I love the month of May for a few reasons: it’s my birthday month, the weather is warming up (I LOVE hot weather!), and I can start doing my walks by the lake again. Can you say Winning!!
May is also Mental Health Awareness Month. And if you’re someone who’s uncomfortable with public speaking, just the thought of doing it can cause high levels of stress and anxiety. If this is you, know that you’re not alone – glossophobia (public speaking anxiety) affects up to 75% of the population, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
It doesn’t have to feel overwhelming though! Here are five ways that you can protect your mental health when engaging in public speaking:
1. Practice being present: The 5-4-3-2-1 technique is used to cope with anxiety. It grounds you in the present and shifts you away from anxious thoughts. You use your five senses to stay focused on the moment you are in. Here’s how it works:
Remember to take a deep breath before, during, and after this activity.
2. Prioritize self-care: It’s important to prioritize self-care activities such as exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep, and taking time to relax and recharge. Are there any areas you could improve in that will affect your mental health positively?
3. Set realistic expectations: Setting realistic expectations for yourself can help reduce stress and anxiety. Recognize that you can’t control everything and that mistakes happen. Remind yourself that you’re not there to give a perfect presentation; you’re there to help improve the audience members’ condition in some way. What do you want them to think, feel, or do differently?
4. Stay organized: Staying organized and planning ahead can help you feel properly prepared to stand and deliver. This includes blocking out sufficient time in advance to brainstorm content, write and practice, as well as having a backup plan in case of unforeseen events.
5. Seek support: It’s important to have a support system of friends, family, and colleagues who can offer emotional support and encouragement. Consider joining a local public speaking group or working with a coach who can provide a customized plan and guidance to help you achieve your speaking goals.
It’s not always easy getting up in front of others, no matter the audience size. Your mental state is important when it comes to how you perform, so make sure you have practices in place that are conducive to building your mental wellness.
Are you ready to work with a Certified World Class Speaking Coach who can transform you from simply being a public speaker to being a POWERFUL PRESENTER? I work with Christian female entrepreneurs and professionals to be confident, clear, engaging speakers. If this year has to be different for you, let’s hop on a call today. Schedule your complimentary discovery call here.
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As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
- 1 Peter 4:10-11
Roquita is a proud partner of Black Speakers Network.