Stress and Public Speaking
Individuals fear public speaking more than anything else in the world. Public speaking defined by the Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia is “the art or process of making speeches in public”. (“Public Speaking”) A fear of public speaking is placed under the category of a social phobia which can be defined as “an intense and irrational fear of being judged by others when speaking in front of them - or of making mistakes, being embarrassed or humiliated in such situations.” (“Fear of Public Speaking”) When people have a fear of public speaking there are many symptoms they feel such as dread, anxiety, sweaty palms, increase heart rate, trembling, and negative self-focused cognitions. All of these symptoms are signs of the stress response, which can be also called the fight or flight response. Days before a public speaking event and during the public speaking event I have all of these symptoms causing my stress level to be higher than normal. The goal of this paper is to understand why these symptoms occur and in turn cause a stress response, research ways to reduce or control this fear, and to implement ways to reduce and control this fear in order to try to lower my stress levels during public speaking events.
Throughout my four years as a health promotion and fitness management major at Rowan University I have learned how negatively stress can affect your overall health. The negative health affects stress causes on the body are problems such as increased blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, obesity, and depression. As stated previously one main area in my life where I have stress is during public speaking events. Increased stress levels during public speaking situations began when I was in middle school and when I started to have to do presentations in front of classmates. These situations caused me to speak really fast, poorly annunciate my words, increased my...