Making a speech, ‘working the room’, taking a driving test, doing a presentation of any kind?
A few days before you really start to get nervous, the night before you find it hard to concentrate and on the actual day you are a bag of nerves – and the whole thing becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
One of the top three things that people really fear is public performance. In our busy professional lives it is virtually impossible to get by without some type of performance.
This could range from a one to one to a small team meeting to a larger more formal presentation or lecture. Performance (and the anxiety that goes with it) can also take the form of an interview, a driving test or even a 'happy' event like a marriage or speech.
Experiencing anxiety both before and during a presentation is very common. It may be a speech, in meetings, or perhaps you regularly have to perform in some capacity. Sometimes this anxiety can begin to affect you physiologically
If you experience performance anxiety you may be; Preoccupied with a negative outcome
Concerned and overcome by the thought of the event Experiencing shaking or tremors
Having shortness of breath and an increased heart rate Having flushes, blushing or sweating
Suffering from insomnia Feeling panicky and/or out of control
Sometimes, over monitoring of your internal experience or repeated negative personal 'self-talk' lead to many of these symptoms - which then in turn reinforces the fear being generated. Good performance skills are essential for many parts of our lives and the anxiety can sometimes become crippling, even leading to phobia or panic attacks.