Reducing Anxiety When Speaking English As A Foreign Language

By Monica B. Nice

Why does trying to speak another language make us so nervous? It's incredible how someone can be brilliant in other highly complex subjects and have panic attacks when they have to learn another language. This is so common that there is even The Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS). So how can you overcome this common problem? Below are a few ideas that could help.Learning another language is hard and feeling nervous about learning it is normal. It's like having to give a presentation about what you've learned every day. That's not expected in any other subjects. You are often given weeks or at least days to prepare to present in other circumstances. Learning a language is different in so many ways.

People always experience the feeling of fear or being troubled before facing something that is challenging such as an examination, interview, test, and recital. Actually, these feelings are normal and can be easily justified. Anxiety is normal. It will become a problem if it interferes in your normal and regular daily activities. One of the most common symptoms of ineffective anxiety is the inability to sleep. If you can't continue life dealing with the public, you might suffer from a public speaking anxiety.Public speaking anxiety is commonly termed as stage fright or speech anxiety. Public speaking anxiety involves the feeling of fear to be evaluated or scrutinized by other people. The feeling of fear is always coming with several emotional and physical reactions that usually hinder the person's capability to deliver his presentation or speech successfully. Additional symptoms include an extreme feeling of anxiety, sweating, worry, shaking or trembling, nervousness, dizziness and fainting.

Here's the Good News on managing speech anxiety - I can tell you exactly how to control the over-creation of adrenalin within 15 minutes of you having to stand up to give a speech. I am going to inform you of a doctor-prescribed, safe, inexpensive and non-addictive pill (medication) that will eliminate your symptoms of fear almost instantaneously. Therefore, I can show you how to speak in public without the symptoms of feeling frightened. And if you can "speak in public without the symptoms of feeling frightened " guess what - YOU CAN SPEAK IN PUBLIC"! Since the pill is a doctor-prescribed medication, not an over-the-counter medication, you will have an opportunity to discuss it with your doctor to confirm that it is safe for you to take. But I can assure you - it is perfectly safe for the vast majority of us. This may sound too easy, but believe me once you learn the physical reason for your speech anxiety or stage fright , you will be able to speak in public better than you've ever thought possible.

This line of thinking leads us to believe that nobody will like what we have to say. Well, I have news for you, not everyone will like what you say. Some people will and other people won't. There is nothing you can do about that, but to deliver your message.

The Chairwoman of the local Institute made a short welcoming speech and then introduced the author and the ladies clapped. He rose slowly to his feet and approached the microphone."Ladies," he began, "On my way here tonight, only God and I knew what I was going to say. Now, only God knows!" And he promptly left the stage!Anxiety about making speeches is far more common than you would think.There are many strategies that can be used to help deal with anxiety caused by having to deliver a speech. One of the major reasons for anxiety is being under prepared.If you are going to paint a door, let's say, then to do a really good job, you must prepare the surface well by rubbing it down with sandpaper. Then perhaps you need to seal the wood before applying undercoat and then one or maybe two coats of the gloss or matte paint.

OK, so we understand what causes the anxiety but how can we overcome it? Below are a few tips to help you in your next public speaking experience:Hello Anxiety!We all get nervous and you will get nervous before your next speech. Welcome the anxiety! The feelings that you are experiencing is a fear of performance. Tell yourself that it is OK to be nervous and that we are able to function with it.

This approach can be accomplished by "breaking the ice" comments. Some people may engage in small talk prior to the official presentation to reduce anxiety.Know the Material.Out of all the tips, this one is crucial. Knowing what you are talking about will help you reduce anxiety. It is recommended to practice your speech. This exercise helps build confidence, and confidence will help reduce anxiety. Practice in front of a mirror if necessary.

For instance, if we were in a situation where we stood embarrassed in front of our schoolmates without saying a word,--- that could be it. Even though we were not speaking in public, our brains perceived our fear just standing there in front of other people as we thought that we looked foolish and/or scared. In a nutshell - what happens to some of us during this type of incident is our brain links our intense negative feelings with merely standing in front of other people as they look at us. It almost sounds silly that deep fears that control us as adults often have such trivial moments of creation in childhood. Often they last only a minute, but it is a minute that can last a lifetime. I'm sure the people who initiated these terrible incidents in our lives so many years ago never think back to them or to us for that matter. They have no idea what they said or did during that incident had such a profound and lasting effect on us.Our fears may only be "in our head" but that's enough to make us react as we do to speaking in public and other anxiety-prone situations. I'm sure you already realize - it's pretty difficult to change what's "in our head" even if we can figure out why it's "in our head" to begin with and why we react as we do to perceived "threatening situations" such as speaking in public.

Luckily for us, understanding the true source of our fear doesn't really matter. For some reason our brains have created a connection/link between standing up in front of people and speaking with a "threatening situation" of intense vulnerability.And let me say this now - our fears are completely independent of our intelligence. In fact, I believe those with higher IQ's may actually be more susceptible to fears brought about by childhood events than those of lower intelligence.Realistically, a deep-seeded fear may not be "curable" (in the clinical sense of the word). This is because it is a result of our genetic makeup and our external & internal conditioning which is a result of one or more of those incidents I mentioned that created our feelings of anxiety in the first place. But, as I'll explain in a moment - you do not have to cure your fear; you need only to cure the symptoms of that fear in order to be able to function without fear.For those of us with a serious fear of speaking in public our minds create what I'll call a "malfunction" of our natural defense system. It is our natural defense system that identifies a "threatening situation" that may confront us and creates the "fight or flight" response in our bodies. For us, when put into a position to speak in public our body's natural "fight or flight" response initiates the over-creation of adrenaline because we perceive speaking in public as a very serious "threatening situation."Therefore, the bad news in this discussion is the fact that our minds cause our bodies to create exorbitant amounts of adrenaline completely out of our control. And it is adrenaline that creates all of the symptoms that make us look and feel frightened.This understanding that it is the over-creation of adrenaline that creates my symptoms exactly at the time when I must speak in public was the key to finding a cure to my speech anxiety. And I promise you - it is the key for you as well.

Remember that public speaking anxiety is a self fulfilling prophecy. If you think the speech will go wrong, you will seek for validation of errors. Additionally, if you use visual aid make sure that if it does not work, you are prepared. That is why it is recommended for you to know the material. I have seen many presentations where the presenter relies heavily on the visual aid. Remember, the message is what is important. Everything else supplements your message.

As I mentioned, it is adrenaline that creates our symptoms of fear and anxiety completely out of our control. But what if you could control the adrenaline your body creates- then you would be in control!! That is what my research discovered and that is what I can show you how to do - control the adrenaline your body creates by taking a safe, inexpensive and non-addictive medication. And once I show you, you can do it anytime you want, on demand - just 15 minutes before a speaking engagement or performance.No you don't and here's why - Taking the medication during public speaking engagements over a period of time, allows the brain to re-think how it feels about speaking in public. With the medication, each public speaking event will increase your confidence as you realize you don't look or feel frightened. Your brain will eventually understand that public speaking is not the threatening situation that it has assumed. The medication can make it much easier to transition through the period of fearing to speak in public and being confident to speak in public. Because of this, the medication should not be considered a "crutch", but rather a "training aid" that will allow you to re-train your brain to understand that speaking in public does not require an overabundance of adrenaline in order to survive.

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