Panic Attacks and Public Speaking: Mastering the Mic

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Panic attacks and public speaking

There are very few things people fear more than public speaking. Often times they prefer death to getting up in front of a crowd and putting themselves on full display. Panic attacks and public speaking are one of the most common fears that bind all of us.

This was a big one for me. I knew that at some point I had to take a lecture class in school. Simply knowing this fact would send me into a tailspin.

In fact, the week I started my lecture class, I decided to quit school and move out of the state. That class was a big factor in my decision. Panic attacks and public speaking literally changed the trajectory of my life.

Public speaking doesn’t have to be the traditional “on the podium” event. It can be as simple as stating your name and what you do from sitting behind the comfort of your classroom desk or expressing an opinion in a boardroom meeting.

The fear is that we will have panic attacks in the middle of speaking. We imagine not being able to finish a sentence and be put on full display in front of everyone, possibly leaping from the stage and running out of the room as if our hair is on fire.

Even for those who don’t experience panic attacks, they fear going blank while speaking or being slightly uncomfortable in the spotlight. For them, it doesn’t progress beyond this point. They simply notice and move forward.

For us, many sleepless nights are spent imagining all kinds of world ending scenarios. We’re drenched in cold sweat know that at some point we’ll be forced to take the stage.

How Does One Handle Panic Attacks and Public Speaking?

The first thing is acceptance. You must accept that these unnerving sensations aren’t going to go away over night. In fact, you are not even going to focus your attention on them at all. When you arrive at your moment of presentation, you’re going to try something else.

Confidence needs to be built back to where it was before all these body sensations occurred. This allows you to attack the anxiety in a unique, empowering manner.

Some of the top speakers and performers are riddled with anxiety before getting up in front of people. They use their nervousness to their advantage.

This Is How You Do It.

The average healthy person can experience a whole variety of uncomfortable sensations while performing or giving a speech with no danger or risk of ever losing control. No matter how difficult or uncomfortable it gets, they are able to finish what they’re doing and appear in control.

It is important to remember you won’t be incapacitated in any way.

The real breakthrough happens when you fully believe that you’re not in danger and that the sensations will pass. By asking for more, you’re saying:

“I realize that panic attacks hold no threat over me.”

What keeps the cycle of panic attacks happening over and over is fearing the fear. You fear that the next panic attack will rock you so much that it will send you over the edge.

Continuous panic attacks weaken your confidence over time. When you change the way you approach these situations, you can have a new response realizing there is no real threat at all.

When you’re feeling a low level of anxiety, a panic attack can be triggered by simply thinking the following:

I won’t be able to handle this in front of people.

That split second of self-doubt leads to a rush of adrenaline and a tsunami of extreme anxiety can come rushing in. However, if you react to the initial twinge of anxiety with confidence, you’ll process the anxiety rapidly.

This puts you in the driver seat and in control of the situation. It is ok to feel scared about the situation. Of course its scary! It’s fine. You’ll feel it, move with it and come out on the other side ok. None of these world-ending thoughts you’ve been thinking will come true anyway.

As a performer, I’ve had to overcome this very same issue. By exposing myself over and over again to the situation, I’ve learned to be comfortable with the anxiety and use it to my advantage.

Read my story here. I promise you that you can handle your anxiety and get through these situations. The reward from conquering your anxiety is life changing. Panic Away helps you step by step through this process.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are experiencing severe or persistent anxiety, please consult a qualified healthcare professional for personalized guidance and support.

Henry Flury

Henry Flury, the guitarist from Butcher Babies, shares his journey of overcoming panic attacks to help others facing the same issue. He started writing to fill the gap in panic attack education online. His blog focuses on understanding anxious thoughts and offers guidance on managing panic attacks for anyone dealing with panic disorder.

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