When Things Go Wrong in Public Speaking

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It’s all very well to be prepared for a talk or presentation, but if something goes awry (a cell phone rings, the wrong slide pops up, you forget your place, etc), it’s easy to panic. This tends to produce anxiety, and stress = sweaty palms, physical tremors, accelerated heart rate and more. When this happens, we begin to focus on the feeling of anxiety and not what’s happened to interrupt the presentation. This self-misguided focus exacerbates the problem as we berate ourselves inside, then wish we could just disappear completely.

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