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This brain hack cured my public speaking anxiety

This Brain Hack Will Instantly Cure Public Speaking Anxiety

Our brain operates in two primary modes when we're preparing for a public speaking event: the analytical and the unconscious.

The analytical brain is where we process information, plan, and critique. While essential for preparation, it can become a hindrance during performance, leading to overthinking and memory blocks.

The unconscious brain, on the other hand, is where skills and behaviors become second nature, like driving a car or riding a bike. When we speak from this part of our brain, our words flow more naturally and confidently.

Step 1: Recognize and Redirect the Inner Critic

Imagine a scenario where, right before a big presentation, a voice in your head starts doubting your abilities. This voice is your analytical brain, over-analyzing and critiquing. It's crucial to recognize this as just a part of your brain's function, not the truth.

Picture this critic as an imaginary character, let's call him 'Bob,' whose sole job is to cast doubt. Acknowledge Bob's presence but don't engage in an argument. This detachment is the first step in shifting control from the analytical to the unconscious brain.

Step 2: Engage in Sensory-Focused Activities

To shift from overthinking to a state of flow, engage in activities that focus on movement or sensory experiences.

For example, try a simple exercise: count the number of times the letter 'T' appears in a paragraph. This task requires complete focus, diverting your mind from anxiety to the present task, thereby activating the unconscious brain.

Step 3: The Art of Preparation and Practice

Effective preparation goes beyond gathering information; it involves practicing it out loud. This practice helps transfer knowledge from the analytical to the unconscious brain.

For instance, if you're preparing for an interview, don't just list potential questions and answers. Practice saying them aloud, refining your responses with each repetition. This method ensures that during the actual event, your responses come more naturally, as if on autopilot.

Step 4: Techniques to Maintain Focus and Manage Anxiety

Before your speaking event, engage in activities that keep the analytical brain occupied. This could be deep breathing exercises, where you focus on each inhale and exhale, or a simple observation game, like silently naming colors you see around you.

These techniques help keep the analytical brain busy, allowing the unconscious brain to guide your performance.

Step 5: Handling In-the-Moment Negative Thoughts

During your speech, if you find yourself slipping into self-criticism, it's a sign that the analytical brain is taking over. To counter this, have a 'focus point' – it could be your breath, a spot in the room, or even the faces in your audience.

Redirecting your focus to these points helps you return to the state of flow.

Embracing Anxiety as a Normal Part of the Process

It's important to remember that feeling anxious is a natural response. The objective is not to eliminate these feelings but to understand and manage them. People are usually more anxious about the fact that they are anxious, than being anxious about the situation itself.

If you wish to watch a more detailed mini-course in video format,

You can watch that here