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【Public Speaking】Feeling nervous and anxious when giving a speech? Find out how to master techniques for gaining confidence and reducing nervousness and insecurities while speaking!

Feeling nervous and anxious before a presentation is a very common challenge for many people. We always feel that something will go wrong when we give a speech. However, there are a few techniques we can use to overcome our insecurities through effective preparation and mastering techniques that will allow us to appear more poised and confident in public. If we want to reduce nervousness, we must first understand the four reasons for nervousness when speaking, and think about how to adapt to these situations to reduce anxiety when speaking.


First Reason we feel Anxious, Nervous, or Insecure:


Sometimes we would doubt ourselves, thinking that we are not well-prepared, not authoritative, and even question whether we are suitable for speaking. Such thoughts will reduce our self-confidence. However, if we need to give a speech, we need to ask ourselves: What value can we bring to the audience? We need to reflect and understand the purposes and goals of this speech. Also, instead of denying ourselves, we should adjust our mentality to make sure we understand that the speech is meaningful to me and the audience. Giving a public speech should not be a stress, but an opportunity to boost our confidence.


How to reduce anxiety, nervousness, or a sense of insecure caused by self-doubt:

We need to understand that the anxiety and nervousness that is caused by self-doubt mainly attribute to the lack of understanding about the purpose of our speech, so we might as well ask ourselves the following questions to understand more.

1. What information can we provide that will benefit the audience?

2. Why are we the chosen person to give a speech? What unique perspective or experience do we have?

3. What is the opportunity for me to learn and grow from this speech personally?

Lack of confidence, the second reason for our anxiety and insecurities:


Sometimes, we are not sure about the audience's expectations and needs, we are not even sure about their familiarity and attitudes to the subject of the speech. It makes us worried. Therefore, understanding the level of knowledge and needs of the audience is the key to determining the success of the speech. To do this, we need to spend more time getting to know the audience, and we can communicate with colleagues and friends who are responsible for organizing the event to ensure that the speech can really bring meaning to the audience. In addition to understanding the audience's needs, we should also pay attention to their background. In the same venue, the background of the audience could be different, and we need to prepare content that ensure that each audience can get the information they need. Therefore, we need to collect sufficient information about the audience, prepare questionnaires and interact with the audience to understand their needs and expectations.


How to reduce the anxiety and the sense of insecure caused by the audience:

1. What do most audience expect to know from our presentation?

2. What unique knowledge or insight do we have to offer the audience?

3. Am we able to answer questions the audience may have?

The third reason that makes us tense and anxious, and makes us less confident:


Sometimes, we feel unfamiliar with the content of the speech or we lack sufficient preparation time, which can make us feel overwhelmed. If we are not familiar with the content of the speech, or if the information changes too quickly, we still force the speech, just like a person who does not know how to dive goes diving or a person who does not know how to ride a bicycle rides a bicycle. This situation may bring danger.

The familiarity of speech content directly affects our credibility and self-confidence. If we do not fully understand the content, it will be difficult for us to express confidence and persuasiveness in our speeches. Therefore, we should respect the content of the speech, and speak within the scope that we are familiar with. Through preparation and practice, we can improve our understanding of the content, then we can show credibility and confidence in the speech. Only in this way , we can successfully interpret the content of the speech and win the recognition and support of the audience.

Alleviate tension and anxiety caused by speech content

1. Is there an idea or knowledge we know that the audience might not know?

2. How can we express our content in a personal style that captures the interest of our audience?

3. Do we need to be prepared to answer questions our audience might have?


The fourth reason for tension and anxiety:


Different occasions may cause us anxiety, such as venue arrangement, weather conditions, lighting effects and audience size, etc. Although we cannot control these factors, we can use fantasies and lots of practice to anticipate and respond to occasions and situations that are likely to occur. To this end, we can enter the venue to practice early, or find relevant images and videos on the Internet to help us imagine the scene of our speech in a specific occasion.

We can consider the following preparations to reduce tension and anxiety:

1. Have we imagined ourselves speaking in a particular setting? Does this help me prepare for our speech?

2. Are there other ways that we can better anticipate and respond to the factors of the situation?

3. Can we use online software to simulate a live speech to test different reactions and situations?


The source of nervousness varies from person to person, but as long as we understand the reasons behind this and prepare well enough, we can greatly reduce the nervousness during speeches. By believing in our own abilities, becoming confident, paying attention to the needs of our audience, preparing content properly, and anticipating some possible situations, we can show confidence and charisma in our presentations. Don't let nervousness hold us back, instead, make it our own opportunities to improve ourselves!