Nally) Beat Your BLIC SPEAK­ING!

Cosmopolitan (India) - - YOU, YOU, YOU -

Su­naina Gird­har, 32, runs a suc­cess­ful events com­pany in Mum­bai, and a ma­jor part of her job re­quires mak­ing busi­ness pitches and pre­sen­ta­tions to prospec­tive clients and col­leagues. She’s amaz­ingly thor­ough—and con­fi­dent—when it comes to re­search­ing, meet­ing, and schmooz­ing with clients, but there’s a lit­tle prob­lem...Su­naina is ter­ri­fied of mak­ing busi­ness speeches and pro­pos­als. “I know it sounds silly, given my pro­fes­sion, but just the thought of talk­ing in front of peo­ple makes me jit­tery. I of­ten find my­self in a sit­u­a­tion where I’m in front of 10 peo­ple and am dumb-founded for words. Which is why I have a team of peo­ple who do the job for me, while I sit qui­etly on the side, say­ing as lit­tle as pos­si­ble. I’m great at do­ing ev­ery­thing else, as long as you don’t ask me to talk. I know this harms my ca­reer at some level, but I re­ally can’t help it.” Un­sur­pris­ingly, Su­naina is hardly alone. Glos­so­pho­bia, pop­u­larly known as speech anx­i­ety, is a med­i­cal con­di­tion that arises with the fear of pub­lic speak­ing. And ac­cord­ing to a poll by the Wall Street Jour­nal, pub­lic speak­ing is one of the most com­mon fears in the world! Worry not though, be­cause we have the so­lu­tions! Ac­cord­ing to Glenn Cros­ton, Ph. D., the panic of get­ting in front of a crowd comes from a fear of re­jec­tion. “At a pri­mal level, the fear is so great be­cause we are not merely afraid of be­ing em­bar­rassed, or judged. We are afraid of be­ing re­jected from the so­cial group, os­tracised and left to de­fend our­selves all on our own.” As a so­cial psy­chol­o­gist, teacher, and a suf­ferer of so­cial anx­i­ety, Dr. Signe Day­hoff had in­tense fear of pub­lic speak­ing ev­ery time he got up to teach a class. “My tongue stuck to the roof of my dry mouth and I couldn’t swal­low. I blushed, sweated and trem­bled,” he said. Get­ting help made him deal with the sit­u­a­tion bet­ter. “As I re­cov­ered 12 years ago, us­ing pa­tience, per­sis­tence, and prac­tice, I dis­cov­ered that nearly 20 mil­lion in­di­vid­u­als at any one time suf­fer from some form of so­cial anx­i­ety.” Feel­ing afraid on stage? Tackle the phys­i­cal symp­toms first, says Se­nior Med­i­cal Writer, Daniel J. DeNoon. “Dry mouth? Take a lit­tle sip of wa­ter. Knees knock­ing? Shift your weight and flex your knees. Hands trem­bling? Put them to­gether.” And Dr. Paul L Witt’s so­lu­tion to a quiv­er­ing voice is to pause, take a deep breath or two, and smile. He it is amaz­ing what a smile will do. As for sweat­ing? You should for­get about it be­cause no­body re­ally sees that any­way, says Witt. All you need to do is ad­mit that you are a bit ner­vous about speak­ing to your au­di­ence. They will be more for­giv­ing if your ner­vous­ness shows up later on. Also, you’ll feel more re­laxed now as they won’t be ex­pect­ing a world-class pre­sen­ta­tion. And then imag­ine their sur­prise when you de­liver an ex­cel­lent one! A

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