard me. Feel it in your whole body. It's just like taking a cold shower. The moment the cold water touches you, your first reaction is to get away and "fight it". But once you let it take it's natural course let's say, you'll quickly get used to it and before you know it you're feeling comfortable in this new environment. I hope that makes sense.

Basically: Don't fight it or try to push it away, rather use it as fuel !


Hope I could help :)