The fear of public speaking can be detrimental to careers and lead to countless sleepless nights or even depression in extreme cases. Although it is natural to feel a sense of nervousness when faced with a public speaking task, making negative self-talk can greatly contribute to your public speaking anxiety and nervousness. Conversely, it is still possible to manage your anxiety effectively, even when speaking before the most daring audience you can ever imagine.

Performance Orientation

Performance orientation is a perceived mental situation that commonly contributes to somewhat unconstructive public speaking anxiety. A speaker with a performance orientation mentality will view public speaking as a situation that demands him to impress the audience, whom he perceives as critical judges to even the most minor mistake. In most cases, the speaker is more concerned that the audience will criticize his subject, dress code, knowledge mastery and even delivery. It is a negative force that can greatly affect the way you engage your audience during a public presentation.


When faced with public speaking anxiety, an individual who adopts performance orientation may find it challenging to focus on getting the message across to the audience. While the causes of public speaking anxiety vary from negative self-talk to modeling and negative reinforcements, recent research suggests that public speaking anxiety may be inborn. Through efficient speech planning, performance-oriented individuals can successfully manage their fears and use them to their advantage.

Communication Orientation

Communication orientation techniques are some of the methods designed to reduce anxiety from negative thoughts and irrational beliefs. The communication orientation approach enables speakers to assume a more conversational, relaxed yet engaging approach when addressing an audience. With this approach toward speeches, you view public speaking as an opportunity to engage with a number of people on a topic that is of equal importance to you and also the audience members.


Communication orientation helps you understand the purpose of the speech as a channel to communicate a given message across to the audience, and, therefore, puts you in a position to give a masterful speech. To adopt communication orientation, you are expected to believe in your own capacity to engage with the audience more effectively. Practicing delivery is one of the most helpful ways to overcome public speaking anxiety. Such efforts seek to strengthen your capacity to utilize communication orientation techniques to enhance your capacity to deliver your speech in an organized, professional and natural way.