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6 tips for dealing with speaking anxiety

6 tips for dealing with speaking anxiety


Hi there. My name is Emma, and today, we are going
to be talking about a scary topic: “Tips for dealing with speaking anxiety”. What do I
mean by ‘anxiety’, just in case you don’t know that word? What I mean is… have you
ever, maybe gotten very nervous before talking to someone in English or even in your own language?
Maybe you have a presentation to give, and right before the presentation your
hands get all wet and sweaty, your heart starts to beat. For some people, they start to shake.
Speaking anxiety is not a fun thing to go through, and people get it for meetings, when
they even just go to a party, or out with their friends, some people get nervous, especially
if they have to speak in a different language. Looking at engvid.com, I’ve noticed a lot of
you have asked, “How do I deal with speaking anxiety? How can I become a more confident
speaker?” This video is going to talk specifically about that, and give you
some good tips to use. These tips are all tested, because as some
of you may know, I have a second language. I speak English — that’s my native language
— my second language is French. When I was learning French, I had a lot of these types of
situations, where maybe in class the teacher would ask me a question, and I would panic.
As I tried to talk, I just couldn’t find the right words. My heart would start to race,
and my language-speaking ability would just drop. I’d start to make mistakes. I knew they
were mistakes, but for some reason, because I was so nervous, I wasn’t able to communicate well.
I made lots of mistakes that I knew I shouldn’t be making. Let’s look at some of these tips. Some of these
tips, before we begin, are maybe a little bit common sense. Maybe you’ve heard these
tips before, but ask yourself: do you actually do these things when you speak? Because it’s
one thing to know that something is good for you, it’s another thing to actually do it. My very first tip is the importance of breathing.
When you are nervous, it’s very important to breath. To breathe deeply. You don’t have
to do this in front of people, though. You don’t have to take a deep breath where they
notice you’re breathing heavily. Just remember, take a breath. What does this do? It calms your heart.
Scientists have proven that just by breathing, you calm yourself down and you
relax yourself. This is something you can do, especially in a speaking test. I know a
lot of my students do the IELTS, they do the TOEFL, they do various tests like this.
At some point, maybe they make a mistake and they panic. They think, “Oh, no. I’ve made
a horrible mistake. I’m going to fail this test.” What do I tell them to do?
Take a breath and continue. My second tip is to walk. I’m not saying you have to…
before speaking to people, always have to be walking, because that’s just not practical.
I’m not saying you have to go on hour-long walks in order to be better speakers.
What I’m saying though, is that if you have some sort of speaking performance, speaking
test, something you have to do which you’re very nervous about. If you have a little bit
of time before you have to speak, a good idea is to take a short walk. Before a presentation,
before you present, walk around the room for three minutes. Again, this sends a signal to
your brain, and it naturally has a calming effect on you. It will calm your heart and
it will help you to not panic. If you’re at a party and your friends are all there, and
you’re still really nervous, you can still use this tip. You don’t have to be obvious,
like pacing back and forth. You can walk before you speak, if possible. It’s a very
good way to keep you from panicking. The third point is a little bit more technical.
I’ve written here “Automate Language”. What does this mean? Practice. The way your brain
works is the more you do something, it becomes automatic, almost like a robot or a machine.
If you practice the same expressions again, and again, and again, you don’t have to think
about them anymore, they just come straight out of your mouth. This is what you want to do
with speaking. Learn key expressions, either that you might use for work, or that you may use for school.
For example, a lot of students, they always say, “I think” — that’s a key expression.
You can change that — “in my opinion”. If you practice saying that enough, anytime somebody
asks you your opinion, it will just come out. You won’t have to think about it. Even if
you’re panicking, these words still come out, so practice these key expressions. Our fourth tip is to remember you don’t need
to be perfect. This is something a lot of ESL students forget. They meet a native speaker
and they think, “Wow. This person, their English is beautiful. They have perfect English. I
wish I could talk like that.” What a lot of ESL students don’t realize is native speakers
make mistakes all the time in their English. Every time I talk to my friends, family, even
professors, they make grammar mistakes, they make vocabulary mistakes, they have what’s
called, ‘slip of the tongue’, where maybe something comes out incorrectly. It’s normal
to make mistakes, and people don’t judge you harshly on your mistakes. Don’t judge yourself too harshly.
It’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, the best way to learn a language is
to make mistakes. So make mistakes — don’t be perfect. Number five: I’ll be giving you a bit of an
example with this specific point in a minute. Use a “speaking template”. What is a template?
It’s like a map, where you figure out exactly how to organize the way you speak. These are
very useful especially for speaking tests. For the TOEFL, for the IELTS. They’re good
for presentations, for business meetings. If you memorize a template that is useful for
what your specific need is, it will really help you with the flow of your language. You
won’t have to think so hard about what you’re going to say next. If you follow a template…
I’ll show you how to do this in a second. It will show you how to speak
in just a couple of easy steps. Finally, number six: mantras. For those of
you who don’t know what a mantra is, these are things we say to ourselves — you don’t
have to say them to other people. Often, you say them in your own head, and they usually
have a good message, a positive message. When I was learning French, my mantra is, or
my mantra was, “I am a good French speaker.” The problem with a lot of students who are
learning languages is that when they talk, they start to get nervous and they think in
their head, “I’m horrible. My language is terrible. I’m making so many mistakes. The
person I’m talking to can’t understand me.” They start to panic. “My English is so bad.”
Do you ever think these things when you’re talking to someone? Because what scientists
have proven is that if you have these types of thoughts, it’s going to make your language
ability go down. You’re not going to talk as well as you could; whereas if you think
positively, if you say, “I am a good speaker”, anytime that negative thought comes into your head,
anytime you think, “I’m not a good speaker,” I want you to immediately to tell yourself,
“No, I am a good speaker”. Because if you do this… language is very powerful, a
lot of people don’t realize that, but the way that we talk about something changes the
way we think about something. If you say out loud to yourself, if you tell yourself, “I’m
a good speaker,” it will become true; you will become a better speaker. This is a very
important tip. Tell yourself, “I am a good speaker”. Come up with your own mantra. Anytime
you think negatively, think like this. Overcome the negative with the positive. Now I am going to show you an example of a
speaking template. Here is a template that can be used for the speaking part
of the TOEFL test or the IELTS test, or these tests where they ask you your opinion on something. I
probably wouldn’t use this template if I’m at a party with my friends; it would just be too formal.
Again, using different types of speaking templates for different situations
can really help you conquer speaking anxiety. Let’s look at this template. First of all,
if I’m asked a question, I would state my opinion: What do I think? What do I prefer?
What do I think? Second thing I would do is give a reason, and I would introduce it with a transition.
There are many different transitions you can use. “First of all” is a good one.
I’d give a little bit of a detail for that reason, then I would give a second reason. I could
say, “A second reason is…”, “Secondly…”. I give a detail for that reason. I’d give a
third reason: “Finally…” detail for this, and then I would give a conclusion; maybe
something like “For these reasons, blah blah blah blah.” I know I’ve just said “blah blah blah blah”. Now I’m actually going to do a question so you
can really see a template in use. One common question that’s on both the TOEFL and the
IELTS is asking if you would prefer to live in a small town or a big city. I’ve seen this
question on many of these tests, so it’s a good one to practice. This template would be
perfect for a type of question like this. First of all, if somebody asked me, “Would you
prefer to live in a small town or a city?” I’d state my preference with a word like, “I
believe”, “in my opinion”, “I think”. I’ll use “believe”, for now: “I believe that living
in a big city is better than living in a small town.” Now I’m going to give a reason: “First
of all, living in a big city means there are many restaurants around you. If you feel like
Greek food, you can get Greek food. If you feel like Indian food, you can get Indian food.
For people who love eating well, for people who love restaurants, living in a big
city is better than living in a small town.” I also gave some details with that. I gave
you the reason, restaurants, and I gave you detail, some examples. Now I’m going to move on to a second reason:
“Secondly, living in a city is better than living in a small town because of the nightlife.
In a big city, there are lots of clubs, there are lots of places to go dancing, movie theaters,
plays — there’s a lot to do; whereas in small cities, maybe there’s not so much to do.” Again,
I’ve given transition words — “secondly” — and I’ve given some details. Now I’m going to move on to reason number
three: “Finally, living in a city is great for jobs. There are a lot of jobs in a city.
Sometimes in small towns, it’s hard to find jobs. So, for these reasons, I think living in a
big city is better than living in a small town.” I didn’t actually practice that. With that
question, I just came up with it off the top of my head using this. This is very useful, just
for organizing your thoughts. Any question I ask you that has to do with your
opinion, you can use this template. Find transition words you like. Maybe some of
you don’t like “first of all”. “Firstly…”, “my first point is…”, “my first reason is…”
— these are all fine. “Secondly…”, “my second point is…” , “another point is…”.
“Finally…”, “my third point is…” These transitions can really help you with the flow
of your language. Again, speaking templates are good things to use. They will help you organize
your thoughts, they will help you to not ramble on and on, and they can help you calm
down, especially in speaking tests. For more templates, for more tips, for more
ways to conquer speaking anxiety, come visit our site, www.PresentationPrep.com . Also,
if you want to practice some of these tips at our home site, www.engvid.com, I welcome you
to join us there. Until next time, take care. Learn English for free
www.engvid.com

Comments (100)

  1. It is awesome!!!

  2. When i go to job interviews i get soo nervous, they can tell, i can tell. My voice gets shaky, plus i'm overall an awkward person.
    needless to say, dosent matter if your're a good worker & have experience. Sadly you don't get hired, which sucks because i know other people who get the same way.

  3. thanks you teacher !

  4. Nobody's perfect!!

  5. Emman, I'm your student from Taiwan. Your video is very useful and love your video so much. I check most Video of you. It's a very good way to learning English!!! Thanks again, you're amazing!!!

  6. Thank you, Emma! The speaking template will help me a lot! Another comments will be posted on your videos.

  7. Thank you very much, Emma! You're the best!

  8. You are real awesome teacher. thank you so much

  9. hi emma i have seem your videos from one week ago and i enjoy and learn ,i love your class

  10. I am polishing my brain in english with emma she is a powerful teacher

  11. feeling better than ever

  12. Thank you so much for the beautiful message it really motivates me 😊

  13. yes!スピカービッグパソコンビッグmachine GOD

  14. ビッグsite byutihuru

  15. learning language(if you speak english) is useless better to focus on technical skills…..i mean to find a good job.

  16. Omg my English teacher did this thing in class today and it's called Socratic seminar and there is an inside circle, and an outside circle. In the inside circle, the teacher gives you a question and we discuss it. The outside circle TAKES NOTES ON YOUR CONVERSATION!!!! Your graded on your freaking conversation. I was going to talk one time but someone interrupted me. AND MY FRIEND LITERALLY ASKED ME, what do you think? And I just wanted to hide in a hole. And all I could say was I agree and everyone kind of laughed and my nose got stuffy and my eyes got watery, my face was red, and I couldn't think. Every time I think about what happened today makes me want to cry. I'm just an 11 year old girl and I pretty much cry about everything. I'm crying right now. MR BICKLEY I HOPE YOU SEE THIS.

  17. Listen, I grew up with a severe case of facial assymmetry, which really affected my confidence in several aspects of my life, I get nervous when I talk to new people, I usually use my hands to make gestures that would cover my jaw (where the problem is), and I lack self confidence and charisma overall. Recently I've addressed these problems and I'm willing to take action, but how should I proceed?

  18. What is so painful, is that speaking anxiety usually comes from elementary school, atleast it did it for me. The first few years, I loved to stand out, be myself, but after a couple of years, it changed. Didn't take many years before the teachers started going more in-depth with the presentation, they wanted us to make a powerpoint and instead of having a text infront of us, we had to remember it all This was all fine, I used to speak fluently without text and have never used a text while speaking infront of people. After a presentation the teachers usually asked questions, sometimes discussion ones, sometimes they asked why you think like that etc, the list goes on and on. This is where it all shattered, they started asking way to many questions, and most of them I had already answered in the presentation itself. My motivation turned into fear and I became this person who basicly is a brick wall. Nothing has changed since then, except the fear which has grown. I hate speaking infront of people, even if it is just a small group of like 5 people, I can't take it, I can't breathe, I can barely speak, my mouth gets super dry and I have problems concentrating. And this is all a result of teachers going to rapidly and not paying enough attention.

    I don't know how others experience speaking anxiety, nor how they got it. But this is my story, and it isn't very detailed as I am not the best at explaining things. Feel free to tell me your story, if you happen to have one.

    PS: My english grammar isn't the best sometimes so if you find any big grammar problems, let me know and if you told me a correct way to express myself, I'd gladly take that information. Merry Christmas!

  19. tomorrow is my presentation and i m so nervous

  20. i have learned a lot whit yours vids… thank you Emma!

  21. Tomorrow I have to present in front of my Spanish class and I'm really dreading it.. everyone there is fluent and I can't even roll my "r"s..I'm so scared to get made fun of..

  22. when you say that the first reason you think about to prefer to live in a big city is because there are many restaurants , ,,, (I thought you're thinking food) ,,,hahaha,, you are one of the best teachers… !!

  23. your videos help me a lot! Thanks 😀

  24. I get sweaty, I shake, and my heart litterly feels like it's coming out of my chest and my face gets red. I don't think I have anxiety disorder though 😢

  25. I like your hairstyle. This looks perfect on you.

  26. When you said walk I thought it meant slowly walking around the room a bit while doing the presentation.

  27. I have to do a whole speech in front of my class next week and I cannot do it!! I tried doing it in front of my dad and I couldn't do it someone please help me😭

  28. Hi Emma, I like your way of teaching, I can totally understand your expression. You are so great! Love you.

  29. to be honest .. talking is the ways as your personality .. if your personality strong you will talk , if you are weak you won't even say i word .. not talking about strong in fists , talking about the way you live .. talking with different people on any device is your first step ! ( they can't see you , make mistakes as much as you can .. BUT LEARN FROM THEM .btw i am 16 y/o

  30. For some reason English gets critisized more than any other language online. Thats why ESL students are intimidated to write and speak. Im a native speaker and witness this a lot.

  31. salut emma merci beaucoup e votre aide

  32. SOMETIMES I CAN'T EVEN BREATHE

  33. can u tell me how did u learn french

  34. Hi Emma, I've seen your lot of English on youtube. But here speak very fast. Please, don't speak fast but slow down. Thanks

  35. Your all classes are very helpful for an english learner. you are very nice and gentle lady.

  36. The best tip
    Try imaginating they stoled phone and u are mad on them , when u speeck think in your head bad words for them but dont say it

  37. Public speaking anxiety is tough, it doesn't ever go away, but tips like these will help!

  38. The only
    Thing I have speaking anxiety on is TALKING ON THE MIC ON PS4 I CANT TALK, it won't come out for some reason, my heart hurts and I breathe heavy because how nervous I am to speak on there UHHHH, when I was small….I had no problem
    But when I got a PS4, I had no mic and didn't get one so it's been 2 years since I spoke in a mic.😫😫😫HELLLPPPP and I just got it and I thought I would be able to speak but I can't

  39. Emman, I'm your student from MOROCCO. Your video is very useful and love your video so much. I check most Video of you. It's a very good way to learning English!!! Thanks again, you're amazing!!!

  40. how a great teacher 😍

  41. thank you for these tips, this is one of the best presentation on this topic

  42. I have to speak in front of my class next week and I'm so nervous my heart keeps beating I'm so nervous.😰

  43. Emma, you are great!!!

  44. I like your way of expression

  45. I like your way of expression

  46. I like your way of expression

  47. I like your way of expressions

  48. I like your way of expression

  49. if I can get teacher like u then I thought.. I will really talk english without being neourmus…

  50. your voice is so good to understand…….this is really awesome

  51. Thank you. You are lovely.

  52. I shake when I read out loud and my voice changes and I have to do it today it really sucks iT sounds like I am crying

  53. I am from UK my friends are really funny and they jokes but I do not laugh naturally but I force myself to laugh
    Seem I do not have funny see of humour

  54. I'm not perfect therefore I'm a good speaker

  55. Introvert 🙂
    Anyone here ?

  56. The way you learn english is very usefull

  57. My mantra is: god bless you. god bless you, god bless you… thanks!!!

  58. You are amazing!! thank you!

  59. Everytime I speak publicly, I stutter and I can’t get the words out. Please help me

  60. Hi dear Emma! Thank you so much for your advices ! you are helping me to feel more confident to my soon presentation of Ielts. My best regards from Colombia !

  61. I have speaking anxiety, I can't even speak with my native language because of it. Whenever I'm talking with someone, my messenge won't come naturally and sometimes they get confused when I'm talking to them.
    I've searched for a bunch of sources on internet. But everything is all about public speaking 🙂

  62. I have a oral exam in front of 3 professors omg

  63. Very nice lecture and very nice lecturer. I'm that kind of person who panic while speaking without any reason

  64. Trustful teacher and very nicely motivate to others

  65. I hope it will help me

  66. i dont like being infront of my class because i was afraid that i would be wrong and i am very very scared if i get called infront of class so when i am infront my heart would beat very fast

  67. Why is it compulsory though…Like i want to work at home in a comfy environment so i don't have to deal with that stuff, Not everyone has ambitions to have a career that requires that skill…Like dang, let me live xD

  68. You are the best english teacher . I actually try to think positive but…..i cant ..i am horrible ..i feel so anxious when i have to speak to a native speaker .i wanna study in USA when i grow up and you know …english for me is essential! I ve also put sticky papers all around my house with sipmle common fhrases in order to make that languge a habit! but…when i have to deal with a native speaker or…a person comes from abroad i forget anything …

    What i have to do? Please help me!

  69. do you know you're really beautiful?

  70. My heart starts to pump much harder and I can't really help it and suddenly I can't get anything out of my mouth… This is really lowering my performance… Help!… Nice video hey!

  71. Walking works amazing, i had practice it.

  72. I am dealing with it right now as I got social anxiety I always go blank during speaking 😣

  73. hello guys, you can add me on skype. we can practise it. my skype address: sametaydilek_2 also you can add me on facebook: /sametaydikekk

  74. Hello henred parsets you tips welcome you

  75. Guys please give me some luck I got to speak to the Deputy head of the year tommrow alone and I'm craping myself 1 like=1 luck please !💖💖

  76. I have a presentation due tomorrow and I am rlly scared because I don’t know what to say and my voice is very high so it sounds terrible on a microphone

  77. 7 tip: drink alcohol

  78. I am your student from Bangladesh. Love from Bangladesh

  79. I relate so much I have a class reading tomorrow and I get so nervous coz I make mistakes

  80. Thank you teacher!!!

  81. My face goes red.. My heart pops out… I sweat waterfalls… N start crying!…. Dats how i encounter public speaking

  82. Thank you so much my teacher

  83. I felt nervous while im talking…my heart beat is very high at the time of speaking

  84. loved this information also realize nerves mean you care

  85. BE MY TEACHER!! PLEASE! ;-;

  86. I always fail to say the right words…

  87. She speaks very fluently.
    When she pronounced "first of all", I was confused that what is festival..?
    So..my ear is already broken as my level for examination ;((

  88. I´ve been reading the contents of Rebecca´s website. It´s really useful but I would try to improve the visual aspect of the website. There are too words and no images. It´s a bit tough to follow….But apart form this little detail, I think it´s fantastic!

  89. Lol i presented in front of class and then when i holding my script i was shaking and they laughing at me so i freak out and messed up i couldn't say my script i was stuttering and stuff like that ugh i hate it

  90. I'm looking for a naitive English speaker helps me to speak English well and I will help him to learn Arabic if he or she need
    What's app me on 00201141072274

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