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How to Manage Public Speaking Anxiety

Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of The Anxiety Workbook and founder of the website About Social Anxiety. She has a Master's degree in clinical psychology.

severe presentation anxiety reddit

Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.

severe presentation anxiety reddit

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Speech Anxiety and SAD

How to prepare for a speech.

Public speaking anxiety, also known as glossophobia , is one of the most commonly reported social fears.

While some people may feel nervous about giving a speech or presentation if you have social anxiety disorder (SAD) , public speaking anxiety may take over your life.

Public speaking anxiety may also be called speech anxiety or performance anxiety and is a type of social anxiety disorder (SAD). Social anxiety disorder, also sometimes referred to as social phobia, is one of the most common types of mental health conditions.

Public Speaking Anxiety Symptoms

Symptoms of public speaking anxiety are the same as those that occur for social anxiety disorder, but they only happen in the context of speaking in public.

If you live with public speaking anxiety, you may worry weeks or months in advance of a speech or presentation, and you probably have severe physical symptoms of anxiety during a speech, such as:

  • Pounding heart
  • Quivering voice
  • Shortness of breath
  • Upset stomach

Causes of Public Speaking Anxiety

These symptoms are a result of the fight or flight response —a rush of adrenaline that prepares you for danger. When there is no real physical threat, it can feel as though you have lost control of your body. This makes it very hard to do well during public speaking and may cause you to avoid situations in which you may have to speak in public.

How Is Public Speaking Anxiety Is Diagnosed

Public speaking anxiety may be diagnosed as SAD if it significantly interferes with your life. This fear of public speaking anxiety can cause problems such as:

  • Changing courses at college to avoid a required oral presentation
  • Changing jobs or careers
  • Turning down promotions because of public speaking obligations
  • Failing to give a speech when it would be appropriate (e.g., best man at a wedding)

If you have intense anxiety symptoms while speaking in public and your ability to live your life the way that you would like is affected by it, you may have SAD.

Public Speaking Anxiety Treatment

Fortunately, effective treatments for public speaking anxiety are avaible. Such treatment may involve medication, therapy, or a combination of the two.

Short-term therapy such as systematic desensitization and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be helpful to learn how to manage anxiety symptoms and anxious thoughts that trigger them.

Ask your doctor for a referral to a therapist who can offer this type of therapy; in particular, it will be helpful if the therapist has experience in treating social anxiety and/or public speaking anxiety.

Research has also found that virtual reality (VR) therapy can also be an effective way to treat public speaking anxiety. One analysis found that students treated with VR therapy were able to experience positive benefits in as little as a week with between one and 12 sessions of VR therapy. The research also found that VR sessions were effective while being less invasive than in-person treatment sessions.

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If you live with public speaking anxiety that is causing you significant distress, ask your doctor about medication that can help. Short-term medications known as beta-blockers (e.g., propranolol) can be taken prior to a speech or presentation to block the symptoms of anxiety.

Other medications may also be prescribed for longer-term treatment of SAD, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). When used in conjunction with therapy, you may find the medication helps to reduce your phobia of public speaking.

In addition to traditional treatment, there are several strategies that you can use to cope with speech anxiety and become better at public speaking in general . Public speaking is like any activity—better preparation equals better performance. Being better prepared will boost your confidence and make it easier to concentrate on delivering your message.

Even if you have SAD, with proper treatment and time invested in preparation, you can deliver a successful speech or presentation.

Pre-Performance Planning

Taking some steps to plan before you give a speech can help you better control feelings of anxiety. Before you give a speech or public performance:

  • Choose a topic that interests you . If you are able, choose a topic that you are excited about. If you are not able to choose the topic, try using an approach to the topic that you find interesting. For example, you could tell a personal story that relates to the topic as a way to introduce your speech. This will ensure that you are engaged in your topic and motivated to research and prepare. When you present, others will feel your enthusiasm and be interested in what you have to say.
  • Become familiar with the venue . Ideally, visit the conference room, classroom, auditorium, or banquet hall where you will be presenting before you give your speech. If possible, try practicing at least once in the environment that you will be speaking in. Being familiar with the venue and knowing where needed audio-visual components are ahead of time will mean one less thing to worry about at the time of your speech.
  • Ask for accommodations . Accommodations are changes to your work environment that help you to manage your anxiety. This might mean asking for a podium, having a pitcher of ice water handy, bringing in audiovisual equipment, or even choosing to stay seated if appropriate. If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder such as social anxiety disorder (SAD), you may be eligible for these through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Don’t script it . Have you ever sat through a speech where someone read from a prepared script word for word? You probably don’t recall much of what was said. Instead, prepare a list of key points on paper or notecards that you can refer to.
  • Develop a routine . Put together a routine for managing anxiety on the day of a speech or presentation. This routine should help to put you in the proper frame of mind and allow you to maintain a relaxed state. An example might be exercising or practicing meditation on the morning of a speech.

Practice and Visualization

Even people who are comfortable speaking in public rehearse their speeches many times to get them right. Practicing your speech 10, 20, or even 30 times will give you confidence in your ability to deliver.

If your talk has a time limit, time yourself during practice runs and adjust your content as needed to fit within the time that you have. Lots of practice will help boost your self-confidence .

  • Prepare for difficult questions . Before your presentation, try to anticipate hard questions and critical comments that might arise, and prepare responses ahead of time. Deal with a difficult audience member by paying them a compliment or finding something that you can agree on. Say something like, “Thanks for that important question” or “I really appreciate your comment.” Convey that you are open-minded and relaxed. If you don’t know how to answer the question, say you will look into it.
  • Get some perspective . During a practice run, speak in front of a mirror or record yourself on a smartphone. Make note of how you appear and identify any nervous habits to avoid. This step is best done after you have received therapy or medication to manage your anxiety.
  • Imagine yourself succeeding . Did you know your brain can’t tell the difference between an imagined activity and a real one? That is why elite athletes use visualization to improve athletic performance. As you practice your speech (remember 10, 20, or even 30 times!), imagine yourself wowing the audience with your amazing oratorical skills. Over time, what you imagine will be translated into what you are capable of.
  • Learn to accept some anxiety . Even professional performers experience a bit of nervous excitement before a performance—in fact, most believe that a little anxiety actually makes you a better speaker. Learn to accept that you will always be a little anxious about giving a speech, but that it is normal and common to feel this way.

Setting Goals

Instead of trying to just scrape by, make it a personal goal to become an excellent public speaker. With proper treatment and lots of practice, you can become good at speaking in public. You might even end up enjoying it!

Put things into perspective. If you find that public speaking isn’t one of your strengths, remember that it is only one aspect of your life. We all have strengths in different areas. Instead, make it a goal simply to be more comfortable in front of an audience, so that public speaking anxiety doesn’t prevent you from achieving other goals in life.

A Word From Verywell

In the end, preparing well for a speech or presentation gives you confidence that you have done everything possible to succeed. Give yourself the tools and the ability to succeed, and be sure to include strategies for managing anxiety. These public-speaking tips should be used to complement traditional treatment methods for SAD, such as therapy and medication.

Crome E, Baillie A. Mild to severe social fears: Ranking types of feared social situations using item response theory . J Anxiety Disord . 2014;28(5):471-479. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2014.05.002

Pull CB. Current status of knowledge on public-speaking anxiety . Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2012;25(1):32-8. doi:10.1097/YCO.0b013e32834e06dc

Goldstein DS. Adrenal responses to stress . Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2010;30(8):1433-40. doi:10.1007/s10571-010-9606-9

Anderson PL, Zimand E, Hodges LF, Rothbaum BO. Cognitive behavioral therapy for public-speaking anxiety using virtual reality for exposure . Depress Anxiety. 2005;22(3):156-8. doi:10.1002/da.20090

Hinojo-Lucena FJ, Aznar-Díaz I, Cáceres-Reche MP, Trujillo-Torres JM, Romero-Rodríguez JM. Virtual reality treatment for public speaking anxiety in students. advancements and results in personalized medicine .  J Pers Med . 2020;10(1):14. doi:10.3390/jpm10010014

Steenen SA, van Wijk AJ, van der Heijden GJ, van Westrhenen R, de Lange J, de Jongh A. Propranolol for the treatment of anxiety disorders: Systematic review and meta-analysis . J Psychopharmacol (Oxford). 2016;30(2):128-39. doi:10.1177/0269881115612236

By Arlin Cuncic, MA Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of The Anxiety Workbook and founder of the website About Social Anxiety. She has a Master's degree in clinical psychology.

severe presentation anxiety reddit

Beating Presentation Anxiety: 5 Steps to Speak Confidently

  • The Speaker Lab
  • April 16, 2024

Table of Contents

Feeling jittery about your next presentation? If so, you’re not alone. Presentation anxiety hits many of us, but it doesn’t have to hold you back. In this article, we’ll dive into what sparks this fear and how it shows up. We’ve got you covered with strategies to prep before your talk, keep cool during the show, and even use tech tools to smooth out those nerves.

If you find that the jitters are negatively impacting your presentations, we have the strategies you need to build confidence. And if you need more help, we’ll point you towards top-notch resources for beating presentation anxiety.

Understanding Presentation Anxiety

Presentation anxiety grips many of us before we step onto the stage. It’s that stomach-churning, sweat-inducing fear of public speaking that can turn even the most prepared speaker into a bundle of nerves. But why does this happen? Let’s break it down.

Common Triggers of Presentation Anxiety

First off, it’s important to know you’re not alone in feeling nervous about presenting. This type of anxiety is incredibly common and stems from various triggers. One major cause is the fear of judgment or negative evaluation by others. No one wants to look foolish or incompetent, especially in front of peers or superiors.

Another trigger is lack of experience. If you haven’t had much practice speaking in public, every presentation might feel like stepping into unknown territory. Then there’s perfectionism; setting impossibly high standards for your performance can make any slight mistake feel disastrous.

How Presentation Anxiety Manifests

The symptoms of presentation anxiety are as varied as they are unpleasant: dry mouth, shaky hands, racing heart—the list goes on. Oftentimes, these physical signs go hand-in-hand with mental ones like blanking out or losing your train of thought mid-sentence. In addition to affecting how you feel physically, anxiety also messes with your confidence levels and self-esteem.

By understanding presentation anxiety better, we realize its grip on us isn’t due to our inability but rather a natural response that can be managed with the right techniques and mindset adjustments.

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Strategies for Managing Presentation Anxiety Before the Event

Feeling jittery before taking the stage is a common plight, but let’s not let those nerves derail our success. Here are some tried and true strategies to help keep your cool.

Planning Like a Pro

Kicking off with solid planning can be your first line of defense against presentation anxiety. Initiate by segmenting your presentation into digestible sections. This could mean outlining main points or scripting it out entirely, depending on what makes you feel most prepared. A good resource that dives deep into effective planning is Toastmasters International , where you’ll find tips on structuring speeches that resonate.

An equally crucial part of planning involves researching your audience. Understanding who will be in front of you helps tailor your message and anticipate questions they might have, making you feel more confident and connected.

The Power of Practice

You’ve heard it before, but practice really does make perfect—or at least significantly less nervous. Running through your presentation multiple times lets you iron out any kinks and get comfortable with the flow of information. For an extra boost, simulate the actual event as closely as possible by practicing in similar attire or using the same technology you’ll have available during the real deal.

If solo rehearsals aren’t cutting it, try roping in a friend or family member to act as an audience. Not only can they offer valuable feedback, they can also help acclimate you to speaking in front of others—a critical step toward easing anxiety.

Breathing Techniques That Work Wonders

Last but definitely not least: don’t underestimate breathing techniques. They have the power to calm nerves fast when practiced regularly leading up to the big day. Headspace offers guided exercises that focus on controlled breathing methods designed specifically for stress management. These practices encourage mindfulness, which can center thoughts away from anxious feelings towards present tasks—like delivering an outstanding presentation. Incorporating these exercises daily can build resilience against last-minute jitters too.

Techniques During the Presentation

Say you’ve practiced your speech a dozen times but you’re still worried about the big day. What should you do then to beat presentation anxiety? Let’s take a look.

Engage with Your Audience

Talking to a room full of people can feel daunting, especially when you don’t know any of them. But remember, your audience is there because they’re interested in what you have to say. Make eye contact, smile, and ask rhetorical questions to keep them hooked. As you speak, don’t forget about the importance of body language since it communicates just as much as your words.

If you think engagement ends at asking questions, think again. Sharing personal stories or relevant anecdotes helps build a connection. It makes your presentation not just informative but also relatable and memorable.

Maintain Composure Under Pressure

If you’re palms are sweating and your heart is racing, know that it’s okay. Feeling your pulse quicken shows you’re invested in nailing that speech, yet it’s crucial not to let these sensations throw you off track. Practice deep breathing exercises before stepping onto the stage to calm those nerves.

Besides deep breathing, adopting power poses backstage can significantly boost your confidence levels. Although it may sound crazy, this is a tip from social psychologists that has helped many speakers take control of their anxiety. Just check out Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on body language to see for yourself.

Facing unexpected tech glitches or interruptions during your speech is par for the course. Stay calm and use humor if appropriate—it shows professionalism and adaptability.

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The Role of Technology in Managing Presentation Anxiety

When giving a presentation, it’s not uncommon for your slides or videos to suddenly turn on you, malfunctioning in some way. However, while technical issues are something to prepare for, they shouldn’t keep you from considering technology an ally against presentation anxiety. Let’s look at some ways that technology can help soothe your public speaking jitters.

Presentation Software Features

Gone are the days when speakers had to rely solely on their memory or paper notes. Modern presentation software not only allows you to create visually appealing slides but also comes with features designed specifically for speaker support. Tools like PowerPoint’s Presenter View or Keynote, give you a behind-the-scenes look at your notes and upcoming slides without showing them to the audience. This lets you stay on track discreetly.

Another gem is interactive polling through platforms such as Mentimeter or Poll Everywhere . Engaging your audience with real-time polls not only keeps them involved but also gives you brief moments to collect your thoughts and breathe.

Stress Management Apps

When it comes to taming those pre-presentation butterflies in your stomach, there’s an app for that too. Meditation apps like Headspace offer quick guided sessions that can be squeezed into any busy schedule. Taking even just five minutes before stepping onstage can significantly calm nerves and improve focus.

Breathing exercises have proven effective in managing stress levels quickly. The beauty of apps like Breathe2Relax , is that they provide structured breathing techniques aimed at reducing anxiety on-the-go. As a result, it’s perfect for those last-minute jitters backstage or right before a webinar starts.

Resources for Further Support

If you’re on a quest to conquer presentation anxiety, you’re not alone. It’s like preparing for a big game; sometimes, you need more than just pep talks. Thankfully, there are plenty of available aids out there to help support you on your journey.

Books That Speak Volumes

Finding the right book can be a lifesaver. “Confessions of a Public Speaker” by Scott Berkun gives an insider look at the highs and lows of public speaking with humor and wisdom. Another gem is “TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking” by Chris Anderson, which pulls back the curtain on what makes talks memorable.

Beyond books, consider immersing yourself in stories of others who’ve walked this path before. A great way to do this is through podcasts or audiobooks focusing on overcoming fears and embracing confidence.

Professional Services: When You Need A Team

Sometimes self-help isn’t enough; maybe what you really need is someone in your corner guiding each step. That’s where expert coaches come in. These mentors can craft plans tailored uniquely to your situation, ensuring you’re equipped for every challenge.

Here at The Speaker Lab you’ll find plenty of resources and help if you’re looking to master the art of public speaking while tackling anxieties head-on.

Together, all these resources have one thing in common: they empower speakers at any stage of their journey towards becoming confident communicators ready to tackle any audience.

FAQs on Overcoming Presentation Anxiety

How do i overcome anxiety when presenting.

Practice your talk, know your stuff, and take deep breaths. Confidence grows with preparation and experience.

Why am I anxious about public speaking?

Fear of judgment or messing up in front of others triggers this anxiety. It’s our brain on high alert.

What is anxiety presentation?

Presentation anxiety is that jittery feeling before speaking publicly. It stems from fear of failure or negative evaluation.

What can I take for presentation anxiety?

Talk to a doctor first but beta-blockers or natural remedies like chamomile tea might help ease the jitters safely.

Feeling nervous before a presentation is common. However overwhelming it might feel, know that mastering this fear is possible. Remember: practice makes perfect. By prepping ahead of time and getting familiar with your content, you can dial down the nerves.

As you’re in the spotlight, make sure to maintain a lively interaction with those watching. This builds confidence on the spot. Tech tools are there for help too. They can streamline your preparation and delivery process significantly.

Don’t be shy about asking for more info if you’re looking for something specific. We’re here to help and make sure you find exactly what you need. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get out there and nail that presentation!

  • Last Updated: April 11, 2024

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Presentation Skills

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  • Introduction
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Presentation Anxiety

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We talked about techniques to help you handle your nerves and nervousness in the Delivering Your Presentation > Presenting section of this module—but what if your experience goes beyond simple nervousness and has become a fear of public speaking?

In this section, we'll talk about how to manage this kind of anxiety and point you to some resources as well.

How to Manage Presentation Anxiety

Watch the video or read the strategies below to learn some techniques to help with presentation anxiety, so that you can deliver your presentation confidently.

  • Video Transcript—How to Manage Presentation Anxiety [RTF]

Strategies to Help You Manage Presentation Anxiety

Being well prepared will help you feel more confident about your presentation.

Do you really have any evidence to support them? Try some positive self-talk instead, like “I can do it” or “I’m well prepared".

  • Develop a “Relaxation Strategy” to use when you feel too anxious

The better you know your presentation, the more confident you’ll feel. Practicing in front of a mirror or a webcam is best because you can see how you’re doing.

You might tell someone climbing a ladder “don’t look down”. What you’re telling them is to focus on the task, not on their nervousness. The same advice applies to presentations. As you present, focus on your content instead of concentrating on yourself.

Smile and keep breathing, look at people’s foreheads not their eyes, and stand naturally.

The Anxiety Cycle

Anxiety is your body's response to anticipated danger—it's typically associated with worry or fear, and it's often accompanied by cognitive issues (like difficulty concentrating) and physical symptoms (like nausea, shaking, and muscle tension).

It's normal to be anxious about important events , like giving a presentation to your class; however, excessive fear or anxiety can cause a combination of physical, psychological, and social symptoms that can impact daily activities such as school, work, personal time, and relationships.

Feeling anxious can be very unpleasant, which causes some people to avoid anxiety-inducing situations. We might feel temporary relief by avoiding the situation, but we end up reinforcing our anxiety by creating an anxiety cycle that changes our mindset and our behaviours in the long term.

severe presentation anxiety reddit

Change Your Mindset, Change Your Behaviour

When you learn how to handle your fear of public speaking, you'll feel more confident in yourself and your message.

Check the boxes below to learn how to first change your mindset and then how to change your behaviour to help you control your presentation anxiety.

Mindset Tips

Watch the video or read the text below to learn 6 tips to change your mindset about public speaking:

These are signs you're about to do something important!

Nervousness and excitement are two sides of the same 'emotional coin'—remind yourself that at least half of what you're feeling is excitement about doing that challenging things.

Your listeners can't tell how you feel, only what you show them.

Our most intense anxiety happens 30 seconds before we start speaking and 30 seconds into our presentations, but it goes down once we get going. If you can get past those 60 seconds, you'll feel much better!

Even professional speakers admit to getting nervous before public speaking, but their nerves don't stop them from giving great presentations.

Everyone in your class wants you to do well, just like you want them to do well too! We've all done some public speaking and we know what's it like to be in that position.

Behavioural Tips

Watch the video or read the text below to learn 6 behavioural tips for public speaking:

Practicing is not a quick fix, but it can help you feel better. Practice at least 10 times spread out over a few days before your presentation.

Speakers who get the most nervous will focus more on themselves. Instead ask yourself, "How can I best help my listeners?"

Visualizing is another way to rehearse. Take a moment to imagine your professor calling you up to present, and picture your classmates sitting and looking happy to hear the first few lines of your presentation.

You'll likely give your presentation in your own classroom, but getting to class early will help you relax in the space and even feel what standing in front of the room will feel like during your session.

Chances are you'll know at least some people in your class before your presentation—you could distract yourself from your own nervousness by chatting with the people in the front row to help you relax.

Slow, deep breathing lowers our heart rate and blood pressure, which tells our body to relax.

Activity: "Help, something's gone wrong in my presentation!"

If you're nervous about delivering your presentation, you're probably worrying about all the things that can go wrong. If you prepare for those potential problems, you can prevent them from happening and learn to deal with them if they do happen.

Try this activity from Algonquin College and The Learning Portal to learn how to avoid some common presentation problems. You can also use the tip sheet below as a quick reference when preparing for a presentation.

  • "Help, something's gone wrong in my presentation!" (Algonquin College) This activity can teach you what do to to avoid or overcome some common presentations problems.
  • "Help, something's gone wrong in my presentation!"—Accessible PDF Version (Algonquin College)
  • Something's Gone Wrong in My Presentation [PDF] (Algonquin College) Check out these tips to get your presentation back on track.
  • Something's Gone Wrong in My Presentation [Word] (Algonquin College) Check out these tips to get your presentation back on track.

Mental Health Supports at Sheridan

If you’re having difficulties managing stress, adjusting to college, or feeling sad and hopeless, please reach out to the Counselling Services team on Sheridan Central.

Sessions are free and confidential .

  • Last Updated: Jan 12, 2024 2:29 PM
  • URL: https://sheridancollege.libguides.com/presentationskills

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5 Tips for Overcoming Presentation Anxiety

Feeling jittery before a university presentation? You're in good company! In this article, Camila Franco, a Bachelor of Psychological Sciences (Honours) student at UQ, generously shares her expert tips on overcoming presentation anxiety. Get ready to transform from fearful to fearless with her invaluable advice!

Facing your classmates and delivering information that you've just learned, or are still mastering, can be a daunting task. I recall my first presentations vividly—when I didn’t have so much experience at public speaking, I felt my mouth extremely dry and started stuttering. My heart was pounding so hard, and my anxiety just became worse as I was looking to the public thinking they were judging me for my mistakes.

Here's the deal: even the most self-assured speakers can get a bit jittery before a presentation. A sprinkle of nerves can actually enhance our focus and keep us sharp. While that's somewhat comforting, there are effective strategies to tackle these pre-presentation jitters. But before we delve into those, let’s first gain a clear understanding of what presentation anxiety truly entails!

Understanding Presentation Jitters

The fear of public speaking often boils down to worrying about how the audience will perceive us. It's totally normal to stress over stumbling over words, forgetting what we're going to say, or feeling physically awkward like sweating or shaking. Recognising these signs of anxiety creeping up is the first step to handling them:

  • Muscle tension
  • Shaky hands
  • Dry mouth, sweating, or blushing
  • Upset stomach
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Catastrophic thoughts
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Heart racing or chest feeling tight

While these symptoms can feel overwhelming, they're definitely not unbeatable.

Let's dive into some tricks to help you prep and feel more confident when you're up against public speaking challenges.

Tip 1: Prepare a well-structured presentation

Success in public speaking begins with thorough preparation. Take the time to research your topic extensively and understand your audience's needs and expectations. Structure your presentation logically, and design visually engaging slides to support your message. Rehearse your script until you feel comfortable with its flow and content.

Tip 2: Polish and rehearse your script

Embrace a growth mindset and view challenges as opportunities for improvement. Practice delivering your speech aloud and use self-recording to evaluate your performance objectively. Seek feedback from friends or family members and incorporate their suggestions to refine your presentation. Familiarise yourself with the venue beforehand to alleviate any logistical concerns.

Tip 3: Challenge Negative Self-Talk

Identify and challenge the negative thoughts that contribute to your anxiety. Write down your concerns and the potential consequences you fear. Take a step back and assess whether these thoughts are realistic or exaggerated. Reframe negative self-talk with more balanced and empowering statements.

Tip 4: Create a Troubleshooting Plan

Anticipate potential challenges and devise strategies to address them proactively. For instance, keep a glass of water handy to combat dry mouth, or prepare standard responses for unexpected questions. Having a plan in place will boost your confidence and help you navigate any hurdles smoothly.

Tip 5: Practice Mindfulness

Incorporate relaxation techniques into your routine to manage anxiety effectively. Experiment with breathing exercises, visualisation, or meditation to calm your mind and body. Cultivate mindfulness habits that you can employ before, during, and after your presentations to stay grounded and focused.

When to Get Professional Help

If your presentation nerves are really starting to mess with your academic or personal life, it might be time to reach out for some extra support. Keep an eye out for signs like constantly avoiding presentations, messed-up sleep or eating habits, or weird physical symptoms that don't seem related to anxiety.

Consider chatting with a mental health pro or counsellor who can offer personalised advice and a listening ear. There are plenty of avenues of support you can turn to, including a range of programs and counselling services offered at UQ to help support students’ health and wellbeing.

Dealing with public speaking jitters is tough, but totally doable. Our university days are the perfect time to work on our presentation skills and boost our confidence. Push yourself a bit, tap into the resources around you, and you'll soon be rocking those speeches like a pro. Remember, every presentation is a chance to learn and grow.

Camila Franco

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Fear of public speaking: how can i overcome it, how can i overcome my fear of public speaking.

Fear of public speaking is a common form of anxiety. It can range from slight nervousness to paralyzing fear and panic. Many people with this fear avoid public speaking situations altogether, or they suffer through them with shaking hands and a quavering voice. But with preparation and persistence, you can overcome your fear.

These steps may help:

  • Know your topic. The better you understand what you're talking about — and the more you care about the topic — the less likely you'll make a mistake or get off track. And if you do get lost, you'll be able to recover quickly. Take some time to consider what questions the audience may ask and have your responses ready.
  • Get organized. Ahead of time, carefully plan out the information you want to present, including any props, audio or visual aids. The more organized you are, the less nervous you'll be. Use an outline on a small card to stay on track. If possible, visit the place where you'll be speaking and review available equipment before your presentation.
  • Practice, and then practice some more. Practice your complete presentation several times. Do it for some people you're comfortable with and ask for feedback. It may also be helpful to practice with a few people with whom you're less familiar. Consider making a video of your presentation so you can watch it and see opportunities for improvement.
  • Challenge specific worries. When you're afraid of something, you may overestimate the likelihood of bad things happening. List your specific worries. Then directly challenge them by identifying probable and alternative outcomes and any objective evidence that supports each worry or the likelihood that your feared outcomes will happen.
  • Visualize your success. Imagine that your presentation will go well. Positive thoughts can help decrease some of your negativity about your social performance and relieve some anxiety.
  • Do some deep breathing. This can be very calming. Take two or more deep, slow breaths before you get up to the podium and during your speech.
  • Focus on your material, not on your audience. People mainly pay attention to new information — not how it's presented. They may not notice your nervousness. If audience members do notice that you're nervous, they may root for you and want your presentation to be a success.
  • Don't fear a moment of silence. If you lose track of what you're saying or start to feel nervous and your mind goes blank, it may seem like you've been silent for an eternity. In reality, it's probably only a few seconds. Even if it's longer, it's likely your audience won't mind a pause to consider what you've been saying. Just take a few slow, deep breaths.
  • Recognize your success. After your speech or presentation, give yourself a pat on the back. It may not have been perfect, but chances are you're far more critical of yourself than your audience is. See if any of your specific worries actually occurred. Everyone makes mistakes. Look at any mistakes you made as an opportunity to improve your skills.
  • Get support. Join a group that offers support for people who have difficulty with public speaking. One effective resource is Toastmasters, a nonprofit organization with local chapters that focuses on training people in speaking and leadership skills.

If you can't overcome your fear with practice alone, consider seeking professional help. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a skills-based approach that can be a successful treatment for reducing fear of public speaking.

As another option, your doctor may prescribe a calming medication that you take before public speaking. If your doctor prescribes a medication, try it before your speaking engagement to see how it affects you.

Nervousness or anxiety in certain situations is normal, and public speaking is no exception. Known as performance anxiety, other examples include stage fright, test anxiety and writer's block. But people with severe performance anxiety that includes significant anxiety in other social situations may have social anxiety disorder (also called social phobia). Social anxiety disorder may require cognitive behavioral therapy, medications or a combination of the two.

Craig N. Sawchuk, Ph.D., L.P.

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  • Social anxiety disorder (social phobia). In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association, 2013. http://dsm.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed April 18, 2017.
  • 90 tips from Toastmasters. Toastmasters International. https://www.toastmasters.org/About/90th-Anniversary/90-Tips. Accessed April 18, 2017.
  • Stein MB, et al. Approach to treating social anxiety disorder in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 18, 2017.
  • How to keep fear of public speaking at bay. American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2017/02/tips-sidebar.aspx. Accessed April 18, 2017.
  • Jackson B, et al. Re-thinking anxiety: Using inoculation messages to reduce and reinterpret public speaking fears. PLOS One. 2017;12:e0169972.
  • Sawchuk CN (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 24, 2017.

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How to Recognize and Prevent a Public Speaking Panic Attack

How to recognize and prevent a public speaking panic attack.

Do you suffer from presentation anxiety —and its worst outcome, an overwhelming need to escape ? Here's how to recognize and prevent a public speaking panic attack! 

If you were given a 45-minute warning before a panic attack, would you find that information useful? And if you knew about two specific actions you can take to prevent or lessen the symptoms, wouldn't you want to give them a try?

Are pre-speech jitters (or worse) a problem for you? Learn to love public speaking instead! Get my free cheat sheet ,  "10 Fast and Effective Ways to Overcome Stage Fright."    

In my speech coaching practice, I work with professionals of all stripes concerning ways you can overcome fear of public speaking . Though people the world over suffer from  glossophobia or stage fright, the worst manifestation is an actual panic attack. It's one thing to be over- activated and anxious during a presentation —but it's another thing entirely to feel that you need to escape the situation immediately.   

Add to that the realization that you'll suffer, at best, humiliation, and at the worst, severe consequences where your job and career are concerned, and you can appreciate how miserable this extreme response brought on by public speaking anxiety can make a speaker.

How to overcome a panic attack using breathing and heart rate.

The Feeling of Being Ambushed by a Panic Attack

Panic attacks can often seem to "come out of the blue." One moment, you're focusing on the task at hand; and the next, you're in the grip of what feels  like a life-and-death situation. But research has shown that isn't the case —that, in fact, these attacks advertise themselves nearly an hour before they hit.  And the implication here is that by paying attention to some subtle signs, you can both anticipate the moment of crisis and prepare yourself in time.

A study in  Biological Psychiatry  began with this widely accepted hypothesis of spontaneous and unobservable onset. That is, that there are no discernible "cues or triggers" for panic attacks, and "physiological arousal or instability should [only] occur at the onset of, or during, the attack."   Through the use of 24-hour monitoring of panic disorder patients, however, the research team discovered that there are, in fact, measurable changes occurring in respiration, heart rate, and levels of skin conductance "as early as 47 minutes before panic onset." [1]

Breathing and respiration can help you anticipate a panic attack.

How to Monitor and Control Your 'Panic Indicators'

The fact that key physiological changes linked with a panic attack could be measured beforehand was, apparently, the critical finding in this study. Yet, aside from skin conductance level, the physical changes mentioned should not be a surprise for trained speech coaches helping people overcome speech anxiety.

They know all about increased heart rate and rapid shallow breathing.

These are, in fact, the two areas I work with clients in to help them recognize the physical forms of stage fright, and to calm themselves in the face of speech anxiety. Here, for instance, is a 5-minute technique to calm your fear of public speaking . 

That's a helpful exercise to generally put you in a calmer state and to reach a greater level of mindfulness . But what about heading off those panic attacks — the ultimate form of anxiety that can actually force you from the stage? Given the study mentioned here that offers nearly an hour's warning concerning what's coming, it makes sense to develop a more acute sensitivity to your breathing and heart rate.

To begin: Measure your normal respiration rate. That's the number of times you complete the cycle of inhalation + exhalation in one minute. Whatever your number is, treat that as your baseline. That gives you the information you need to pay attention if you're starting to breathe more rapidly (and probably, more shallowly). Similarly, your resting pulse rate versus a sudden speeding up or galloping is another indication that you're now much more activated.

Of course, there are many beneficial and enjoyable reasons your pulse and breathing may be increasing. But what the research seems to be showing is that, if these physiological changes are occurring because you have a presentation coming up, you can use self-monitoring to put yourself in a stronger position to manage them effectively. 

[1] A.E. Meuret, D. Rosenfield, F.H. Wilhelm, E. Zhou, A. Conrad, T. Ritz, W.T. Roth, “Do Unexpected Panic Attacks Occur Spontaneously?” Biological Psychiatry, 2011 Nov 15;70(10):985-91. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2011.05.027. Epub 2011 Jul 23.

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What Is Severe Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders can cause mild to severe symptoms, but treatment is available

  • Seeking Help

Risk Factors

Most people experience some anxiety. However, severe anxiety can be overwhelming and sometimes debilitating.

Severe anxiety occurs when the body's natural responses to anticipated stress exceed healthy levels. The symptoms—a racing heart, changes in breathing, and headaches—can hinder your ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

Long-term or recurrent severe anxiety can be a sign of an anxiety disorder . Left untreated, it can lead to chronic health problems, including heart disease .

This article discusses severe anxiety. It explains common anxiety reactions and how the severity can vary. It also offers tips for how to deal with severe anxiety and when to talk to your healthcare provider about it.

If you or a loved one is struggling with severe anxiety, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area. For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database .

The mind and body naturally perceive and react to potential threats automatically, with the goal of staying safe. This is often helpful and means your body is working the way it should.

Anxiety is a way of preparing for future stress or possible negative experiences.

However, when these feelings include constant worry or a chronic sense of threat or impending dread, it could signal an anxiety disorder.

Severe anxiety symptoms can become a persistent problem. They can interrupt daily functioning, impact quality of life, and become too difficult to manage. Severe anxiety can even bring about suicidal thoughts.

Mild, Moderate, and Severe Anxiety Symptoms

Anxiety, in a broad sense, is very common. In fact, it's the most common type of mental health disorder, with 33% of people being impacted by an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.

Symptoms of anxiety can impact a person's mind, behaviors, and physical well-being. Though anxiety symptoms can be different for each person, worry and avoidance are common.

The actual symptoms of severe anxiety are no different from mild or moderate anxiety. However, severe anxiety symptoms are less likely to be self-manageable.

In small amounts, as with mild levels of anxiety, worry can actually help you prepare, like when studying for a test or paying your bills before late fees kick in.

However, worrying too much about things that cannot be controlled can have a negative effect on overall well-being and is a sign that anxiety may be more severe.

Severe anxiety often causes avoidance, a type of behavior people use to escape uncomfortable feelings. It can mean physically avoiding something, such as crowds, or declining invitations to events.

In some cases, avoidance can lead to life choices like not preparing for a presentation due to feelings of nervousness. This type of behavior may temporarily circumvent anxiety, but avoidance is not an effective way to overcome it. When most severe, anxiety-induced avoidance can cause a person to withdraw from stressful interactions, such as socializing, making decisions, or working. It can even lead to isolation. It's common for social isolation itself to lead to anxiety and depression, adding to the problem.

Physical Symptoms

Severe anxiety can lead to physical symptoms. Muscle tension is a natural tightening of muscles when the body experiences stress. A tight jaw and tense abdominal muscles are examples of ways that muscles react to stress and anxiety.

Paying attention to specific ways your body feels when you are calm vs. anxious can help you recognize when you are experiencing anxiety symptoms.

These are common ways anxiety is experienced physically:

  • Upset stomach
  • Shallow breathing
  • Racing heartbeat

People with severe levels of anxiety might experience physical responses more frequently, more intensely, or with a more significant impact.

Long-term impacts from severe levels of anxiety symptoms can result in medical conditions like heart disease, an ulcer, or a lowered immune system .

Types of Severe Anxiety

Severe anxiety is not a formal diagnosis but a level of how serious the symptoms and impact of the anxiety disorder are. Anxiety disorders are categorized into different types based on the specific way symptoms are experienced.

Categories include:

  • Separation anxiety disorder
  • Selective mutism
  • Specific phobia , the most common type
  • Social anxiety disorder (social phobia)
  • Panic disorder
  • Agoraphobia (fear of public or crowded places)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder

Each type of anxiety disorder can range from mild to severe and requires different interventions based on the individual and the circumstance.

Anxiety disorders also come about at different points in a person's life, with most developing during childhood and adolescence, and they tend to fluctuate in severity throughout the course of the illness.

For example, separation anxiety disorder and specific phobias tend to arise during childhood, with an average age of diagnosis around 7 years old, while generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is more common later in life.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

If symptoms of anxiety are impacting your ability to function at work or in your personal life, contact your healthcare provider. Signs that warrant further evaluation include:

  • Difficulty controlling your worries or feelings of nervousness
  • Excessive worry about everyday things 
  • Fatigue or excessive tiredness
  • Headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or unexplained pains
  • Inability to concentrate on tasks
  • Irritability or feeling on edge
  • Panic attacks
  • Restless or inability to relax 
  • Trembling, twitching, or startling easily
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

When Is Anxiety an Emergency?

Severe anxiety accompanied by thoughts of suicide or self-harm requires emergency medical attention. In addition, panic attacks often mimic a heart attack or other serious health condition. Symptoms that should be evaluated promptly include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Extreme weakness 
  • Pounding or racing heart
  • Tingling or numbness in your hand and arms

However, if you have a history of panic attacks, follow the treatment plan from your healthcare provider. You may be prescribed a fast-acting anxiolytic (antianxiety medication). If medication does not resolve these troubling symptoms, seek medical care.

Causes of Severe Anxiety

The exact cause of anxiety disorders is unknown. Several factors can play a role, such as genetics and brain chemistry. Stress and your environment can also contribute to the development of severe anxiety.

Situations and events that may trigger an anxiety disorder are unique to individual experiences. These can include:

  • Difficult life experiences, such as the death of a loved one
  • Family issues
  • Financial insecurity
  • Having a baby (post-partum anxiety)
  • Health concerns
  • Miscarriage
  • Relationship problems, including divorce
  • Stressful childhood events
  • Worries over global issues, such as the COVID-19 pandemic , climate change , or politics

Symptoms of anxiety can also be caused by a physical health condition, such as thyroid problems or heart arrhythmia. Alcohol, caffeine, medications, and substance use can also trigger anxiety symptoms.

Anyone can develop an anxiety disorder, but it is more common in people with the following:

  • Childhood shyness or feeling distressed or nervous in new situations
  • Exposure to stressful and negative life or environmental events
  • A family history of anxiety or other mental disorders
  • Traumatic events in early childhood or adulthood

Anxiety Can Run in Families

Though it is difficult to determine who will be most at risk for developing an anxiety disorder, those with a close family member who has an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to develop an anxiety disorder themselves.

Severe Anxiety Diagnosis

Anxiety is one of the most underdiagnosed mental health disorders. Though it is very common, many people do not seek treatment for anxiety. One study found only 20% of people with an anxiety disorder seek help from healthcare providers.

If you're trying to manage severe anxiety alone, it may be time to seek professional care. Your healthcare provider or insurance company can help you to find a mental health professional.

Anxiety disorders can only be diagnosed by licensed mental health professionals. A provider will typically ask a series of questions to determine the type and severity of anxiety you're experiencing.

Anxiety disorders are highly co-occurring, meaning they are often present alongside depression, substance use disorders , and other conditions.

Measuring Anxiety Levels

The fifth edition of the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (DSM-5) includes diagnostic criteria for anxiety disorders.

Mental health professionals often use measurement scales to determine anxiety levels. These tools can determine how distressing and disruptive your anxiety symptoms are, which allows for a more personalized and effective treatment plan.

Examples of common anxiety-measurement scales include:

  • The Generalized Anxiety Disorder Assessment (GAD-7)
  • The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)
  • The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)

These assessments ask questions related to how often anxiety symptoms occur and how disruptive they are. Based on the responses, a determination of mild, moderate, or severe anxiety will be provided.

Severe Anxiety Treatment

Noticing and effectively addressing the feelings that come with anxiety is an important step toward treatment. Even severe levels of anxiety can be treated by working with a mental health professional. Sometimes, medication is recommended along with psychotherapy.

Though the specific treatment plan will depend on the individual needs of the person seeking help, some common treatment approaches include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Psycho-education about the disorder and how to manage it
  • Exposure therapy (for specific phobias)


  • Support groups

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most highly recommended intervention for overcoming anxiety due to its high level of effectiveness. CBT involves identifying negative thoughts and behaviors that contribute to anxiety with the goal of changing these in more adaptive ways.


Along with a formal intervention like CBT, psycho-education is often used to provide information about the nature of anxiety. A therapist will explain how it impacts health, functioning, and experiences, and ways it can be recognized and reduced.

Exposure Therapy

Sometimes, the best way to overcome anxiety, as with specific phobias, is to face the fear directly. With exposure therapy, a person is gradually introduced to the anxiety-causing stressor over time.

Seeing a snake across the room, then being near it, and then touching it is an example of exposure therapy. This type of therapy is done with the support of a qualified mental health professional.

Prior to being exposed to triggers, the therapist will first teach you relaxation techniques and tools for calming your anxiety. Practicing these new skills when calm will help you to implement them once the exposure stage of therapy begins.

Mindfulness is an evidence-based practice that can be done for severe anxiety. It can help people to overcome racing thoughts or constant worry with a focus on the present.

Research has shown promising results in people with severe anxiety and depression, especially those who haven't responded well to other interventions.

Support Groups

When working through severe anxiety, it's important to have ongoing support. Along with trusted friends, family members, and colleagues, support groups can be an impactful way to connect with others who are experiencing similar symptoms.

A mental health therapist will often provide recommendations for support groups based on the type of anxiety disorder a person is dealing with.

Coping and Prevention

It's important to find ways to cope with anxiety and to incorporate lifestyle practices that can help prevent your symptoms.

There are many ways to keep anxiety in check, including:

  • Getting regular exercise
  • Getting enough sleep every night
  • Relaxation exercises , including deep breathing, mindfulness exercises, and meditation
  • Eating healthy, nutritious, and regular meals
  • Limiting caffeine intake
  • Finding helpful social supports

A good routine can help to support the work that happens in therapy.

Anxiety is a common mental health concern. Severe anxiety can impact a person's overall well-being, ability to function, and enjoyment of life.

Anxiety disorders can range from mild to moderate to severe. It's important to work with a mental health professional to get an accurate diagnosis and start a treatment plan. With the right support, even severe anxiety can be reduced and managed.

Zlomuzica A, Kullmann F, Hesse J, Plank L, Dere E. Recognition memory, primacy vs. recency effects, and time perception in the online version of the fear of scream paradigm . Sci Rep . 2022;12(1):14258. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-18124-9

Bandelow B, Michaelis S. Epidemiology of anxiety disorders in the 21st century . Dialogues Clin Neurosci . 2015;17(3):327–35. doi:10.31887/DCNS.2015.17.3/bbandelow

Spinhoven P, Hoogerwerf E, van Giezen A, Greeven A. Mindfulness-based cognitive group therapy for treatment-refractory anxiety disorder: A pragmatic randomized controlled trial . J Anxiety Disord . 2022;90:102599. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2022.102599 

Barbosa-Camacho FJ, Romero-Limón OM, Ibarrola-Peña JC, et al. Depression, anxiety, and academic performance in COVID-19: a cross-sectional study . BMC Psychiatry . 2022;22(1):443. doi:10.1186/s12888-022-04062-3.

U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. Anxiety .

Bandelow B, Michaelis S, Wedekind D. Treatment of anxiety disorders . Dialogues Clin Neurosci . 2017;19(2):93-107. doi:10.31887/DCNS.2017.19.2/bbandelow

National Institute on Mental Health. Generalized anxiety disorder: when worry gets out of control .

National Institute of Mental Health. Panic disorder: when fear overwhelms . 

National Institute of Mental Health.  Anxiety disorders.

Ströhle A, Gensichen J, Domschke K. The diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders. Dtsch Arztebl Int . 2018;115(37):611–20. doi:10.3238/arztebl.2018.0611

Bystritsky A, Khalsa SS, Cameron ME, Schiffman J. Current diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders. P T . 2013;38(1):30-57.

American Psychological Association.  Exposure therapy .

Bandelow B, Lichte T, Rudolf S, Wiltink J, Beutel EM. The diagnosis of and treatment recommendations for anxiety disorders. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International . 2014;111(27-28):473. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2014.0473

By Melissa Porrey LPC, NCC Porrey is a licensed professional counselor and writer based in DC. She is a nationally board-certified counselor.

Oxford Brookes University

Presentation anxiety

Performing in front of a group of other students, colleagues and your lecturers is an inextricable part of the student experience here at Brookes. In principle, this is a fairly straightforward task. Yet speaking in public can unsettle or frighten some students.

This information is for those students who become anxious at the thought, or the reality, of presenting their work to others - even though they are well prepared. It also provides useful transferable skills with especial reference to interview techniques.

What is presentation anxiety?

Presentation anxiety is a response to fear and it manifests itself in a number of ways. Physical symptoms include – for example – blushing, shaking, stuttering, sweating, or being tongue tied.

Mentally, anxiety comes through in feeling muddled, feelings of not making sense, and losing the thread.

These feelings are so unpleasant that there is a temptation to avoid presentations altogether.

What are the causes?

A major cause is an overwhelming sense of others watching and judging, coupled with anxiety that ‘they think I'm stupid’. It is easy for these feelings to spiral into negative thoughts such as ‘I'm a total failure’. At this point, our sense of self esteem gets confused with our academic performance. Common issues are:

  • Perfectionism - Sometimes we can pressure ourselves by having unreasonably high expectations of what we should achieve, particularly if this is the first time we have done a presentation.
  • Avoidance  - Avoidance makes things worse because we never have the opportunity to test our assumptions. Going through the experience and seeing that we can survive intact will help us build up our confidence for next time.
  • Past experience  - Particularly if the experience was a negative one, past situations can influence how we might think and feel about a similar experience even though it is in a new context. Perhaps we were teased for blushing or stuttering at school, or remember times when our ideas were put down or rejected by the family or in public. Being in a situation where others are watching, judging or criticising can trigger feelings of anxiety or rejection associated with those past experiences. As a result we may be over critical of our performance, focusing on everything that went wrong, until we feel we are ‘no good at it’. This sets up a vicious spiral: next time our anxiety levels are even higher and we are less likely to do well.
  • Lack of confidence - Lack of self confidence can affect thinking, feelings, behaviour and body language. Labelling oneself unconfident means failing to appreciate the things we do do well. Confidence comes from doing things and having a go, learning from our mistakes.

What can I do about it?

Take control.

The key to success is to think positively; take control of your stress and anxiety by learning effective techniques to combat it. Relaxing bodily tension in order to reduce the physical sensations of stress is a good place to start. If your body is free of tension your mind tends to be relaxed. This helps you concentrate and perform better, take decisions and solve problems. When you are relaxed, you can view each task as a positive challenge, and use stress as a stimulus to help you to carry it out. You could try some relaxation exercises or the breathing exercise below.

Breathing exercise

Place one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. As you breathe in through your nose allow your stomach to swell. This means that you are using the diaphragm to breathe in and allowing air right down into your lungs. Try to keep the movement in your upper chest to a minimum and keep the movement gentle. Slowly and evenly breathe out through your nose. Repeat and get a rhythm going. You are aiming to take 8-12 breaths a minute: breathing in and breathing out again counts as one breath. Practise until it becomes a habit and switch to regular breathing when you next become anxious.

Problem solving

Find a new way to look at the problem. There is always more than one way of seeing things, which means that we may be able to act more effectively by looking at the problem differently. The key is to recognize our thoughts and the way that they have affected our mood and confidence. Think about:

  • What went through my mind at the time? What is it about this that matters to me now? What does this situation mean to me now? What does it mean about me now?

Finding a new viewpoint will give you more options and keep your thoughts in perspective. For example:

  • How would I think if I felt calmer? Or differently? What evidence is there that I'm useless, hopeless and so on? What is the worst that could happen? What can I do if it happens? Could I be making a mistake in how I see myself?

The run up...

Pigeon hole other anxieties

This involves consciously organizing your mind to temporarily put on one side all the other issues that concern you. Tell yourself that you will address these issues in due course, but for now you want to focus on the task ahead and give yourself time to prepare.

  • The more you do the more you'll feel like doing and the better you are likely to be.
  • Pretend! Act as if you are not feeling self conscious.
  • Have all your materials well organised before you start: pens, props, all your visual aids etc.
  • Do seek further advice on the practicalities associated with presentation skills from the  Careers Centre .

Try the following suggestions:

  • Refer back to your breathing exercises and concentrate on using them to defuse your anxieties and reduce the chances of shaking or sweating.
  • Think positively, challenging those negative thoughts like ‘I'm stupid’, ‘I can't do this’. Replace them consciously with ‘I can do this’. Remind yourself that what feels like an enormous problem to you probably isn't to those watching.
  • A useful technique that can help stop worrying thoughts crowding in is to visualise a ‘stop sign’ or draw a red dot on your work. As soon as you become conscious of your worrying thoughts, concentrate on your "stop" message. This helps keep you focused.
  • Focus on the content of your talk. As your turn approaches take a deep breath letting go of as much tension as is possible. When it's your turn to take centre stage use the adrenaline rush to feel alert and focused.
  • If you feel yourself blushing, ignore it and reassure yourself that it will die down once you've got going ! Say to yourself that you are not likely to be marked down for turning pink.
  • Slow your speech down, it helps you feel in control.
  • This web page was not designed to address how best to present your information. However, here are 3 basic principles: 1. keep it short and simple, don't be too ambitious, 2. use examples to illustrate your points and 3. have a card with your key points written on it, to which you can refer.

Using drugs of any sort (alcohol, stimulants, even too much caffeine) to ‘get through’ can adversely affect performance leaving you even less able to perform well. Facing your fear now will provide you with a skill for life.

After the presentation

  • Be encouraging, not disparaging, to yourself. Don't beat yourself up metaphorically for every mistake you spotted. Maybe the first step is just to survive and be able to stand up in front of the class.
  • Be kind to yourself and reward your efforts, focusing on your achievement.
  • If you make a mistake, use it to help in the future. Don't let it drag you down.
  • Think realistically about what you could have done differently and plan how to improve things next time. Perhaps ask one or two others for constructive feedback.

Where can I go for help?

  • Managing your Mind Butler G & Hope T (1996) Oxford University Press
  • Overcoming Anxiety Kennerley H (1997) Robinson
  • Conquer your Stress Cooper C & Palmer S (2000) Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development 

Your doctor

Brookes students can see a doctor at the Medical Centre on the Headington Campus.

If you are not registered with the Medical Centre, you should make an appointment with your own doctor.

Careers may be able to give advice on how to do good presentations.

Academic support staff

Your personal Academic Adviser, Module Leaders or Student Support Coordinator may be able to help with concerns about presentations.


Whatever you are experiencing, we are here to help and support you. If you feel, after examining these resources and putting some strategies in place, that you would like to talk to us, please fill in the registration form and we aim to offer you an assessment within 7 days. 

Student presenting in class

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How to Get Over Presentation Anxiety: 8 tips

Presentations are one of the necessary evils in life. For some, they come naturally, with others enjoy their moment in the spotlight. For others, the word presentation is enough to send a shiver down their spine.

Even if you hate them and would rather sit quietly in the corner, there will come a time when you have to give a presentation or engage in some form of public speaking. So, it’s important to be prepared and find the right relaxation techniques so the experience isn’t as stressful as you anticipate.

At DEXON , we understand the importance of presentations and view presentations as an important opportunity to flex your public speaking muscles and use technology to create an engaging experience for your audience.

With that in mind, we’ve created this complete guide on overcoming presentation anxiety, so you can face your next presentation confidently and reap the full benefit of public speaking!

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What is presentation anxiety?

Before we get into the specifics, it’s important that we first understand what we mean by presentation anxiety. Presentation anxiety usually refers to the fear of public speaking. For some, this is merely a simple case of stage fright that they can eventually overcome when they get into the presenting rhythm. Still, for others, presentation anxiety can be debilitating. In severe cases, presentation anxiety can cause panic attacks, physiological symptoms, insomnia, dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, and other anxiety-related illnesses and symptoms.

While severe cases of presentation anxiety tend to be confined to those facing particularly large crowds or those presenting in a high-pressure environment, such as for work or school-related events, we all experience some level of presentation anxiety.

You might experience this in the form of butterflies in your stomach or a fear of looking silly in front of large crowds, but the good news is that you can take constructive steps to make these feelings more manageable.

Why do a lot of us face anxiety issues during presentations?

The reason why we face presentation anxiety will differ from person to person. For some, this will result from a bad experience when presenting that’s left them feeling scared of facing future presentations. For others, this may result from underlying social anxiety that makes confronting new people much harder.

For most people, however, this nervous or scared feeling results from a fear of looking underprepared or unskilled during their presentation. Thankfully, it’s easy to curb this. The more prepared you are, the less anxiety you’re likely to face, as you’ll be confident in the knowledge that you’ve done everything you possibly can to put on an impressive presentation. It’s particularly important to curb this feeling of being scared due to a lack of preparation if facing an audience that will scrutinize you.

For example, suppose you’re conducting a presentation that you’ll be evaluated on at work. In that case, the best way to overcome anxiety is to be knowledgeable and confident in your core material.


How to get over presentation anxiety?

We know that overcoming presentation anxiety isn’t as simple as taking a few deep breaths, so here are eight tips we recommend to give yourself the best chance at putting on an impressive, engaging, and confident presentation.

1. Be organized

One of the most important and effective ways of overcoming presentation anxiety is to be prepared and organized. If you’re unorganized regarding your core material, the supplies you need, or your presentation timings, you’ll likely feel much more stress and anxiety as you’ll have very little direction.

To create a more calm environment when preparing for your presentation, be organized about your technology, core material, speaking points, and presentation cues and timings. This will help you feel a lot more confident in the run-up to your presentation.

2. Practice a lot

It’s important to never underestimate the importance of practicing when it comes to preparation. Practicing allows you to identify areas of your presentation that are weaker than others and rectify this before your presentation in front of a live audience.

This can help you feel more confident as you’ll be more content with your presentation material. With practice, you can also plan how to deliver certain parts of your presentation. This can help you feel more comfortable with audience interaction and confident delivery, leading to a more successful presentation.

Practice a lot

3. Be prepared from the tech side of things as well

When it comes to being prepared, it’s crucial not to neglect the technological side. Securing the correct technology for your presentation can be a long process, so it’s important to plan and understand what technology you will likely need.

For example, suppose you’re using a video wall to present the visual aspects of your presentation. To optimize your presentation, you’ll need the accompanying technology like matrix switchers , video wall processors , and video wall controllers . Having a detailed technology plan allows you to secure this technology quickly, leaving you feeling more prepared and calm. Being prepared regarding technology also refers to having the correct backup equipment on the day of your presentation.

You should consider bringing additional HDMI, VGA, and USB cables, microphones, and speakers to your presentation to account for unexpected errors or missing equipment. Having this equipment to hand will mean you won’t have to scramble at the last minute, leaving you feeling calmer.

4. Make a list of the things you need to cover

If you think your anxiety will likely lead you to forget your core material or cues, then you should make a detailed list of the things you need to cover in your presentation.

Sometimes, when you’re lost in the moment of presenting or very nervous, your mind can go blank, leaving you wondering what your next point is.

A detailed list will help you stay on track and cover all important points. This is especially beneficial if your presentation is likely evaluated by your audience, as you’ll need to provide as much information as possible for a successful delivery.

5. Focus on your material, not your audience

When you’re presenting, one of the best ways to overcome anxiety or fear of scrutiny is to focus on delivering your core material in a way that’s engaging to you, not focusing on your audience.

While considering your audience and including interaction in your presentation is a central part of putting on an engaging presentation, you should try to ignore their presence if it’s likely to interfere with your delivery.

Try to find a focal point at the back of your venue and concentrate on this throughout your presentation, or have your AV team place a spotlight on you throughout your presentation. This will black out a good portion of your audience and stop you from focusing on their faces.

6. Take regular pauses

Speaking clearly is key to holding your audience’s engagement throughout your presentation.

When you’re nervous, you might be more inclined to speak rapidly, meaning it’s much easier for crucial information to get lost. If this is likely to happen, consciously think about including pauses in your sentences.

Having a few seconds of reflection can help you gather your thoughts, calm down, and allow your audience to digest what you’ve said.

Speaking clearly

7. Consider finding help from AV professionals

If you’re anxious about approaching a very large presentation with lots of visual and audio elements by yourself, consider enlisting some help from AV professionals such as integrators that can make the experience more manageable for you.

These professionals can help you find ways of utilizing your technology more effectively and provide you with a single interface to coordinate and operate your AV equipment, helping you feel more confident in your AV elements.

8. Gather feedback

If you struggle with presentations but know you’re likely to face more in the future, consider gathering feedback after your presentation. Reflecting on your performance allows you to identify and celebrate successes and feel more confident in the future. Additionally, you can identify areas to improve, allowing you to work on these and feel more prepared for future presentations.

Final thoughts

If you’re looking to secure technology that can transform your presentation into one that you can feel confident in and proud of, consider DEXON’s catalog of processors, switchers, and controllers. We supply a comprehensive range of products designed to take your presentations to the next level. Shop with us today to find out how we can help you.

DEXON Systems +36 23 422 804 +36 23 445 199

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Anxiety Disorders

What is anxiety.

Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. Many people worry about things such as health, money, or family problems. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For people with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, schoolwork, and relationships.

There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and various phobia-related disorders.

What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety?

Generalized anxiety disorder.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) usually involves a persistent feeling of anxiety or dread, which can interfere with daily life. It is not the same as occasionally worrying about things or experiencing anxiety due to stressful life events. People living with GAD experience frequent anxiety for months, if not years.

Symptoms of GAD include:

  • Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Being irritable
  • Having headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or unexplained pains
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep

Panic disorder

People with panic disorder have frequent and unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear, discomfort, or sense of losing control even when there is no clear danger or trigger. Not everyone who experiences a panic attack will develop panic disorder.

During a panic attack, a person may experience:

  • Pounding or racing heart
  • Trembling or tingling
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Feelings of being out of control

People with panic disorder often worry about when the next attack will happen and actively try to prevent future attacks by avoiding places, situations, or behaviors they associate with panic attacks. Panic attacks can occur as frequently as several times a day or as rarely as a few times a year.

Social anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder is an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others. For people with social anxiety disorder, the fear of social situations may feel so intense that it seems beyond their control. For some people, this fear may get in the way of going to work, attending school, or doing everyday things.

People with social anxiety disorder may experience:

  • Blushing, sweating, or trembling
  • Stomachaches
  • Rigid body posture or speaking with an overly soft voice
  • Difficulty making eye contact or being around people they don’t know
  • Feelings of self-consciousness or fear that people will judge them negatively

Phobia-related disorders

A phobia is an intense fear of—or aversion to—specific objects or situations. Although it can be realistic to be anxious in some circumstances, the fear people with phobias feel is out of proportion to the actual danger caused by the situation or object.

People with a phobia:

  • May have an irrational or excessive worry about encountering the feared object or situation
  • Take active steps to avoid the feared object or situation
  • Experience immediate intense anxiety upon encountering the feared object or situation
  • Endure unavoidable objects and situations with intense anxiety

There are several types of phobias and phobia-related disorders:

Specific phobias (sometimes called simple phobias) : As the name suggests, people who have a specific phobia have an intense fear of, or feel intense anxiety about, specific types of objects or situations. Some examples of specific phobias include the fear of:

  • Specific animals, such as spiders, dogs, or snakes
  • Receiving injections

Social anxiety disorder (previously called social phobia) : People with social anxiety disorder have a general intense fear of, or anxiety toward, social or performance situations. They worry that actions or behaviors associated with their anxiety will be negatively evaluated by others, leading them to feel embarrassed. This worry often causes people with social anxiety to avoid social situations. Social anxiety disorder can manifest in a range of situations, such as within the workplace or the school environment.

Agoraphobia: People with agoraphobia have an intense fear of two or more of the following situations:

  • Using public transportation
  • Being in open spaces
  • Being in enclosed spaces
  • Standing in line or being in a crowd
  • Being outside of the home alone

People with agoraphobia often avoid these situations, in part, because they think being able to leave might be difficult or impossible in the event they have panic-like reactions or other embarrassing symptoms. In the most severe form of agoraphobia, an individual can become housebound.

Separation anxiety disorder: Separation anxiety is often thought of as something that only children deal with. However, adults can also be diagnosed with separation anxiety disorder. People with separation anxiety disorder fear being away from the people they are close to. They often worry that something bad might happen to their loved ones while they are not together. This fear makes them avoid being alone or away from their loved ones. They may have bad dreams about being separated or feel unwell when separation is about to happen.

Selective mutism: A somewhat rare disorder associated with anxiety is selective mutism. Selective mutism occurs when people fail to speak in specific social situations despite having normal language skills. Selective mutism usually occurs before the age of 5 and is often associated with extreme shyness, fear of social embarrassment, compulsive traits, withdrawal, clinging behavior, and temper tantrums. People diagnosed with selective mutism are often also diagnosed with other anxiety disorders.

What are the risk factors for anxiety?

Researchers are finding that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the risk of developing an anxiety disorder.

The risk factors for each type of anxiety disorder vary. However, some general risk factors include:

  • Shyness or feeling distressed or nervous in new situations in childhood
  • Exposure to stressful and negative life or environmental events
  • A history of anxiety or other mental disorders in biological relatives

Anxiety symptoms can be produced or aggravated by:

  • Some physical health conditions, such as thyroid problems or heart arrhythmia
  • Caffeine or other substances/medications

If you think you may have an anxiety disorder, getting a physical examination from a health care provider may help them diagnose your symptoms and find the right treatment.

How is anxiety treated?

Anxiety disorders are generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both. There are many ways to treat anxiety, and you should work with a health care provider to choose the best treatment for you.


Psychotherapy or “talk therapy” can help people with anxiety disorders. To be effective, psychotherapy must be directed at your specific anxieties and tailored to your needs.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an example of one type of psychotherapy that can help people with anxiety disorders. It teaches people different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to situations to help you feel less anxious and fearful. CBT has been well studied and is the gold standard for psychotherapy.

Exposure therapy is a CBT method that is used to treat anxiety disorders. Exposure therapy focuses on confronting the fears underlying an anxiety disorder to help people engage in activities they have been avoiding. Exposure therapy is sometimes used along with relaxation exercises.

Acceptance and commitment therapy

Another treatment option for some anxiety disorders is acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). ACT takes a different approach than CBT to negative thoughts. It uses strategies such as mindfulness and goal setting to reduce discomfort and anxiety. Compared to CBT, ACT is a newer form of psychotherapy treatment, so less data are available on its effectiveness.

Medication does not cure anxiety disorders but can help relieve symptoms. Health care providers, such as a psychiatrist or primary care provider, can prescribe medication for anxiety. Some states also allow psychologists who have received specialized training to prescribe psychiatric medications. The most common classes of medications used to combat anxiety disorders are antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications (such as benzodiazepines), and beta-blockers.


Antidepressants are used to treat depression, but they can also be helpful for treating anxiety disorders. They may help improve the way your brain uses certain chemicals that control mood or stress. You may need to try several different antidepressant medicines before finding the one that improves your symptoms and has manageable side effects.

Antidepressants can take several weeks to start working so it’s important to give the medication a chance before reaching a conclusion about its effectiveness. If you begin taking antidepressants, do not stop taking them without the help of a health care provider. Your provider can help you slowly and safely decrease your dose. Stopping them abruptly can cause withdrawal symptoms.

In some cases, children, teenagers, and adults younger than 25 may experience increased suicidal thoughts or behavior when taking antidepressant medications, especially in the first few weeks after starting or when the dose is changed. Because of this, people of all ages taking antidepressants should be watched closely, especially during the first few weeks of treatment.

Anti-anxiety medications

Anti-anxiety medications can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety, panic attacks, or extreme fear and worry. The most common anti-anxiety medications are called benzodiazepines. Although benzodiazepines are sometimes used as first-line treatments for generalized anxiety disorder, they have both benefits and drawbacks.

Benzodiazepines are effective in relieving anxiety and take effect more quickly than antidepressant medications. However, some people build up a tolerance to these medications and need higher and higher doses to get the same effect. Some people even become dependent on them.

To avoid these problems, health care providers usually prescribe benzodiazepines for short periods of time.

If people suddenly stop taking benzodiazepines, they may have withdrawal symptoms, or their anxiety may return. Therefore, benzodiazepines should be tapered off slowly. Your provider can help you slowly and safely decrease your dose.


Although beta-blockers are most often used to treat high blood pressure, they can help relieve the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as rapid heartbeat, shaking, trembling, and blushing. These medications can help people keep physical symptoms under control when taken for short periods. They can also be used “as needed” to reduce acute anxiety, including to prevent some predictable forms of performance anxieties.

Choosing the right medication

Some types of drugs may work better for specific types of anxiety disorders, so people should work closely with a health care provider to identify which medication is best for them. Certain substances such as caffeine, some over-the-counter cold medicines, illicit drugs, and herbal supplements may aggravate the symptoms of anxiety disorders or interact with prescribed medication. People should talk with a health care provider, so they can learn which substances are safe and which to avoid.

Choosing the right medication, medication dose, and treatment plan should be done under an expert’s care and should be based on a person’s needs and their medical situation. Your and your provider may try several medicines before finding the right one.

Support groups

Some people with anxiety disorders might benefit from joining a self-help or support group and sharing their problems and achievements with others. Support groups are available both in person and online. However, any advice you receive from a support group member should be used cautiously and does not replace treatment recommendations from a health care provider.

Stress management techniques

Stress management techniques, such as exercise, mindfulness, and meditation, also can reduce anxiety symptoms and enhance the effects of psychotherapy. You can learn more about how these techniques benefit your treatment by talking with a health care provider.

How can I find a clinical trial for anxiety?

Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.

Researchers at NIMH and around the country conduct many studies with patients and healthy volunteers. We have new and better treatment options today because of what clinical trials uncovered years ago. Be part of tomorrow’s medical breakthroughs. Talk to your health care provider about clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is right for you.

To learn more or find a study, visit:

  • NIMH’s Clinical Trials webpage : Information about participating in clinical trials
  • Clinicaltrials.gov: Current Studies on Anxiety Disorders  : List of clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) being conducted across the country
  • Join a Study: Adults - Anxiety Disorders : List of studies being conducted on the NIH Campus in Bethesda, MD
  • Join a Study: Children - Anxiety Disorders : List of studies being conducted on the NIH Campus in Bethesda, MD

Where can I learn more about anxiety?

Free brochures and shareable resources.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): When Worry Gets Out of Control : This brochure describes the signs, symptoms, and treatment of generalized anxiety disorder.
  • I’m So Stressed Out! : This fact sheet intended for teens and young adults presents information about stress, anxiety, and ways to cope when feeling overwhelmed.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: When Unwanted Thoughts Take Over : This brochure describes the signs, symptoms, and treatment of OCD.
  • Panic Disorder: When Fear Overwhelms : This brochure describes the signs, symptoms, and treatments of panic disorder.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: More Than Just Shyness : This brochure describes the signs, symptoms, and treatment of social anxiety disorder.
  • Shareable Resources on Anxiety Disorders : Help support anxiety awareness and education in your community. Use these digital resources, including graphics and messages, to spread the word about anxiety disorders.
  • Mental Health Minute: Anxiety Disorders in Adults :Take a mental health minute to watch this video about anxiety disorders in adults.
  • Mental Health Minute: Stress and Anxiety in Adolescents : Take a mental health minute to watch this video about stress and anxiety in adolescents.
  • NIMH Expert Discusses Managing Stress and Anxiety : Learn about coping with stressful situations and when to seek help.
  • GREAT : Learn helpful practices to manage stress and anxiety. GREAT was developed by Dr. Krystal Lewis, a licensed clinical psychologist at NIMH.
  • Getting to Know Your Brain: Dealing with Stress : Test your knowledge about stress and the brain. Also learn how to create and use a “ stress catcher ” to practice strategies to deal with stress.
  • Guided Visualization: Dealing with Stress : Learn how the brain handles stress and practice a guided visualization activity.
  • Panic Disorder: The Symptoms : Learn about the signs and symptoms of panic disorder.

Federal resources

  • Anxiety Disorders   (MedlinePlus – also en español  )

Research and statistics

  • Journal Articles   : References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine).
  • Statistics: Anxiety Disorder : This webpage provides information on the statistics currently available on the prevalence and treatment of anxiety among people in the U.S.

Last Reviewed: April 2024

Unless otherwise specified, the information on our website and in our publications is in the public domain and may be reused or copied without permission. However, you may not reuse or copy images. Please cite the National Institute of Mental Health as the source. Read our copyright policy to learn more about our guidelines for reusing NIMH content.


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  1. How do you deal with presentation anxiety. : r/AskAcademia

    Think about whether your slides are helping or not - they are a reminder to guide you rather than the story you have to follow. If you find yourself wanting to say one thing but the slides push you in a different direction, change them. Hopefully you end up with a match to the natural flow you want. 3. Reply.

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    Your emotional brain needs to learn that the worst scenario (i.e., embarassing yourself) is quite survivable. Breath slowly before the presentation: take four seconds to inhale, hold for four seconds, take four seconds to exhale, hold for four seconds. Repeat this to keep your brain from stepping on the gas pedal.

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    Take a breath. Hold it in and focus. Imagine you're chatting with some friends. If it makes it easier at first, look at a wall, or a window, and occasionally at people. It isn't easy, it doesn't really go away, but it gets much much easier. It just takes time. 15. bushgoliath. • 2 yr. ago.

  4. Severe presentation anxiety : r/Anxiety

    Get the Reddit app Scan this QR code to download the app now. Or check it out in the app stores ... Severe presentation anxiety . Advice Needed ... Since then I have a severe fear of public speaking but next week I have to deliver a big presentation for my degree, in which I need to speak for 8 minutes. Only the thought of it keeps me awake at ...

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    The only way to reduce anxiety is to reprogram your brain to be desensitized to the fight or flight jolt you get when you speak publicly. There are lots of little "tricks" but repetition is your best friend for this. Reply. MrBoleus. •. Looks like repetition is my bad friend and it's getting worse with every try.

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    TLDR: ongoing severe debilitating anxiety for over 6 months daily (nervous system stuck in survival mode). concerns about toll of stress on body and heart. struggles with medication trials. has anyone experienced anything similar and/or have medication or any other form of treatment suggestions?

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    if your anxiety really is 'crippling' then seek therapy, but otherwise, practice, the more you do the easier it'll become, particularly as you gain confidence in your subject matter, of course if its more than just nerves then again, therapy. Reply. ACatGod. • 2 yr. ago.

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    Controlled breathing exercises can help you manage immediate symptoms of presentation anxiety. Practice deep, slow breathing techniques regularly, especially before your presentation, and try some mindfulness techniques too. This can help lower your heart rate, reduce shaking, and promote a sense of calm. 4.

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    Practice deep breathing exercises before stepping onto the stage to calm those nerves. Besides deep breathing, adopting power poses backstage can significantly boost your confidence levels. Although it may sound crazy, this is a tip from social psychologists that has helped many speakers take control of their anxiety.

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    If your presentation nerves are really starting to mess with your academic or personal life, it might be time to reach out for some extra support. Keep an eye out for signs like constantly avoiding presentations, messed-up sleep or eating habits, or weird physical symptoms that don't seem related to anxiety.

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    Cognitive behavioral therapy is a skills-based approach that can be a successful treatment for reducing fear of public speaking. As another option, your doctor may prescribe a calming medication that you take before public speaking. If your doctor prescribes a medication, try it before your speaking engagement to see how it affects you.

  16. Rising 3rd year with social anxiety : r/medicalschool

    The best treatment for fears, like public speaking, is systematic desensitization. Also, as an introvert who had similar fears with public speaking who actually came to enjoy presentations and patient encounters, exposing yourself to it works. Propranolol for the physical effects of anxiety when you're presenting.

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    Psych yourself up. Turn your nervousness into excitement. Convince yourself that you can't wait to get out there, connect with people, share valuable information and make a difference, large or small, in people's lives. Ignore your mistakes. If you flub something, keep going.

  18. How to Recognize and Prevent a Public Speaking Panic Attack

    To begin: Measure your normal respiration rate. That's the number of times you complete the cycle of inhalation + exhalation in one minute. Whatever your number is, treat that as your baseline. That gives you the information you need to pay attention if you're starting to breathe more rapidly (and probably, more shallowly).

  19. Severe Anxiety: What Causes It and How to Get Relief

    Severe anxiety often causes avoidance, a type of behavior people use to escape uncomfortable feelings. It can mean physically avoiding something, such as crowds, or declining invitations to events. In some cases, avoidance can lead to life choices like not preparing for a presentation due to feelings of nervousness.

  20. Presentation anxiety

    Presentation anxiety. Performing in front of a group of other students, colleagues and your lecturers is an inextricable part of the student experience here at Brookes. In principle, this is a fairly straightforward task. Yet speaking in public can unsettle or frighten some students. This information is for those students who become anxious at ...

  21. How to Get Over Presentation Anxiety: 8 tips

    1. Be organized. One of the most important and effective ways of overcoming presentation anxiety is to be prepared and organized. If you're unorganized regarding your core material, the supplies you need, or your presentation timings, you'll likely feel much more stress and anxiety as you'll have very little direction.

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  23. r/Anxiety on Reddit: How common do you think people with anxiety think

    Yes, someone very close to me had vague symptoms and thought she had ALS. We all thought she was just being a hypochondriac, but she did have ALS. That said, her symptoms were nothing like twitching, tingling, numbness - they were very, very different and not typical of anxiety. I won't mention them here, because I know how an anxious mind ...