Public Speaking and How to Prevent Panic Attacks - Permanently
Were you to ask what people dreaded most, I would suggest that public speaking may appear at, or near, the top of thier list.The vast majority of people simply dread the possibility of ever having to speak in public, even at something as simple as a family wedding.
I will begin by letting you know that I am a cured sufferer of all types of anxiety disorders and also have done a lot of public speaking, so I absolutely have a foot in both camps and understand the subject very well. My disorder lasted virtually 13 years, throughout which time I gathered a huge amount of experience, a lot of it my own of course, but also a lot I picked up from from respected sources and other sufferers.
The majority of people who you watch public speaking show supreme confidence, but believe me when I tell you that is not always the case, and what you may be watching is all calmness up front, but what you are not able to see is all the frantic panic stations within.
There have been times when I have pretended to have had various illnesses so as to dodge public speaking. I have furthermore left meetings so that I could avoid being called on to talk, knowing that it was a definite likelihood. However, I was aware this had to cease and I had to discover a way to prevent myself from doing this. I took a fairly extreme route by actually putting myself into scenarios where I literally HAD to speak, even volunteering at times. What is fascinating is that this method took the pressure off me instantaneously I had done it, because I was now in control, I had chosen the place and time, not others, but more on that later on.
It is thought by those with anxiety issues that when someone stands up to talk, something awful is going to happen to them, or their fears will overwhelm them whilst talking, and public disgrace will ensue. This is a fear of fear itself, and must be exposed as being devoid of any basis in fact, which it is. There are a lot of things which one can do to ensure this dread is dispelled, or at worst eased, and they are not challenging to learn.
In my opinion, it is right a tthe beginning which is worst for the speaker, and I have had this confirmed to me by lots of different people. Once on your feet however, and into the speech, things do get better, so handling how we deal with those first few moments is of overriding significance. Also, knowing we CAN manage them, is one of the things which will help get rid of the anxiety.
The crucial thing here is to get in control at once. Take control of things and do not let the proceedings take you over, which is the dread we have inside us just before we get up. My way was simply to work together with my audience, before I got into my speech. There are a lot of ways you can do this, from asking the audience if the lighting is ok, right down to even telling a somewhat funny story, which I also used to do a lot of, but be careful with this and do not do it if your personality will not let you get away with it. But if you can find a way to break the ice with your audience, and put yourself in control at once, you will find your anxiety will gradually fade away.
Discover a way to take control. Just as the person who can manage a skidding auto will have no problems with driving in poor weather conditions, because they just know they are in control no matter what may occur, so it is with public speaking and panic attacks.
Nothing bad is going to happen to you. The roof will not collapse on top of you. You will not suddenly catch some killer disease. Your clothes will not all fall off you,with you then stark naked for all to see. I bring up these things as I have been told by folk, whose terror of pubic speaking was something to see, that however stupid it may sound, these were a few of their crazy thoughts about what would happen to them..
So that you can create for yourself the already mentioned emotion of being in total charge of all you are doing, preparation is hugely important.
Have your contents all laid out, know your subject matter, and your audience. Prepare a little prompt card with a few bullet points on it to keep you on track. I know it is a corny old maxim, but if you fail to prepare, then when it comes to public speaking, you should be prepared to fail. Prepare correctly, plan in advance, know what you are doing and what you are saying and a lot of your fears and will have been got rid of even before you stand up.
Getting rid of an anxiety disorder, and the panic about public speaking is no exception, is down to first of all finding out what is the root cause of the anxiety. You must initially do that before you can free yourself of the anxiety issue.
Uneath the root cause, address that and the anxiety will disappear. By anxiety here I mean the anxiety disorder, not the adrenalin we all feel prior to speaking. In a lot of cases, beng anxious prior to giving a speech can in point of fact make sure one does a high-quality job. Ask any person in the public eye, even well established celebrities, and they will all admit to having real nerves prior to appearing in public, and in fact some never get over those fears. What they do however is discover how to use the adrenalin charge which the anxiety creates to their own benefit, making them even better performers as a result.
When you find out the way to manage your anxiety and then use the rush of adrenalin to your benefit, you will become a better public speaker, one who is in control of all they do. You can discover how to accomplish this, and it is not difficult.
There are a lot of techniques which can be taken on board, and learnt, not any of them difficult. Their employment ought to help anyone deal with their dread of speaking in public.
Just bear in mind, and this is hugely important, that it is by feeling in control when you stand up that you will begin to control the panic attack fear. You should also bear in mind that it is a fear, or an anxiety, held by practically all public speakers, no matter how professional they make look, or how confident they come over.
Learning how to speak in public is a skill, it is not an art. It can be learned by anyone. You will find those skills by learning from other good folk who have had the same issues as yourself and who discovered for themselves the way to overcome them.
I get a lot of requests to speak in public and I have run large events at major public locations around the globe. Not too many years ago I would have run a mile to dodge any type of setting where I was forced to speak in public, even in unimportant gatherings. It confirms to me, as it should to everybody reading this, that we can do whatever thing we put our minds to and turn out to be proficient at it. And public speaking is no different to something else we decide we will excel at. Everything is possible in life, everything, and all difficulties are there to be both overcome and then mastered. We can achieve literally anything we set out to achieve, and mastering public speaking is no differrent to any other challenge.
The author is a very professional public speaker having addressed meetings around the world. In order to be able to do this he had to beat a lot of serious anxiety issues. You will find out about these issues and the FREE HELP AND ADVICE he provides, by going to his site at http://www.forgetanxietytherapy.com