Overcome Your Fear Of Public Speaking By Activating Your 'Go' System

Many of us loathe having to speak in public and would avoid it if we could, even though we also care about our public speaking performance. To overcome this conflict and fear, Psychology Today suggests we tap into our bodies' primeval systems.

As the article explains, everyone has a physical "Stop" and "Go" system — also known as "Behavioural Activation System (BAS)" and "Behavioural Inhibition System (BIS)". These are subsystems in our brain that regulate our behaviour and motivation. As you might expect, when the Stop system is activated, we're more inhibited and likely to have avoidance behaviours, while an activated Go system would encourage feelings of excitement or hope, helping us to act.

Here's an interesting note about introverts, those who may be even less inclined towards public speaking:

Many introverts seem to have extra-strength Stop systems that tend to act up as they contemplate doing scary things like speech-giving

Whether you have an extra-strong Stop system or just an average-strength one, you can override it — and overcome your fear of public speaking or similar inhibitions — by stimulating your Go system.

To do this, do something – anything – that makes you feel "up" and excited.

Exercising or having a good laugh before you have to make your presentation are a couple of examples. You could also try playing inspirational or energising music.

Combine this with other public speaking tips, and you could well be on your way to having anxiety-free public speaking experiences.

What public speaking techniques do you use? Share them with us in the comments. Photo by jamesjyu

Why You Fear Public Speaking, and What to Do About It [Psychology Today]


    Have found 30-45 minutes moderate exercise helps, but I joined Toastmasters and now rehearse a presentation with friends before taking it to work colleagues. Only took half a dozen practice talks to improve the 'BAS' reduce the 'BIS' and increase the $$$

    think of them in their uunddeeerweaaarrr

    Toastmasters is the key.. I have been going for three years now and I have seen people go from bursting into tears when they publicly speak to crafting a great speech delivered.

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