Kaisa Osola is a public speaking coach who is a teacher in speech communication, speech art and radio journalism at Kallio Upper Secondary School of Performing Arts in Helsinki, Finland. Her latest joy on the coaching side has been training altogether 60 journalists of Helsingin Sanomat to give a live speech on the stages of the Finnish National Theatre. The concept, HS Musta laatikko, consists of previously unpublished journalistic stories told to a live audience.
What is the anxiety of speaking?
The anxiety of speaking is a subjective experience both mental and physical. It’s subjective because different people have different thoughts. However, anxiety is not a synonym for failure. The more challenging we estimate a situation to be, the more energy our body autonomously evolves: our adrenaline starts to flow, our heart rate doubles or triples in order to make our blood to circulate.
Kaisa’s piece of advice for dealing with anxiety of speaking
Before you start your preparation for an important speech or talk, shift your mindset from the speaker’s perspective to your subject and your audience.
Step 1: Accept it. Understand the phenomenon and challenge all negative beliefs.
Step 2: Rehearse and rehearse. You get confidence so when you’re at the stage you will feel “I’ve already done this.”
Step 3: Prepare your body and take care of your body. Take the adrenaline out and be in control of it. You can do it with some physical exercise, listening to calm music or with some breathing exercise.
“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” — Leonard Cohen
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Take care of your body and know your body, so you know how it reacts.
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