public speaking

Stress in Public Speaking and Other Performance Situations

New York Times Magazine, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

“Studies that compare professionals with amateur competitors — whether concert pianists, male rugby or female volleyball players — show that professionals feel just as much anxiety as amateurs. The difference is in how they interpret their anxiety. The amateurs view it as detrimental, while the professionals tend to view stress as energizing. It gets them to focus.”

One of the aspects of public speaking that people struggle with is that nerves and anxiety associated with speaking are a normal day to day part of public speaking. They are told that nerves are normal, they will always be there, get over it, and learn to live with the nerves and so on. And they also struggle to believe that professional speakers and great speakers also feel nerves and anxiety before performing. The above research further illustrates this truth with regard to performing, sports, competing or speaking. The article also points out that when you recognise that the anxiety and stress is a normal part of public speaking and it can be used to energise you and help to put you into your peak performance mode, the sooner you will be able to deal with it.

I speak for my living and I get nervous before every presentation. I am so glad that is normal.

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