The Great Risk Shift

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Most of us recognize the importance of public speaking but are afflicted with this anxiety at the thought of speaking to a large group of people. But like most problems in life this anxiety can be overcome by acquiring the right skills and following the two tips that I set out below.

1.  Breathing

One of the first signs of public speaking anxiety symptoms is a shortness of breath brought about by very shallow breathing which is one of the first physical reactions to fear or panic. So the first thing you need to think about and work on when faced with an anxiety attack at the thought of addressing your bosses, work colleagues or potential customers or employees is your breathing.

Shallow and short breathing will lead to you speaking in short, sharp bursts with indistinct diction. To fix this you need to breathe deeply and listen to your breath as you take in and expel air from your lungs. Relax your breathing by imagining the oxygen going a little further down into your lungs and speak on the out breath. When you then feel your breath getting a little weaker, stop speaking, pause, breathe in again and continue.

2.  Read Out Loud

Preparation is key to effective public speaking and one great way to prepare is to practice speaking out loud at home or in work. And imagine yourself speaking to 500 people. Take up a good solid, tall stance, pause for breath and go for it using pauses and gestures to break up your speech. And don’t forget to work on your breathing speaking on the out breath, pausing and breathing deeply in preparation to continue smoothly.

There are many other factors which will determine how successful you are as a public speaker and which will add to your skills and consequently your proficiency and ease when next faced with a public speaking engagement or occasion.

Check out where you can pick up a FREE 7 part public speaking course and ebook and learn more about presentation skills courses and download a free presentation skills course.


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