Dealing With Nervousness

Resources for Students

  • Fletcher, L. (1995). How to design and deliver a speech. New York: Harper Collins.
    This book contains a chapter titled Controlling Nervousness which provides students an overview of anxiety as well as some tips for controlling it. It also contains student activities to help them overcome their fears.

Classroom Activities
Below are some activities to help your students begin to learn some strategies for managing speech anxiety.

  • What Scares You?
    This simple activity gets students talking about what frightens them when delivering a speech or presentation. Understanding the reasons for nervousness is the first step to controlling and managing it.
  • PRCA-24 Activity
    The Personal Report of Communication Apprehension developed by James McCroskey is the leading instrument used to measure communication apprehension. This instrument can help students learn exactly how nervous they are
  • DiBartolo, P. M., & Molina, K. (2010). A Brief, Self-directed Written Cognitive Exercise to Reduce Public Speaking Anxiety in College Courses. Communication Teacher, (19)3, 160-164.
    This activity details an activity that helps students think about fears and worries related to an upcoming presentation.
  • Ablamowicz, H. (2005) Using a Speech Apprehension Questionnaire as a Tool to Reduce Students’ Fear of Public Speaking. Communication Teacher19(3), 98-102.
    This activity details a survey that can be distributed to students to get them thinking about their nervousness related to public speaking.

Please contact Donald Painter at to access the book chapter or journal articles referenced above.

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