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Question
Posted by: Garfield | 2008/06/18

talks about talks

Hi CS & Readers

Please can you assist me with some useful suggestions.

I have been invited to do a speech at a very prestigious event mid September, which is great and I would very much like to do t.

The problem which arrises is that for the last 12 years I get very nervous speaking in fron of large groups of people (can't breathe/talk or think!). A seated discussion is no trouble even when in front of 5000 people. When I have to stand up in front of people and have them stare at me is when I faulter.

I do not think that Toastmasters will allow sufficient time to prepare before September as they only meet once a month.

I would really like to have intensive 1-to-1 appointments with someone that specialises in speaches and overcoming fears. (I used to be a real dram queen and loved being the centre of attention, so I know I still have it in me somewhere?!)

Is there a speech therapist or some other profession that deals with this that anyone can recommend? (Please bear in mind that I need to get all this accomplished by September!)

Many Thanks

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Our expert says:
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Being nervous about speaking in public is a common problem, generally part of Social Anxiety Disorder. It responds, fortunately, very well indeed and usually relatively rapidly, to CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ) and possibly some AD medications as wellm or betablockers which reduce the physical symptoms of such nervousness but not the psychological nervousness. You don't need someone specializing in speeches as such, but in social; anxiety disorder, which in your case obviously will focus on the speaking situation. I'm sure after relatively few 1-on-1 sessions you will enjoy the event in September, and will be looking out for other opportunities to speak.
Just as a thought, some people ( and some current TV ads ) suggest you simply imagine the audience sitting there in the nude. But I suspect the idea of confronting 5000 nudes at once could be rather frightening, too.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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