Search Site
Menu
Four Part Series on Public Speaking: Speaker Anxiety

In this four part series, we will delve into tips and tricks helping you brush up on your public speaking skills. Topics will include an introduction into public speaking, preparation for your speech, the execution, and overcoming anxiety.

Although most people a get a butterfly or two when preparing to take the stage for a public speaking engagement, some people experience a much stronger effect. If the thought of speaking in front of a group of people has your mind racing, knees shaking, palms sweating, and heart racing then there is a pretty good chance you experience speaker anxiety. If these symptoms sound familiar, you are not alone; it is estimated that about 60% of the U.S. population experiences some form of speaking anxiety according to Psychology Today.

While speaker anxiety can feel debilitating, there are steps you can take to decrease your fear to slowly are surely overcome your anxiety leading you to become a confident public speaker. The tips listed in our previous blog posts are very helpful to someone facing speaker’s anxiety. There are, however, a few additional tools you can use to help yourself work through speaker’s fear:

-First and foremost, remember to be gentle with yourself as your start this process. Overcoming your anxiety will not happen overnight so remember to treat yourself how you would treat your best friend by supporting yourself, using kind words toward yourself, and remembering to look for your small achievements.

Psychology Today recommends taking the time to write down the aspects that specifically scare you about public speaking. This allows you to acknowledge and eventually accept the root of your fear so you can work on improving it. You cannot change something you do not acknowledge.

– Although it is not always possible, especially in a work setting, University of Pittsburg recommends you try to pick a topic you know really well or you are very passionate about. This can help your rhythm when you take the stage and decrease some of your anxiety about audience questions or losing your train of thought. If you are excited, the audience will get excited. A little positive energy can make all the difference in the world when it comes to talking in front of a crowd.

Psychology Today suggests taking control over your nervousness by not letting nervousness about your anxiety make you more nervous for the public speaking event. This is much easier said than done but by working to break the chain of nervousness over time your anxiety should lessen making you feel more confident in a public speaking situation.

Toastmasters recommends thinking of your event as a conversation, not a performance. To do this, you can practice your speech while sitting on a couch with a friend, making a point to refer to your audience as “you” to make the presentation feel more colloquial, and, finally, remember to make eye contact with your audience.

-On the day of the event, Stanford University suggests anxious speakers should eat a healthy breakfast, try to get as much rest as possible, and not drink more caffeine than they are used to. By establishing control of the situation early in the day, you are standing up to your fears which may decrease the amount of anxiety felt prior to giving your speech. Also, a little food and your morning cup of coffee may help take the edge off and causing you to feel more relaxed before your event.

University of Pittsburg recommends trying to fit in a workout the morning before your speech to help lower anxiety causing hormones and decrease stress.

-Most of all, remember to look for improvement, not perfection as you work through your speaking anxiety. Psychology Today encourages anxious speakers to remember gaining confidence and overcoming their anxiety is a long-term goal with occasional setbacks along the way. It is important to celebrate the small victories as they come even if you were not perfect because, honestly, there is no such thing as a perfect speech.

Overcoming public speaking anxiety can feel insurmountable but with practice, a good attitude, and commitment to continually try to do better the next time you can, indeed, rise above your anxiety and become a confident public speaker.

Thomas J. Curcio Attorney Photo
Thomas J. Curcio
Founder

Tom Curcio, the driving force behind Curcio Law, is a dedicated trial lawyer with more than 35 years of experience in Northern Virginia. He has dedicated his career to representing people who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own. He works tirelessly to obtain the compensation his clients are legally entitled to…

Rakin Hamad Attorney Photo
Rakin Hamad
Associate

Rakin Hamad is a recent graduate of the George Mason Law School and joined Curcio Law as an associate in August 2018. Rakin works closely with Tom Curcio and staff in preparing cases from the initial client meeting through trial and has been a perfect fit for the firm. During law school, Rakin interned at…

Julia Martinez Attorney Photo
Julia Martinez
Paralegal

Julia Martinez, a Florida native, joined Curcio Law as a paralegal in 2013. She began her legal career in 1998 working at a personal injury firm that primarily handled automobile accidents, slip and falls, and products liability cases. Then, in 2008 she expanded her knowledge by working at two other law firms. She obtained her…

Kathy  McAfee Attorney Photo
Kathy McAfee
Office Manager

As the firm’s office manager, Kathy McAfee is dedicated to making sure the office runs smoothly and that the team has what it needs by way of resources, technology, and supplies to best serve our clients. Kathy graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Roanoke College in 1986 and afterward, returned to Alexandria. She began…

Maureen Burke, RN, MSN Attorney Photo
Maureen Burke, RN, MSN
Nurse Consultant

Maureen Burke was born and raised in the Boston, Massachusetts area and relocated to the Alexandria area in 1984 where she and her husband raised their three children. Maureen graduated with a BS in Nursing from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire and an MS in Nursing from George Mason University. Maureen has worked at…

Client Reviews
  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I am a recent client of Curcio Law and and do not hesitate to give that firm my highest recommendation. I had suffered a serious injury as a pedestrian hit by a bus and spent a month in the hospital and the subsequent year learning to walk and funct...

    Read more

    Patrick Murtaugh

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Mr. Curcio is the best in NOVA! He helped my mother when we were helpless. Without his help, we would not win the case. Also, Mr. Curcio is very kind, polite, professional, and an expert lawyer. Please hire him for your case and you won't be disappo...

    Read more

    Riasat Zaman

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I would highly recommend Curcio Law to help you if you are in an accident. They were very professional and helpful with both mine and my husband unfortunate situations whereby individuals ran the red light. I honestly don't know what I would have d...

    Read more

    Anita Darby

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Kind,compassionate,hard-working ,and professional.

    Read more

    Susan McCormick

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Tom Curcio and his staff were incredibly helpful and successful in my situation. I highly recommend this group

    Read more

    Client

See all reviews
Awards & Memberships
Settlements & Verdicts
  • "$213,000.00 Jury Verdict, Auto Accident, Hand injury"

  • "$1,500,000.00, Auto Accident, Wrongful Death"

  • "$100,000.00, Auto Accident, Broken Leg"

  • "$493,000.00, Auto Accident, Brain injury, broken rib, facial lacerations"

  • "$190,000.00, Auto Accident, Brain injury"

Contact us

Quick Contact Form