Do you have a fear of speaking in public? Your social and work lives can be strongly influenced by a fear of public speaking. Experts in speech and language therapy use many techniques to help you improve your communication skills and build your confidence as a public speaker. Let us have a look at some of the techniques to improve your communication skills.
Why Seek Speech and Language Therapy?
Sadly, many people suffer from this problem and do not seek help. This fear may cause them to feel helpless and negatively impact both their personal and work life. But do not worry we are here to help you by providing an online therapy for speech and language.
We do not usually think of speech therapy as a solution for fear of public speaking as we commonly assume that it only treats clinical or educational problems. But, a lot of service users help people develop their public speaking skills and lower their stage fright. They use a variety of ways to help anyone seeking to improve their communication skills and maintain calmness, competence, and confidence when speaking in front of groups of people.
1. Take a Deep Breath and SwallowWhen we are nervous we usually feel like we are out of breath. This happens because the flight or fight response is activated when we panic or are in a situation that we fear. So breathing problems are common that interfere with our speaking and can make us feel embarrassed. Therefore experts in speech and language therapy suggest taking a few deep breaths when you are about to start. Deep breathing will help you to relax your diaphragm. It is one of the key muscles we use to breathe, which is found near the base of our lungs. By taking deep breaths our diaphragm will relax hence lungs will also relax. Enabling you to calm yourself and speak easily and clearly.
Your mouth also becomes dry when you are in a state of fear. So swallowing saliva helps to moisten your mouth for easy speaking.
- Put a hand on your diaphragm (lower chest).
- Inhale slowly like you are filling the air in your lungs.
- Hold it for 3 seconds.
- Then exhale slowly, releasing all the worry.
2. Nonverbal Language
When you feel confident you will be better able to speak in public and convey your message effortlessly. Nonverbal language is the main key to looking confident. It involves gestures such as making eye contact, hand motions, or expressing positive facial expressions. An expert in speech and language therapy helps to communicate both in verbal and nonverbal language.
- Smile or make eye contact with someone in the public. It will help you to connect with the audience. So that you can speak with ease and clarity.
- Use signals to add meaning. Such as pointing toward the screen or slides from where you are presenting.
- You can move around the room as well to release your stage fright and engage more audience as well.
It is the process of producing a sound or uttering words. To regulate the flow of air, you can use their lips, tongues, teeth, jaws, and mouth palates. Many people have a hard time forming their words correctly and clearly while speaking in front of an audience. When you do not use your mouth correctly such as opening your enough mouth. You may commonly come off as uneasy, disrupting your speech’s flow. For instance, a person with an articulation problem may say “wed” instead of “red” in his speech. This makes it harder for a listener to grasp what you are saying.
Experts in speech and language therapy use many ways to enhance articulation and improve your communication skills when you are under pressure, which is as follows.
- Tongue Exercise: Correctly moving your tongue will help you to speak more clearly. This exercise will help you to move your tongue to produce the correct sound as you speak. For instance, stick your tongue and rotate it, then put it back. Or move it inside your mouth in each corner. Practice and learn the correct position of the tongue when producing ‘t’, ‘r’, or ‘o’ sounds.
- Lips Exercise: Mouth or lip position is also important for producing the correct and clear sound. Try pouting your lips, then letting them down. It will help you properly coordinate your mouth muscles with the sound you want to produce.
- Smiling: Smiling will help you to improve your motor skills to use mouth muscles for speaking properly.
- Reading Aloud: It will help you to move both your mouth and lips muscles. For instance, you can practice your presentation slides loudly. You can practice this technique in a private room to perform it without any hurdles.
4. Accent and Tone
Some people have stronger accents so others may find it difficult to understand what they are saying. They have difficulty speaking clearly and in a proper tone of voice. Their accent may be attractive but they face difficulty in speaking clearly and cannot express the ideas they are trying to get through. Speech therapists employ a variety of techniques to assist clients to improve their communications skills such as
- Imitation: You can practice repeating certain sounds which you face difficulty in speaking such as “curriculum”. Repeat the word several times to pronounce it.
- Minimal Pair Exercise: In the similar words are differentiated and spoken such as bright, right, and might.
- Visual Aid: Many visual tools, including images, mirrors, and charts, can assist with the correct pronunciation of words.
- Vowel Practice: Enhancing the way you pronounce and emphasize various vowels. Such as focusing on ‘o’ or ‘u’ sounds.
- Tongue Twister: It involves the repetition of words and sentences with similar and succeeding sounds. Such as practice saying, “I Scream. I scream, you scream, we all scream, for ice cream!“
All of these techniques of speech and language therapy may lead to more confidence and decrease your fear of speaking in public.
Call to Action
Further, you can enroll in the “DBT for Social Anxiety” or “Low Self-Esteem” course on our website as speech and language problems can be due to low self-esteem and social fear. The mentioned courses will help you to build your esteem and manage your social fears as well.
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