Banish Nervousness When Speaking In Public: Remember It Feels Like Sex

Banish Nervousness When Speaking In Public: Remember It Feels Like Sex

If you’ve got stage fright, you’ll remember someone telling you “imagine the audience naked”. That advice makes sense if you realise that the symptoms of nervousness often match sexual arousal.

Photo by Highways Agency.

We’ve suggested seeing the audience as your equal and general tips for being more comfortable with public speaking. If those aren’t working for you, reframe your feelings as a positive. Business Insider reports on a wacky approach:

One of the biggest reasons people struggle with stage fright is the anxiety that sets in after feeling their body go into its fight or flight response.

But instead of thinking of a quickened heartbeat, flushed cheeks, and aroused awareness as harbingers of doom, Dr. Morgan trains his pupils to perceive them as symptoms that will lead to a positive experience. As he was fond of telling students when he taught at Princeton University, our body’s response before a big performance is the same as its response before sex.

“When you think the arousal is going to lead to a pleasant circumstance, the arousal isn’t so bad,” he said.

Obviously you don’t want to take this idea too far, especially in front of an audience. Just remember that the symptoms of nervousness don’t always mean something bad is happening.

5 Ways to Keep Your Cool During a Big Presentation [Business Insider]


  • It’s a skill like any other. There are few people who are naturally effective public speakers … most need to learn how and practice.

    Our politicians go through extensive media training for this very reason, resulting in the current heinous robotic speaking manner adopted by Gillard/Abbott/others.

    • Heinous is the right word, possibly abhorrent would be useful as well. I mute and read sub titles or read a transcript. Otherwise I just want to throw something at the screen.

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