SAUK Discussion Board

Go Back   SAUK Discussion Board > Social Anxiety Discussions > The Social Anxiety Room
Join! Blogs FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Notices

Reply  Post New Thread
 
Thread Tools
  #61  
Old 15th June 2011, 00:01
Optimistic Optimistic is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,580
Blog Entries: 11

Mood
Fine

Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Hey - Good luck for tomorrow. You really did come across well in your practise and I think the content will work well Try not to worry too much (easier said than done I know). Let us know how it goes! Im confident for you
Reply With Quote
  #62  
Old 15th June 2011, 00:30
Wings Wings is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SE London
Posts: 2,108

Mood
Dreaming

Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

^ thank you for the encouragement i thought i was just talking to myself here.. didn't expect anyone to join in my monologue lol

i took a pill so i'm now invincible will let you know how it goes tomorrow!!

oh and thanks for the help with the content, i changed it to something along the lines of what you said as i think it works much better
Reply With Quote
  #63  
Old 23rd December 2011, 16:39
racheldawn racheldawn is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 121

Mood
Pensive

Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

I am glad I came across this as at university, the thought of presentations terrifies me. I will refer back to it when the time comes and try to benefit from your advice. I was hoping to conquer them without meds but I am not entirely confident and it is mentioned here. You seem very confident and excited about presentations in a way, I get the impression you do really well. Do you still and always use medication for presentations?
Reply With Quote
  #64  
Old 30th January 2012, 17:30
humourlessness humourlessness is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: australia
Posts: 1,110
Blog Entries: 22
Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Quote:
Originally Posted by black_mamba
Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious


Hello everyone.

As Iím sure most of you are acutely aware, public speaking ranks as one of the most feared situations by most non-SA people. Not great white sharks, not car crashes, not killer aliens, but talking in front of an audience of fellow humans. And thatís the general feeling amongst people who are normally very comfortable, even at their happiest, in social situations. So for us lot, it is often doubly-terrifying.






This guide I have written has three aims:
  • To document how and why I attempted (and I believe succeeded) in overcoming my intense fear of public speaking.
  • To discuss how the knowledge I gained can be applied to other people in similar situations
  • To serve as a hub for sharing pre/post and during-presentation tips. The tips are sourced from my own ideas, books and websites I have read, presentation training I have been given at work, and the various members of SA UK!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------




Before I start, I think it would be useful to explain the philosophy behind the way I share advice in this post. I am by no means a mental health professional and do not claim as such. What I am aiming to do is offer my story, how I improved my skills and how this could be applied to others. It is often directly applicable practical advice. I make no attempt to address the root cause of the fear involved. For some people this is not critical, but others like to understand the mental-process that accompanies the advice. I cannot offer this. This is not a CBT course.

The only drawback with this style of advice-giving is that it doesnít really encourage independent thought on anxiety. I liken it to me explaining to you how to fix your car (assuming you did not already know how). I am telling you which component to purchase, which tool to use and exactly how to use it to replace the faulty part. However I am not telling you WHY. If you knew the mechanics of the component and the system it works within, you could figure out the root cause of a similar problem next time independently, and therefore fix it without any help. And the same goes for mental thought mechanisms, I think.

So this guide doesnít deal with the why but the how. If any of you are familiar with the site soyouwanna.com, itís going to be like one of their guides: enough to get you going, but not entirely enough to act as a stand-alone volume of knowledge.

Additionally, donít assume this all perfect advice (is there such a thing?), most of this advice youíll see repeated over and over online and in books and such, but Iíve mixed it with a lot of personal opinions which donít necessarily work for everyone.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------



My Story (with pictures!)




Me in 2005 pre-presentation:
  • Visibly shaking
  • A rush of something (adrenaline?) so intense I felt as if I was fading in and out of consciousness. This led to a fear of fainting during the talk.
  • Visualising myself physically running away






Me now, pre-presentation:
  • Still nervous, but anxiety is small enough to be manageable
  • Visualising myself talking, and people smiling and listening



I had been avoiding presentations my entire life up until my final year at university, when I knew that continuing this behaviour would hurt my final degree classification significantly and hinder my chances of finding graduate work. I ended up doing three presentations in total in that final year, and I went from being a D grade to an A grade presenter in the space of one year. Sometimes I get the feeling that if I can do it, then anyone can, especially considering how terrified I was initially. Quite literally, a few years ago the mere thought of presentations twisted my bowels into knots, broke me out in a cold sweat and made me want to puke all over the floor.

Proof that you can enjoy presentations, eventually, after butt-loads of practice i.e. YEARS, donít ever think I have some natural ability to do public speaking, I was truly phobic of it. My key was practice, practicing in schools many times with volunteering work, practice at uni, in front of friends, on my own, and at a public speaking training course at work. To put it into context, I carried out approximately 8 presentations before I started getting so confident I started looking forward to them!




That's a smile, believe it or not!!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------




Ready for the challenge?

There are a few ingredients you need for success here: persistence, determination, and patience.

Persistence
I say this because I do not believe that many people could overcome this fear without doing lots of presentations (practice or real, both count).

Determination
Hopefully you will be determined enough such that even when you feel scared, even when things are not going to plan, you still have your end goal in mind.

Patience
Like anything difficult in life, you must learn slowly in easy, manageable steps. Learning to swim, ride a bike, drive a car, these are all skills we take time to learn, often employing the expertise of friends or professionals to help the process and investing lots of time and energy to master them. The same goes for a public speaking, whether you want to become just Ďokí, good, or an expert at the art of public speaking all depends on how much time and energy you invest.

I
Quote:
n my experience it is often the most socially confident speakers who deliver the worst presentations. Maybe they under-prepare because they believe that public speaking is just like speaking to your mates, only louder? They incorrectly assume that public speaking requires no or little practice, and their performances are subsequently mediocre
.


There will be two parts to improving your public speaking skills:

1. Get over the fear such that you get up there and talk!
2. Improve the content and presentation style such that the audience enjoy the experience and/or you get better grades/more kudos at work.

Of course these two are interlinked. Reduce the anxiety and you will focus on your content more during the talk. Spend more time improving content and you will feel more confident about presenting the work, so anxiety decreases.

If you only want to reduce the fear and give an Ďokí performance (i.e. survive!) then there is nothing wrong with that Ė the same advice still applies. I have not attempted to present the two levels of advice separately as that would be near-impossible as they are so closely related!

***By the way if any of the following sounds super familiar it is because some of this advice was taken directly from SA UK forum posts. Originally, I saved them into a single Word document and read them when preparing myself for my presentations. Sorry I cannot remember who originally posted them, it was amazing advice and very useful! Thank you to those people.
That's something I wasn't aware of and I find very encouraging to know.
Reply With Quote
  #65  
Old 19th May 2012, 12:26
clarence clarence is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Beds
Posts: 68

Mood
Hot

Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

I find giving a speech to a lot of people much easier than talking to a few in a group socially. As long as I know my subject reasonably well and inject some comedy am normally OK. I can also see how some comedians are socially anxious but do fine on stage.
Reply With Quote
  #66  
Old 4th October 2012, 17:04
Memory Memory is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 727
Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Thanks black_mumba, great advice!

I've got to do a presentation for a job interview next week and I only found out today so only got a week to prepare. ;/

If anyone has any specific advice for job interview presentations (because obviously I can't check the place out beforehand or who is interviewing me etc.), then that would be much appreciated.
Reply With Quote
  #67  
Old 4th October 2012, 22:57
STRING3R STRING3R is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 589
Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Just found out I'm going to be doing at least 4 presentations this year at Uni

One of the inconvieniences of choosing a course related to business.
Reply With Quote
  #68  
Old 6th October 2012, 15:16
aVoice2use aVoice2use is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: east midlands - uk
Posts: 2,058

Mood
Daring

Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Good luck guys and gals!

I create and produce presentation materials / graphics - I also produce conferences (form a technical and creative point of view) - whihc involves rehearsing and running clients presentations.

I can give a presentation to a degree - always get a bit uptight but usually get thru - had a bit of bad expereince on a pitch a few years back - totally fluffed it but hey ho!

I dont give presentaton regulalrly so dont feel able to offer good advice from that point of view - but do feel free to throw any questions my way.

I alos do video work - love being behind the camera - put me in front of it and yikes!
Reply With Quote
  #69  
Old 14th October 2012, 02:13
black_mamba black_mamba is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: London
Posts: 9,256
Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Quote:
Originally Posted by aVoice2use
Good luck guys and gals!

I create and produce presentation materials / graphics - I also produce conferences (form a technical and creative point of view) - whihc involves rehearsing and running clients presentations.

I can give a presentation to a degree - always get a bit uptight but usually get thru - had a bit of bad expereince on a pitch a few years back - totally fluffed it but hey ho!

I dont give presentaton regulalrly so dont feel able to offer good advice from that point of view - but do feel free to throw any questions my way.

I alos do video work - love being behind the camera - put me in front of it and yikes!
Hiya. I'm the one who wrote this guide, was just browsing my old posts. Im just about to
embark on doing some video work myself, plus Im based in the east midlands as well! Much better behind the camera, I agree! Brought new camera tonight so quite excited. What sort of video work do you do? :-)
Reply With Quote
  #70  
Old 14th October 2012, 23:26
aVoice2use aVoice2use is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: east midlands - uk
Posts: 2,058

Mood
Daring

Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Hi BM

Good luck with your venture - happy to help out in any way - advice / collaboration somoene to bounce ideas off.

What camera have you bought? and what are you looking to do.

I run a small production company -video production -conference / event production/ staging and audio visual / presentation production.

Here's a few recent jobs to give you a feel of waht we do:
- promo video for a localmhire car comapny (bentleys, vintage rolls, lonond cab, limos etc)
- product demonstration videos for DIY company (sounds like StanLea)!!
- promotional video for a high school
- filming of an academic symposium about Trabnsal;tion acrosos cultures in Mediation
- internal annual conference for a staffing agency
- powerpoint screens for businnes plans for clients' clients
- dvd production for local new media company

So pretty varied - i enjoy it because I think visually and it comes to me easily - so Ican take a client 'verbal' request and create an 'audio visual' response.

Happy to talk, chat ideas.
Reply With Quote
  #71  
Old 13th December 2012, 10:16
drkings drkings is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1
Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Hey BM (and anyone else who's reading this thread),

Just to throw in my experience as a public speaking coach who has worked with a number of people suffering from Social Anxiety.

As an easy, supportive and safe way to start public speaking I can really recommend the Speaking Circles method. It was developed by Lee Glickstein to combat his fear of public speaking. There are lots of details of how to use this method in his book Be Heard Now, which is available cheaply on Amazon. If you're lucky there may be group near you running courses.

I've watched this way of working take people from a state of being terrified of public speaking and hating it to actually enjoying it - which is quite a journey. And it can happen faster than you might imagine.

Good luck!

Daniel Kingsley
Communication Coach and Facilitator

Presence Training - Confident speaking from the inside out
Reply With Quote
  #72  
Old 18th January 2013, 01:21
mils mils is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: SW France
Posts: 630
Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

I have a bit of public speaking dilemma. I am teaching a uni course this term. I am quite nervous by this... It is quite a high profile course with nearly 200 students, I've done some teaching before but not on this scale...

Anyway, I am not require to, but have been (mildly) encouraged to get the students do give group presentations. I don't really want to. I should just about (fingers crossed) manage to pull off the lecturing, but I find the idea of organising and running group presentations to be quite daunting. I have also always thought that I would never do this, because I know how terrifying it is for some people. I only had to give one presentation as an undergraduate and it was a traumatic experience. I have had many similar traumas since, but with the odd success thrown in.

On the other hand, I know that the best way to beat the fear of public speaking is to stand up and do it. Not that I've beaten it, I hope I am getting there. So maybe I am doing a disservice to the students by not asking them to do this!
Reply With Quote
  #73  
Old 13th June 2013, 12:07
buttonlane buttonlane is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The North
Posts: 4,190
Blog Entries: 1

Mood
Scared

Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Thanks for the link.

I cant ever imagine myself doing such a thing. Id like that to be different but my SA gets so bad, its a case of...No ways Pedro's.

:/
Reply With Quote
  #74  
Old 13th June 2013, 12:12
black_mamba black_mamba is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: London
Posts: 9,256
Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

^ Ain't a link, I wrote the guide myself.

I can imagine you doing a presentation. In fact, judging by the determination and persistence in your progress diary I can imagine you wrestling an alligator whilst simultaneously painting the Mona Lisa. Seriously. You got all the ingredients for recovery. Just keep going.
Reply With Quote
  #75  
Old 13th June 2013, 12:34
buttonlane buttonlane is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The North
Posts: 4,190
Blog Entries: 1

Mood
Scared

Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

^

This thread has given me the idea of going on a public speaking course. Gonna start searching.


Ps/ exchange the words 'alligator' for 'Hendricks' an I'll be a happy man.
Reply With Quote
  #76  
Old 13th June 2013, 12:52
black_mamba black_mamba is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: London
Posts: 9,256
Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Ah cool. My public speaking course was forced on me by my old employer. It was really good stuff except the bit where we were filmed doing presentations then had to watch the videos and critique each other. I was blushing like crazy. Interesting enough, so was everyone else! Every hated this part of the course, even the extroverts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by buttonlane
Ps/ exchange the words 'alligator' for 'Hendricks' an I'll be a happy man.
Haha that's the chica in your sig right? Can be arranged for a small fee.
Reply With Quote
  #77  
Old 20th November 2013, 20:09
monkeytastic monkeytastic is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 20
Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orinoco
Strangely enough, I find public speaking scary but not as scary as ordinary everyday social situations. Feel a bit more in control as I have the time to plan and know what Im going to say and therefore dont freeze.
This is exactly how I feel. I have been a best man twice, and am about to be for a third time. All the grooms know each other so I can't have been that bad. Organising and going on the stag dos however I found utterly terrifying!
Reply With Quote
  #78  
Old 21st November 2013, 02:03
s_guy18 s_guy18 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 5

Mood
Breezy

Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

What do you suggest if you're fully prepared, have tried breathing exercises etc to calm down and the physical symptoms (trembling, lips quivering, shaky voice) just won't go away?
Reply With Quote
  #79  
Old 4th December 2013, 00:52
Sponge Sponge is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: EN2
Posts: 239
Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Quote:
Originally Posted by s_guy18
What do you suggest if you're fully prepared, have tried breathing exercises etc to calm down and the physical symptoms (trembling, lips quivering, shaky voice) just won't go away?
Then you're screwed. As good as BM's public speaking tips are, for some people no amount of tips are gonna help, cos some people have much worse anxiety and physical symptoms (like me). For me doing a presentation at work is simply out the question unless I got very drunk or something.
Reply With Quote
  #80  
Old 6th December 2013, 10:03
s_guy18 s_guy18 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 5

Mood
Breezy

Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Appreciate your honesty. I remember a humiliating incident at high school which I could have avoided if I'd just wagged, which all my instincts told me to do. But for some reason I decided to face my fear, had read a number of books on public speaking, had breathing exercises prepared and was convinced it would help. I got up there (just had to say a prayer) and I was the only one who trembled the whole time. No-one laughed but I got a lot of stick for it afterwards. I think you're right ay, some people just aren't meant to be public speakers.
Reply With Quote
  #81  
Old 6th December 2013, 12:19
iTz0kt0Bu iTz0kt0Bu is offline
Banned at own request
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 6,737
Blog Entries: 10
Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Nice post Mamba
Reply With Quote
  #82  
Old 6th December 2013, 13:58
Sponge Sponge is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: EN2
Posts: 239
Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Quote:
Originally Posted by s_guy18
Appreciate your honesty. I remember a humiliating incident at high school which I could have avoided if I'd just wagged, which all my instincts told me to do. But for some reason I decided to face my fear, had read a number of books on public speaking, had breathing exercises prepared and was convinced it would help. I got up there (just had to say a prayer) and I was the only one who trembled the whole time. No-one laughed but I got a lot of stick for it afterwards. I think you're right ay, some people just aren't meant to be public speakers.
You cant blame yourself for trying, you don't know unless you try. On many occasions over the years I've tried to face my fears and push my limits, but always with the same result. I think that for some people anxiety is a real illness like any other, that cant be got rid of with CBT, only medication may help.
Reply With Quote
  #83  
Old 8th December 2013, 12:15
s_guy18 s_guy18 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 5

Mood
Breezy

Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Yeah it was many years ago now and I don't even see anyone from high school any more so it's not really a problem. It's still there in my memory though as a reminder of how uncontrollably nervous I get and I definitely avoid public speaking because of this and other similar incidents. I'm hesitant to take medication as I know a few people who've had really bad experiences on it and say it's not worth the risks. I study by correspondence because I can't face doing presentations or even introducing myself in tutorials without shaking and it's guttering because I always seem to be the only one with this problem...anyway, didn't mean to go on about myself, we all have our crosses to carry etc. The modern world just seems to be fully against people like us, as if we have a huge disadvantage from the start...
Reply With Quote
  #84  
Old 8th January 2014, 10:52
BigD BigD is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Lancaster
Posts: 127

Mood
Melancholy

Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Just found this thread. Public speaking, for me, highlights how differently SA affects different people. My wife (who also has SA) goes to pieces when she has to do a presentation as part of her degree course ad has always had a real issue with public speaking. But she copes with face-to-face interactions better than I do.

I lecture several times a year on hobby topics because I enjoy it. BUT I turn into a complete basket case if someone in the audience invites me for a meal and I actually have to interact with them at a personal level. The 'deal' on the amateur lecture circuit is that someone from the host group will offer a meal at their house or out at the group's expense as a courtesy. I always decline as I'd much rather eat alone.
Reply With Quote
  #85  
Old 31st January 2014, 14:51
AdamUK AdamUK is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Lowestoft, suffolk
Posts: 21
Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Wow great guide very informative. I had to do weekly presentations for 3 years. I was a shaking stuttering nervous wreak the first few months.. Kept going and no issues at the end. So I completely agree practice is needed.

Social anxiety treatment/self help was needed before I could do the course.. From not wanting to leave the house and talk to anyone to social speaking is a huge step. I took loads of little steps to get there.
Reply With Quote
  #86  
Old 9th February 2014, 14:29
Lifebuoy Lifebuoy is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 405
Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Good stuff Black Mamba! I got back into teaching after acquiring SA disorder and having a longish period of unemployment. So I had to go right back to square one and try to re-establish my ability to talk in front of a lot of people. It's tough but it's possible.

I didn't read everything you wrote as it was so long.... so you might have covered this point. A really useful preparation before public speaking is to use 'positive affirmations'. Essentially it's a calming technique that that primes your sub-conscious mind. Before you get into the room, just talk to yourself: 'This is going to go well.... they are going to like me.... they are going to find what I say interesting... they really want me to succeed' etc. The weird thing is that you don't even have to believe what you are saying... it still has an incredibly bracing effect. I found it made the difference between being really scared and being reasonably at ease.

Of course you still need to do all the techniques and preparations you mentioned. But over time, doing a presentation becomes a lot easier as you become more confident, and you find that you need to prepare far less. But a quick recitation of positive affirmations is still worth resorting to if you feel apprehensive.
Reply With Quote
  #87  
Old 10th February 2014, 06:59
Grump Grump is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 107

Mood
Apelike

Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

One thing that can help, is to look up and look around at the people in the audience. I've got a tendency to just stare at my notes or the PowerPoint screen or only keep looking at one person on the front row (which must be weird for them) and not around at all. It always helps when I look around.

I remember I once had a uni presentation at about 3 in the afternoon. I went to the pub at 11am, drank pints and vodka & coke until about 2.30, and went in to the presentation brimming with confidence!! Obviously I'm not recommending that though!
Reply With Quote
  #88  
Old 18th May 2014, 01:58
MissyP. MissyP. is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: West Midlands
Posts: 499

Mood
Cheerful

Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

This guide has really given me confidence to do better next time for a presentation.
I think when I smile at the audience, and they smile back, that gives me confidence and my anxiety goes away quite a lot, it shows they are friendly faces.
Reply With Quote
  #89  
Old 25th July 2014, 17:33
black_mamba black_mamba is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: London
Posts: 9,256
Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire2014
This guide has really given me confidence to do better next time for a presentation.
I think when I smile at the audience, and they smile back, that gives me confidence and my anxiety goes away quite a lot, it shows they are friendly faces.


So glad to hear that it helped you. Aren't smiles awesome? They're just a bunch of friendly people and most will be hoping you do well and feel comfortable. To me, a smile from the audience says that.
Reply With Quote
  #90  
Old 11th November 2014, 11:52
shrinkingviolet218 shrinkingviolet218 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 12
Default Re: Public Speaking for the Socially Anxious

The posts were absolutely excellent!

The only thing I would add is visualising yourself doing the speech successfully at least once a day (get as detailed as possible) to get it really entrenched into your subconscious.




.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 23:47.


SAUK Award
Logo designed by abc
Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.