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University of Tennessee
Managing Your Fear of Public Speaking

Managing Your Fear: Before the Speech

Intellectually – be prepared

  • Select a topic you like/are interested in
    • Consider your credibility/qualifications
    • Consider relatability/how does this matter/apply to your audience
  • Organize your outline/notecards
  • Rehearse out loud for time
  • Practice your speech at least 3 times before your performance

Mentally / emotionally – envision success

Physically - maintain

  • Help body to better cope with “flight or fight response
  • Get a good night sleep – at least 8 hours
  • Reduce stress
    • Exercise – run, swim, take a fitness class
    • Chill – meditate, yoga, take a bath, listen to music
    • Express – write in a journal, speak with someone, paint, compose music
  • Eat  – have something basic in your stomach: toast, fruit, crackers, yogurt, pb&j