Center for Treatment of Anxiety & Mood Disorders

Get Help Today (561) 496-1094

Fear of Public Speaking

Glossophobia, stage fright, or fear of public speaking — by any name, difficulty with speaking to a group of people is very common. Even experienced public speakers will admit to having “butterflies” in anticipation of a speaking event, but for some people, the fear can be paralyzing. When the fear is too great or becomes so overwhelming that even speaking up in front of a small group of coworkers is avoided, it can become debilitating both socially and professionally.

The fear of public speaking may be associated with social anxiety, but regardless of its roots, it can manifest in the same physical ways as other forms of anxiety-related disorders. Sufferers may experience heart palpitations, sweating, confusion, dizziness or lightheadedness, shortness of breath, digestive distress, and more.

As with all anxiety or mood disorders, simply “snapping out of it” is not an option, but nearly everyone can work to lessen their fear by mastering some new skills. Some people may also benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), medications, or a combination of both.

Tips for Building Your Public Speaking Skills

  • Practice: Repeatedly rehearse your speech or presentation out loud. You can ask a friend to be your audience, or video yourself.
  • Familiarity: The more familiar you are with your topic, the more confidently you can speak about it. Do extra research on your topic, even if you don’t include all of the findings in your presentation. A deep understanding will help you feel fully prepared.
  • Visualization: Some of the world’s best athletes and entertainers use visualization techniques prior to a competition or performance. Imagine each step of your upcoming experience, from the moment you arrive at the venue to meeting audience members after the event. Picture yourself delivering your material in a relaxed way, and imagine your audience’s positive response.
  • Organization: Double-check that any visual or audio components of your presentation are organized and in working order.

 

Also keep in mind that your audience is made up of individuals who most likely want you to succeed. They’ll be able to relate to the pressures of public speaking and will root for you to do well. Stay focused on your material, make eye contact with people in the audience, and remember that even the best speakers don’t always deliver perfect presentations.

Help for Fear of Public Speaking

For those with phobias, it’s difficult to turn their focus away from the physical symptoms of their anxieties. The fear of public speaking can cause sufferers to be overwhelmed by their physical state, unable to think about anything except their trembling hands or shaky voice. Learning to recognize and take control of negative thoughts, and how to change one’s focus, can often be accomplished through CBT. Rather than mentally or physically running away from the fear, people can learn new ways to confront their anxiety and challenge their own thinking, while gaining mechanisms that can help them cope in effective, healthy, and sustainable ways.

Under the guidance of a licensed mental health professional, CBT can be the key for many people to unlock their fears and be on their way to successful public speaking. If you would like to learn more about how Dr. Andrew Rosen and the staff at The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders can help you with your fear of public speaking, please contact us for a confidential assessment at (561) 496-1094.

Looking for immediate help?
Contact Us Today for a Confidential Assessment.

Call 561-496-1094 or

Treatment Programs Specializing In:

Serving the whole person, not just the symptoms. In all of our programs your comfort, privacy and long-term success are paramount.

COVID-19 Trauma has become familiar to many people throughout the pandemic. If you’re experiencing trauma, PTSD, anxiety, or depression as a result of Corona virus learn about how our COVID-19 Trauma Treatment Program can help.

 

We offer online therapy to help people who are unable to leave their homes. Contact us and we will will schedule your confidential online assessment.

 

Helping people from all walks of life find deeper connection and understanding to create stronger and healthier relationships.

 

Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses affecting children and adults. When you experience anxiety that is persistent, seemingly uncontrollable, overwhelming and disabling you may have an anxiety disorder.

 

Mood disorders represent a category of psychiatric disorders in which the underlying problem primarily affects a person’s persistent emotional state or mood. Mood disorders are made up of depressive types and bipolar types.

 
 
 

Children and adolescents experience normal problems of growing up due to pressures of social media, school, socializing, self esteem or family. Our youth services provide assistance in dealing with educational, social, and vocational issues.

 
 

The Trauma Institute provides highly specialized clinical services, informed by the latest cutting edge-research, for trauma survivors. We are an Institute dedicated to clinical services, community education, professional training, and research focused on trauma recovery.

 
 
 

Many children and adults who have weak executive functioning skills are negatively impacted in all areas of life but fortunately through assessment and intervention, executive skills can be strengthened and compensatory strategies can be learned.  When these skills are well developed, children and adults can better maximum their potential and future outcomes.

 
 

Families naturally go through stages and transitions across the lifespan. Family dynamics impact each individuals’ response to daily life and major events. Therapy can help families understand their complex and ever-changing dynamics. As the family becomes an expert in their processes, they will be able to use new skills to navigate each situation with love and respect for one another.

 
 
 

Types of Therapy

The Center offers cutting edge therapy designed to get you on the road to a speedy recovery. We will help you to learn how to live your daily life free from the fears or compulsions that inhibit you or your child’s ability to complete each day’s tasks.

More Ways to Get Help Now

The Center offers cutting edge therapy designed to get you on the road to a speedy recovery. We know that you can’t always make it into our office for your session. Which is why we now provide teletherapy. You can get support from the comfort of your own home. We offer cognitive behavior therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, mindfulness meditation, group therapy, and medication. Depending on your needs, here’s how you can get help now:

Online or Phone Therapy

For individuals around the country or those wanting help from the comfort of your own home, we offer therapy via Facetime, Skype or phone.

women getting treatment

In Person Treatment

We have professionals available 7 days a week. Our offices are conveniently located in the Boca/Delray area.

group of people talking

Intensive Weekend Programs

For those who prefer a more short-term approach we offer weekend sessions for individuals or groups. Perfect for those with a less flexible work schedule.

When it comes to anxiety or mood disorders we specialize in treating the whole person, not just your symptoms. In all of our programs your comfort, privacy and long-term success are paramount.

Looking for immediate help?
Contact Us Today for a Confidential Assessment.

Call 561-496-1094 or

We’ve all experienced it: you have to give a presentation and you’re stressing about getting up in front of a room full of people. What’s the first thing everyone always says? “Just picture your audience naked,” they’ll tell you with a chuckle. While that can work for a few people, for many, a fear of public speaking is no laughing matter. Studies have shown that some speakers can’t even calm down after beginning their speech: instead, they become increasingly more nervous as their lecture goes on. For these people, even presenting their ideas to a small group in a workplace meeting can be a harrowing experience.

It’s no secret that glossophobia or fear of public speaking is the number one fear reported by people in the United States. This anxiety comes from a worry about being judged and often has origins in social anxiety. Speech anxiety has increased in today’s cyber-world of communication where we are often “faceless” and can remain relatively anonymous by sending emails or texting instead of speaking directly to people.

Tips for Overcoming Speech Anxiety

For many people, a fear of public speaking can often be helped by learning a few skills:

  • Know your topic: the more you know about your topic, the less you will stress if you accidentally lose your train of thought or make a mistake.
  • Practice your speech: go over (and over) your presentation in front of a supportive friend or coworker (videoing yourself can also be helpful). Have them ask questions about your topic so you are prepared to give answers. Also, ask them for feedback and consider making any changes they might suggest.
  • Visualize a successful outcome. Mentally picture yourself being announced, approaching the lectern or stage, smiling at your audience, presenting your slides or PowerPoint images. See yourself being congratulated for your ideas and shaking hands with the admiring people you’ve spoken in front of.
  • Be prepared – organize your slides or handouts, listen to any audio clips, and run through your presentation from start to finish so you can see how it “flows.”
  • Bring water with you to the podium in case your mouth gets dry or you need to take a quick pause to regroup.
  • Clasp your hands together or stand with your knees slightly flexed to help keep them from trembling if you are nervous and shaky.
  • Take a few deep breaths and smile (even though smiling is probably the last thing you’ll want to do!). Deep breathing helps you relax and studies have shown that smiling can help lower your heart rate and aid in physiological recovery after stressful situations.
  • Focus on your material instead of your audience.
  • Keep in mind that audiences will generally sympathize with a nervous speaker, so try not to worry about appearing uneasy or anxious.
  • After your speech, mentally congratulate yourself for putting yourself up there in front of everyone! Write down some of the positive aspects of your lecture (did you remember to make eye contact with your audience or toss out statistics without a mistake?). Focusing on the positives will help keep you from over-analyzing any slip-ups you made (even world-class speakers make mistakes!).

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Public Speaking Anxiety

In many cases, the apprehension we experience before giving a speech can be used as a way to focus: in our nervousness, we go over and over the points we want to make and read through our notes repeatedly which helps ingrain them in our memory. For some individuals, however, instead of focusing on the details of the presentation they are about to give, they will zero in on their own physical symptoms and won’t be able to settle in once they’ve begun to talk. They’ll turn their attention to how their hands are shaking or how nauseous they are and they’ll become progressively more anxious as their lecture goes on.

Often, they end up carrying that anxiety over after the speech ends, too, so they stay keyed up instead of relaxing – even to the point of becoming physically ill. For these people, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) done through a licensed mental health professional can help quickly identify and challenge inaccurate or negative thinking. CBT can often provide coping mechanisms that can help them gain confidence and overcome their public speaking anxiety.

Keep in mind that not everyone who benefits from cognitive behavioral therapy has a mental health condition. In the case of “stage fright”, CBT simply gives you the power you need to cope with a public speaking situation in a more effective and healthier way. Because CBT utilizes a goal-effective approach, it can be an effective tool to help you learn how to better manage the stress of speech anxiety.

Learn More

If these tips and tricks don’t help you when it’s time for your next public lecture, it might be helpful to speak with a mental health professional like Dr. Andrew Rosen and The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida. For more information, call them at 561-496-1094 or Contact Dr. Rosen and The Center today.