What are we at stake when we speak in public ? Why do we have so much stage fright ? How come we suddenly feel so ridiculous?

Surely it has happened to all of us at some time, we have been intimidated when it comes to having to communicate something to others. But why does it happen and how can we control it?
Since we were little, we have been told how important the content of our messages is, the “what to say” , however, there is not so much emphasis on “how to say it” . To transmit information we have to make sure we reach the other and for that it is essential to use both verbal communication (voice volume, intonation, vocalization, rhythm of words and pauses) and non-verbal  communication (body posture, expressiveness of the face, gestures, gaze and breathing).
According to studies carried out on the subject, we know that verbal language represents 25% of the message and non-verbal language 75%. Verbal information is processed by our brain in a logical way, while non-verbal information is perceived intuitively.
Pascale Bang-Rouhet shows us in her book “What do we play when we speak in public?” an interesting vision when it comes to approaching the subject. He invites us to create a mental theater with a professional character who will be in charge of making the exhibitions before an audience. This fictional character will be the author, the actor and the director of the play that we are going to represent. Acting under the prism of this character allows us to let go of our insecurities, shyness, feelings of incompetence, etc., and put ourselves in the role of a speaker who convinces and reaches his audience.


Since non-verbal communication accounts for three-quarters of the message, we will start with it:
  • The breathing is an essential part for good execution in public. Before we begin, we must regulate our breathing so that our nervousness is under control. To do this, we will look for a diaphragmatic, low, slow and leisurely breathing.
  • Regarding body posture and gestures , it is important to take into account several aspects:
    • The feet should be anchored to the ground, slightly ajar at shoulder height.
    • The arms must act with a balanced protagonism. Closing your arms or hands can be perceived as a sign of distancing yourself from the public.
    • The head must be straight, between the two shoulders and with the chin towards the chest.
    • Hands with open palms reveal that the speaker has nothing to hide.
  • The gaze must be panoramic and move slowly between all the components of our audience, since everyone must feel integrated so that they do not lose interest.
  • Our face must express emotions of joy to maintain the audience’s concentration. The smile helps to connect with people, just as flexible and expressive eyebrows invite positive emotions.
The verbal communication  is responsible for capturing the concentration of the listener hearing because the content is listening:
  • The voice must be energetic, the volume of the voice high to reach the entire audience and the words must be vocalized to facilitate their understanding.
  • If we endow the speech with emotional involvement and creativity, we will be giving it the correct intonation and rhythm . With intonation we will also be able to unblock body language, since it is the intonations that cause the gestures and expression of the face.
  • The rhythm of the speech should be changeable, including informative and emotional phrases.
  • The silences and pauses are necessary, give value to the words we say and we allow breathing to control nervousness.
If you are looking for a  Psychologist   to  lose and overcome the fear of speaking in public , do not hesitate to  contact  us.
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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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