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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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Its.Just.Angie Offline
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Unhappy public speaking!!!!??? - January 28th 2015, 10:54 PM


So I'm taking public speaking this semester and I already have to give a speech. The thing is IM FREAKING OUT!! I can't keep myself calm anymore, I'm getting panic attack after attack, and its not until Friday and I have been getting the nerves already since like last week, like its harder to breathe, I'm cramping almost everywhere, I'm dizzy and light headed and my stomach hurts so bad. Like I'm so on the edge I can't take and I'm terrified and idk what I should do?! Like I deep breathe and stuff and it doesn't work. Like what else is there to do?? And the class is packed and I only know like 2 people!!! Like I'm so nervous I'm gonna have a break down or panic attack or something and every time I think about I cry and breakdown. I know it is gonna affect my performance on ALL the presentations and a lot of them will be 100 points or more she said. Is there anyway to like calm down besides like breathing cause when I'm done it just comes back? If that makes sense...
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Re: public speaking!!!!??? - January 29th 2015, 01:40 AM

Hi Angie,

There is a saying that the two most common fears are public speaking and dying. Not that knowing that helps you in any literal way but be reassured that this is an extremely common fear.
Have you tried practicing saying your speech out loud either in front of a couple of friends, your roommate or even in front of the mirror?
You can also try taking up note cards with important bullet points on them so that you know your main points when speaking if you get flustered.
Another suggestion could be talking to your professor. You are most likely not the first person to fear public speaking and she may have some great suggestions about how you can prepare yourself and calm your anxieties. After all, if she did not want to help new students with becoming better speakers, she would not be teaching an introductory class in public speaking.
I know the name of a book you could buy (I have it somewhere), we needed it for the class I took in public speaking. I can try to find it and suggest you look it up or at least the author so you can maybe find some tips online.
Try to remind yourself you are not alone in fearing public speaking and that you do not have to attempt to figure this out on your own: many people can help you including your professor, other students and practicing your speech.
One last thing, this will get easier. You may feel anxious for some time (probably the first couple of speeches) however the more you practice and go into the speech with a positive attitude the less anxiety you will encounter.
I hope this helps and that the speech goes well.
Take care.

"i don't care your intentions. I just want you to know my self-hatred never took me where I wanted to go. At the end of the day...I can pick at the pain but I can't cut it away."
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Re: public speaking!!!!??? - January 30th 2015, 01:17 AM

First off, tell a teacher or guidance counselor. Maybe they'll let you out.
Or if your stuck, I'd say having a bunch of strangers around is almost advantageous. It was to me, at least. If you don't know them, why should you care what they think? If they laugh at you, why should you care? You don't know them. But what I would do, I would speak louder than needed, keep my head up high, use a lot of hand motions to loosen up mid-speech... I'd fake confidence. When I wasn't moving my hands, I'd keep them behind me because they were shaking. But I would always prepare, have it memorized, and when I would give that speech, everyone knew what I was thinking: "Fuck you all, I got an A."
What was I actually thinking? "I just wanna stop, I can't do this, I wanna go home!" But nobody ever knew.

Wish I lived in Canada. UPDATE, NOV. 9th, 2016: This statement has become even more appropriate.
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Re: public speaking!!!!??? - January 30th 2015, 08:31 AM

Hey there,

Public speaking can be really tough, I'll be honest about that. You're scared about what other people think of you, but realistically, everyone is usually obsessing over whether their speech was/will be okay, so they're not really paying attention. And if they are, only the people who are insecure will make negative (totally non-constructive comments). Additionally, you're in a class! So everyone is there to improve on their public speaking. Not everyone is going to be an amazing speaker at the start, so all of you are going through the learning process together.

All in all, it just takes practice. At some point, you're going to get the hang of it, I promise you. But before that, just practice. Practice, practice, practice. Before my debating competitions, I will regularly practice my speeches and rebuttals to myself so that I know that even if I get nervous, the things that come out of my mouth will mostly be legitimate.

Feel free to PM me if you need anything!

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