Matt Abrahams, who teaches at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and is co-founder of Bold Echo Communication Solutions, sent me his pocket size book on how to overcome the barrier of public speaking anxiety called, “Speaking Up Without Freaking Out.”
Something new to me — I did not know that hugging or handshaking with someone who you know to be supportive will release oxytocin. Abrahams suggests a handshake before taking the stage to take the anxiety edge off. Great advice!
Acting courageous–another recommendation–releases endorphins that actually make you feel more confident. Dr. Amy Cuddy, in her 2012 TEDx Global Talk, agrees with Abraham’s recommendation and speaks to this concept here. In my Women’s Presentation Skills workshop we watch Cuddy’s talk and the feedback from my attendees is the “Wonder Women” power pose is indeed a confidence booster.
I often recommend that those who want to be able to public speak without anxiety should repeatedly volunteer for speaking assignments (I’m often met with looks of horror). Abrahams identifies this strategy as desensitization and this is a technique that I used myself to get over my own debilitating fear.
Learning new skills often start with understanding why and “Speaking Up Without Freaking Out” does a good job of helping suffers understand where their anxiety comes from. Along with the sound techniques offered it is a terrific resource that I recommend to anyone struggling with the fear of public speaking.
To Your Voice ~ Janice