Do you ever get really nervous before giving a presentation? Maybe you fumble over your words or feel a sudden wave of panic? Public speaking can certainly be anxiety-inducing- but it doesn’t have to be!

As a therapist for high achievers, many of my clients are in leadership roles that require a fair amount of public speaking. This can be challenging, especially when public speaking is one of the most common fears among people. Avoiding public speaking situations is an option for some people with this fear, but not for those whose careers require it.

So how does someone who already has anxiety manage or overcome their fear of public speaking? Some standard advice includes: knowing your subject matter well, practicing ALOT, and staying organized.

As a therapist, I tend to offer additional advice.

here are 4 Public Speaking Anxiety Tips from a Therapist for High Achievers:

Don’t Try to be Perfect

People relate to our humanness. So be yourself and know it’s OKAY when things don’t go perfectly.

Engage in deep breathing exercises before your public speaking event

Breathwork is a great way to reset your nervous system. Long, deep breaths can help manage the stress response and decrease our fear and anxiety around public speaking. 

Change the narrative about being nervous

Interestingly enough, anxiety and excitement feel almost identical physiologically. Nervousness, butterflies, sweaty palms…these sensations arise from our nervous system. However, the key difference is in how we think of and interpret the situations we are in. For example, when we are excited about something, there tends to be a positive association. But when we are anxious or nervous, it tends to be more negative. The goal: relabel your anxious feelings as excitement! 

Use visualization

Before your speech or presentation, visualize it going well from start to finish. Then, keep that vision in your mind and push out the ‘worst case scenarios’ looping in your head!

Don’t wait to get support if you struggle with Public Speaking Anxiety. If your career and success depend on it, don’t settle for dreading every presentation. Instead, contact us today so you can learn more about managing your anxiety from one of our Atlanta Therapists.