Presented by CWiC Advisors
If public speaking makes you nervous, then you are not alone. As many as 75% of college students have reported having anxiety about public speaking (McCroskey, 1998 & 2000). Dr. James McCroskey has defined communication apprehension as "the fear or anxiety associated with real or anticipated communication with others" (1997). You can asses your level of anxiety by completing McCroskey's Personal Report of Communication Apprehension.
What should you do to become a confident speaker?
1. Attend CWiC's Speaking with Confidence -- Controlling Nervousness workshop.
2. Meet with an advisor at CWiC's Speaking Center.
3. Enroll in a CWiC critical speaking course.
4. Read Conquer Your Speech Anxiety: Learn How to Overcome Your Nervousness About Public Speaking by Dr. Karen Dwyer.
5. Review the links on this page.
Zuckerberg is visibly nervous throughout this presentation. However, it is evident that his preparation and knowledge keeps him from losing his confidence and keeps the audience's attention. This video shows that it is normal to be nervous, but you can have a successful presentation as long as you don't let your nerves overwhelm you.
Video Length: 11:19
Axtell asserts that good breathing techniques during a presentation can help you keep your mind clear and focused. She describes the proper stance for breathing and recommends to breathe inaudibly and to strive for maximum lung capacity on the first breath.
Axtell, Katherine. Proper Breathing in Public Speaking. Whitman College.
Peck recommends speakers to breathe deeply and accept that being nervous is normal. The trick is to manage your nerves. Because it is impossible to completely rid yourself of the anxiety. Don't try to be perfect: Focus on communicating with your audience.
Peck, Nan. 2005. Managing Speaking Apprehension. Northern Virginia Community College.
In this resource, Robinson stresses some activities that you can do before a speech: Breathing exercises, tensing and relaxing our muscles, and getting a good night's sleep the day before your presentation.
Robinson, J. Dealing With Nervousness in Oral Presentations. Douglas College Learning Center.
Depersonalization - a technique in which a speaker defines himself as a deliverer of a message - is one way to decrease nervousness. The focus is on the message, not the speaker.
Ferraro, Vincent and Palmer, K. Speaking and Arguing: The Rhetoric of Peace and War. Mount Holyoke College.