Jerry Seinfeld said it best when he joked that most people would rather be in the casket at a funeral than giving the eulogy. While most people become nervous at the thought of giving a speech or presentation, those with social anxiety disorder (SAD) may experience a complete meltdown if faced with giving a talk in public.
What can be done to overcome a phobia of public speaking? If the fear is persistent, accompanied by severe physical symptoms and is interfering with your day-to-day functioning, a diagnosis of SAD may be warranted. Treatment options such as systematic desensitization and cognitive-behavioral therapy have a good history of success with public speaking anxiety. There are also many public speaking strategies that you can use on your own to reduce anxiety and increase the chances of success, both in terms of preparing for a speech or presentation and for the day of the performance.