6 Surprising Ways to Tackle Public Speaking Anxiety

Public speaking is a common fear that many people experience. The thought of standing in front of a crowd and delivering a speech can be daunting, and the fear of being judged or criticized can be overwhelming. However, overcoming this fear is essential for personal and professional growth. Public speaking skills are highly valued in many industries, and being able to communicate effectively can open up new opportunities. In this article, we will explore some surprising ways to tackle public speaking anxiety.

1. Identify Your Fear

Public SpeakingThe first step in overcoming public speaking anxiety is to identify the root cause of your fear. This could be anything from a past negative experience to a fear of being judged or rejected. Understanding the source of your anxiety can help you develop strategies to overcome it.

One way to identify your fear is through journaling. Write down your thoughts and feelings about public speaking, including any past experiences that may have contributed to your anxiety. Another option is to talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you explore your feelings and develop coping strategies.

2. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a technique that involves focusing on the present moment and accepting your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Practicing mindfulness can help reduce anxiety by calming the mind and reducing negative thoughts.

One way to practice mindfulness is through deep breathing exercises. Take slow, deep breaths, focusing on the sensation of air moving in and out of your body. Another technique is body scanning, where you focus on each part of your body, starting at your toes and working your way up to the top of your head.

3. Prepare Thoroughly

Preparation is key when it comes to reducing public speaking anxiety. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel when delivering your speech.

Some tips for preparing for a speech include practicing in front of a mirror or recording yourself so you can see how you look and sound. You can also practice in front of friends or family members who can provide feedback and support.

4. Visualize Success

Visualization is a powerful tool for reducing anxiety and increasing confidence. By imagining a positive outcome, you can train your mind to focus on success rather than failure.

To visualize success, imagine yourself delivering your speech with confidence and poise. Picture the audience engaged and interested in what you have to say. You can also use positive affirmations, such as “I am confident and capable” or “I am a skilled public speaker.”

5. Use Positive Self-Talk

Negative self-talk can contribute to anxiety and self-doubt. By reframing negative thoughts and using positive self-talk, you can boost your confidence and reduce anxiety.

Some tips for using positive self-talk include reframing negative thoughts into positive ones, such as “I am nervous” to “I am excited.” You can also use positive affirmations, such as “I am capable of delivering a great speech” or “I am confident in my abilities.”

6. Take Deep Breaths

Deep breathing is a simple yet effective technique for reducing anxiety. By slowing down your breathing and focusing on the sensation of air moving in and out of your body, you can calm your mind and reduce physical symptoms of anxiety.

Some breathing exercises to try include the 4-7-8 technique, where you inhale for four seconds, hold for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. Another option is diaphragmatic breathing, where you focus on breathing from your diaphragm rather than your chest.

Seek Professional Help

If your public speaking anxiety is severe or interfering with your daily life, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can help you develop coping strategies and work through any underlying issues that may be contributing to your anxiety.

There are many resources available for finding a therapist or counselor, including online directories and referrals from your primary care physician.


Public speaking anxiety is a common fear that can be overcome with the right strategies and support. By identifying your fear, practicing mindfulness, preparing thoroughly, visualizing success, using positive self-talk, taking deep breaths, and seeking professional help if needed, you can reduce anxiety and become a confident public speaker. Remember to be patient and kind to yourself as you work through your anxiety, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.