University of Washington - Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity
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Tips for Managing Anxiety
- You will
never be perfectly calm so don't expect to be. However,
you can make the anxiety work to your advantage.
not to spend too much time before your presentation worrying.
Don't change your regular routine.
at the place where you are giving your speech early enough
to get organized and feel comfortable with your surroundings.
about topics that you are interested in.
- Be prepared.
Be organized. Make sure you rehearse out loud.
highlighters to emphasize the transitions and sources on
your speech with the same notes with which you rehearsed.
Do not rewrite the notes unless you have plenty of time to
practice with the new version.
a tape recorder to practice your speech. This will allow
for the development of a conversational/natural speaking
standing up as though you were actually giving the speech.
If possible, go to the room you will speak in and rehearse
your speech out loud. The ears have sense memory just as
your body does, and you will retain more of the speech if
you practice aloud.
writing your speech out word for word. Instead, work with
concepts and ideas. It is natural and desirable for a speech
to be phrased somewhat differently every time it is delivered.
to breathe and swallow during your speech. Use pauses as
places to breathe and/or swallow.
- If you
suffer from cottonmouth, drink water before speaking. It's
often okay to bring a water bottle to the podium with you.
It also helps to suck a super-sour piece of hard candy before
you speak -- one that doesn't turn your tongue
a funny color.
perfectly acceptable to pause to collect your thoughts.
- On the
day of your speech, wear clothing that is comfortable, but
professional. If you feel confident about your appearance,
it will show in your demeanor.
to just act naturally. Be yourself and let your personality
- If there
is a chance that you will play with your watch, earrings,
rings, necklace, glasses, etc., take them off before giving
the speech. However, don't call attention to this by
waiting until your name is called for speaking.
gestures to release some of the physical tension. Don't
try to freeze yourself. Practice in front of a mirror and
watch your gestures.
- If you
stumble over a word or forget how to pronounce a word, simply
say the world and go on with the speech. Don't call
attention to it by apologizing profusely.
- Be very
familiar with your preview and transitions. If you blank
in the middle of a main point, summarize it and go on to
the next transition. Don't say things like "I
don't know what the next point is,"
or "I forgot that point." If you don't tell
us, we probably won't know you forgot something.
obtained from the Oral Communication Program web page sponsored
by the William
& Mary Department of Theater and Speech, http://www.wm.edu/oral-communication/anxiety.html]
|Last Revised: May 9, 2016