Reducing Anxiety...

Research shows that speech anxiety is caused by self-focused attention. So, training techniques that amplify a self-focus amplify anxiety.

Some Insights Into Anxiety...

  1. Treating public speaking as acting increases anxiety.
  2. Gimmicks (e.g., " imagine the audience naked") actually make anxiety worse.
  3. Only 40% of the public report a fear of speaking, but this fear runs a range from harmless speech anxiety talk to full blown panic attacks.
  4. Self-focused attention underlies social anxiety. Presentational Speaking can train you to focus on external, rather than internal, cues prior to speaking.
  5. Most studies of anxiety have been conducted on male rats -- who don't speak. Newer human research demonstrates that affiliation is a stronger response than fight or flight.

Speech Anxiety Talk...

Why do people identify public speaking as their number one fear, but most of these same people don't allow anxiety to preclude their other communications? It's because how you think about communication affects how you communicate. The question creates images of performing. If you have watched the Academy Awards, you've probably noticed that most actors are not really good at awards speeches. If a performance model worked, it should work for actors. Presentational Speaking will show you how to prevent your Speech Anxiety Talk (the benign self-deprecating chatter that often precedes a speaking event) from becoming true anxiety. How you think about communicating affects how you communicate.

Self-focused attention...

If you feel anxious, these feelings are not usually exhibited in your actions. But, an initial anxious sensation can lead to other similar feelings occurring each time you think about speaking in public. An association forms between these thoughts and sensations. The danger of harmless Speech Anxiety Talk is that you begin to believe it and focus your attention inward away from others. When this focus bombards and overwhelms you, the result can be severe anxiety, such as performance anxiety. You may even isolate yourself from any public speaking opportunity, undercutting professional success.

An interesting research study demonstrated how even severly anxious speakers have a natural desire to enage others. This study discovered that severely anxious speakers preferred to briefly gaze at neutral faces. Of course, neutral faces are not neutral. These facial displays signal an openess to engage. The so-called "neutral" quality suggests that these people in the audience can be infuenced by the speaker's actions. Plus, it reveals a speaker's natural tendency, even when confronted with severe anxiety or panic, to connect with others. Presentational Speaking can create strategies for you to maximize engagement and to eliminate self-focused attention.


Individual or Group Coaching

Effective training is doing. We put you on your feet practicing techniques that develop your skills as a powerful communicator.

Design Powerful PowerPoints

Too many presentations emphasize information. Replace an outdated info delivery approach with an action perspective. Learn to create powerful speeches.

Speech Writing Seminars

Speech writing and writing are two distinct brain processes. Forcing yourself to write in a style that doesn't match your speaking results in frustration and speech anxiety.


  • Reducing anxiety

    Conquer your speech anxiety using our scientifically based techniques

  • Speech tips

    Fine tune your abilities with these insights into speaking and media interviewing.

  • Resources

    Research our comprehensive list of resources for public speaking