Monday, January 20, 2014

Anxiety Management for Public Speaking

Getting in front of a group of people to speak can cause a lot of anxiety for some people.  Even those that are very comfortable speaking with clients, referral partners or prospects can lose their confidence when it comes to public speaking.  

Before you back out of an opportunity to speak publicly, consider these benefits: overcoming fear, boosting self-esteem, honing critical-thinking and analysis skills, improving communication and networking opportunities, expanding your personal brand, getting more business, and impressing your audience... and your boss, if you have one.  Confidence is not easy to come by but you can master the skill with time.  

In the past if you got a case of the jitters, the standard prescription used was to find ways to force yourself to relax and calm down before giving your presentation. Except, this isn't the most effective way to channel that nervous energy. 

New Harvard Business School research shows getting excited reduces performance anxiety better than trying to calm down. "Anxiety is incredibly pervasive," says Alison Wood Brooks, PhD., author of the study. "People have a very strong intuition that trying to calm down is the best way to cope with their anxiety, but that can be very difficult and ineffective. When people feel anxious and try to calm down, they are thinking about all the things that could go badly. When they are excited, they are thinking about how things could go well." 

Because both anxiety and excitement are highly charged emotional states, it's easier to convince yourself that your anxiety is actually excitement, rather than try to convince yourself you're not anxious at all. Brooks says, "When you feel anxious, you're ruminating too much and focusing on potential threats. In those circumstances, people should try to focus on the potential opportunities. It really does pay to be positive, and people should say they are excited...even if they don't believe it at first." 

So, what's the best strategy? Dr. Brooks recommends that prior to any presentation you should tell yourself you're excited and forget about trying to calm down. In fact, simply saying "I'm excited!" out loud will naturally increase your feelings of excitement and get you pumped about the rewards of public speaking that are about to be yours! 

Give this helpful tip a try on your next public talk, and feel free to pass these tips along to your team, clients, and colleagues.  Good luck in your next opportunity!!

I would love the opportunity to help you manage your Lake of the Ozarks Mortgage Loan or refinance.  Give me a call at (573) 746-7211 or send me an email at with any questions you may have!!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 

Michael Lasson
Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender

2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
PO Box 1449
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
Direct:  (573) 746-7211
NMLS #: 493712

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