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Old 08-11-2019, 10:35 AM
 
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if so, how have you/did you handle it?

specifically, anxiety related to public speaking and performance. anyone either overcome it or still have a successful career in spite of it?

let's discuss...
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:39 AM
 
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I've dealt with anxiety in general. Talk to a therapist. It's always going to be easier getting advise from a professional.
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:08 AM
 
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Public Speaking Anxiety?
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
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In the mid 90's I had to give a presentation to our crew of about 20 people. Halfway through I started to get red in the face, breathe raggedly, mind racing, total panic attack. I wanted to get up and run away, but I kept my head down, read my notes word for word and made it though the presentation. No one ever commented on my state, so it probably wasn't noticeable. It's happened before, and I occasionally get panic attacks now, even though I've been retired since 2011. They only last for 20 to 30 seconds, so i can handle it. As I get older (65 now) I seem to get fewer and fewer. It's been at least a year since my last one. I've never talked to a therapist about it.
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Old 08-11-2019, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
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Talk to a therapist. They'll probably prescribe Xanax or something similar. Good luck.
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:08 PM
 
Location: on the wind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaolin Shadowboxing View Post
if so, how have you/did you handle it?

specifically, anxiety related to public speaking and performance. anyone either overcome it or still have a successful career in spite of it?

let's discuss...
I found that organization, preparation and practice in front of a friend helped immensely. I used to hate performing but now I don't mind it for topics I really know and care about.

When I say preparation, I mean the content of the performance/speech, not just rehearsing.

Decide what you want to say and write out an outline of the main points, not dozens of tightly scribbled note cards. You won't be able to read them. Keep the content simple and stick to what you really know so you won't get flustered if you have to ad lib or have to answer questions. Spend the time organizing the material and simplifying it. Pare down. Often the biggest worry speakers have is what to do if they forget something, misspeak, or run short on time. So, plan to cover less ground and take a little more time to do it. If you don't feel rushed, you are less likely to panic or misspeak. Better to have time left over than run late. It relaxes the audience which in turn can relax you.

If you have lots of material you feel MUST be provided, use handouts or CDs with backup material your audience can refer to later. It means you don't have to cover it...a big relief. Use visuals to make your main points...they can also help you stay on track.

If someone does stump you with a question, be honest and say you want to double check a reference before answering. Say you don't want to give them the wrong information. People appreciate accuracy and that you care. They'll give you a break. Say you'll be happy to check into it and follow up. Then do it.

When I say practice in front of a friend, I don't mean a bestie who will only say you are great or who doesn't know anything about the topic. I mean someone you respect who will be tactfully honest. You could end up with a great ally and mentor. Many people consider it a compliment to be asked.

Above all, remember that no single presentation is going to end the world (unless you are some high powered international peace negotiator...not likely is it?). People flub things. They are forgiven. Everyone in that room is human. Most people don't like standing up in front of an audience. You know the old "trick" about imagining them naked? Its a reminder that no one looks ideal at every moment.

Last edited by Parnassia; 08-11-2019 at 02:23 PM..
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
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Do you mean speaking to large groups of strangers, or regular in-office presentations?

Is public speaking a required part of your job? Maybe you should look for a position where that is not part of the requirements?

That's part of the "fit" that is so important.
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:23 AM
 
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This is very common. I generally have trouble presenting in front of co-workers unless it's on topics that I'm passionate about. In such cases, I just power through it and the experience helps with other presentations. Anyways, keep at it and eventually you'll feel more comfortable. Join the Toastmasters if such a group is available at your company. A girl at my company came in as a senior associate, joined Toastmasters as an Officer, and it helped her to be able to speak up in meetings to impress management enough for promotions to Manager faster than her peers.
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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On most days.

I chip away at things one at a time.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:47 AM
 
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I know of people who have taken public speaking courses or had sessions with a professional. I don't know what the cost, but one or two sessions might be really helpful and enough to teach you what to do to get in the zone so it doesn't cause anxiety - and will potentially make you a more effective speaker. I don't think there are many people for whom this comes naturally and people often develop over a period of time, so you're not alone.

I also think Parnassia gave you some great advice!
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