The Dhamma and Public Speaking

A place to discuss health and fitness, healthy diets. A fit body makes for a fit mind.
User avatar
Ceisiwr
Posts: 7681
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

The Dhamma and Public Speaking

Post by Ceisiwr »

Greetings fellow deluded samsaric beings,

Does anyone have any experience and advice on how to combat nerves and anxiety when speaking in public by using the Dhamma? Also any non-Dhammic tips would be appreciated. I may possibly have to give a presentation soon regarding the results of a project i've undertaken and i suffer from bad nerves when presenting. When I have had to present in the past I'm not nervous at all running up to the event but as soon as I start to talk my heart starts racing, my mind can go blank and I sometimes struggle to catch my breath. Its like a subconscious reaction or fear that comes out of nowhere. Needless to say its becoming an inconvenience for me, so I'd like to try and sort it or manage it as best I can. Any advice on this issue would be appreciated.

I was also unsure where to post this, so admins/mods please feel free to move it if needs be.
“Bhikkhus, whatever is not yours, abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness. ” SN 35:101

User avatar
confusedlayman
Posts: 2139
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:16 am
Location: Human Realm

Re: The Dhamma and Public Speaking

Post by confusedlayman »

Ceisiwr wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:16 pm
Greetings fellow deluded samsaric beings,

Does anyone have any experience and advice on how to combat nerves and anxiety when speaking in public by using the Dhamma? Also any non-Dhammic tips would be appreciated. I may possibly have to give a presentation soon regarding the results of a project i've undertaken and i suffer from bad nerves when presenting. When I have had to present in the past I'm not nervous at all running up to the event but as soon as I start to talk my heart starts racing, my mind can go blank and I sometimes struggle to catch my breath. Its like a subconscious reaction or fear that comes out of nowhere. Needless to say its becoming an inconvenience for me, so I'd like to try and sort it or manage it as best I can. Any advice on this issue would be appreciated.

I was also unsure where to post this, so admins/mods please feel free to move it if needs be.
i also get nervous.. it goes only after giving it many times...

Perceiving non self or non self of audiance or non self of the idea of shame or what others think wont work on spot intelectually...

as for me watching Boris Johnson (uk primeminister) speech boosted my speaking skill confidence... i really recommend it.
You can become king of world with all the wealth but it is not equal to 0.1 % of jhana pleasure...

dharmacorps
Posts: 1187
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: The Dhamma and Public Speaking

Post by dharmacorps »

You could rehearse your speech in front of people, or on your own. That may help. Or try to follow the breath as you speak. I suppose picturing people naked would not be very dhammic.

User avatar
Ceisiwr
Posts: 7681
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: The Dhamma and Public Speaking

Post by Ceisiwr »

dharmacorps wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:44 pm
You could rehearse your speech in front of people, or on your own. That may help. Or try to follow the breath as you speak. I suppose picturing people naked would not be very dhammic.
I was thinking perhaps trying to view them as skeletons.
“Bhikkhus, whatever is not yours, abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness. ” SN 35:101

User avatar
Ceisiwr
Posts: 7681
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: The Dhamma and Public Speaking

Post by Ceisiwr »

confusedlayman wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:43 pm
Ceisiwr wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:16 pm
Greetings fellow deluded samsaric beings,

Does anyone have any experience and advice on how to combat nerves and anxiety when speaking in public by using the Dhamma? Also any non-Dhammic tips would be appreciated. I may possibly have to give a presentation soon regarding the results of a project i've undertaken and i suffer from bad nerves when presenting. When I have had to present in the past I'm not nervous at all running up to the event but as soon as I start to talk my heart starts racing, my mind can go blank and I sometimes struggle to catch my breath. Its like a subconscious reaction or fear that comes out of nowhere. Needless to say its becoming an inconvenience for me, so I'd like to try and sort it or manage it as best I can. Any advice on this issue would be appreciated.

I was also unsure where to post this, so admins/mods please feel free to move it if needs be.
i also get nervous.. it goes only after giving it many times...

Perceiving non self or non self of audiance or non self of the idea of shame or what others think wont work on spot intelectually...

as for me watching Boris Johnson (uk primeminister) speech boosted my speaking skill confidence... i really recommend it.
Yes, he is a very confident public speaker. Goes with the job I guess.
“Bhikkhus, whatever is not yours, abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness. ” SN 35:101

dharmacorps
Posts: 1187
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: The Dhamma and Public Speaking

Post by dharmacorps »

Ceisiwr wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:45 pm


I was thinking perhaps trying to view them as skeletons.
That is a brilliant idea. Maranasati!

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 6794
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: The Dhamma and Public Speaking

Post by Sam Vara »

In terms of what Buddhism can provide, try both calming techniques and metta bhavana before the event. Do these in anticipation, while thinking about what the event will actually be like. While you are actually speaking, try keeping the breath in mind, obviously somewhere in the background.

Before the event you can also think about what it is that gives rise to the unpleasant feelings. Contact, for sure, so think about the kinds of contacts that you can expect. Are any of them so dreadful in themselves? Analyse them, and try to see through them. If you slow your mind down you can see them in better perspective, and catch the anxiety before it has a chance to overwhelm.

Or think of it in terms of safeguarding and protecting the truth. You are just presenting things to this group of people the way you see them. There's no need to fear anything if you modestly admit to yourself that you are not perfect, but your report is as good as you can make it, and you have genuinely tried to make it useful and interesting for people. If you do your best, then they should receive it well; if not, that's their stuff. I found that a lot of the social anxiety I have felt came from a sense of being found out, of having pretended to have some competence that I lacked, and fearing exposure. So eliminate that in advance. Know your stuff, don't pretend to know any more than that, and let the dice roll how they may!

Two non-Dhamma hints are also useful (I used to talk to very large and unfamiliar groups quite a lot!).

1) Imagine that you are only talking to one person in the group. Although your eyes are roaming around the different listeners, imagine that you are talking to just one of them (the one with the kindest face!) and that the others have all got their headphones on.

2) Before you start the formal presentation, make informal contact with at least one of them. Chat, ask if they can hear, will they mind if you put your kit down next to them, can you open a window, etc. Make a joke if you can. I found this "breaking the ice" to be really useful, far better than a hushed "concert hall" start when you wonder what your voice is going to sound like.

Above all, good luck, C! :heart:

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 17740
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: The Dhamma and Public Speaking

Post by mikenz66 »

Hi Ceisiwr,
Ceisiwr wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:45 pm
I was thinking perhaps trying to view them as skeletons.
I find it more effective to regard the audience as friends. Sam Vara has some excellent tips above. Communication is about connection, not about disconnection. Remember that in a situation like this, the audience wants you to succeed, not to fail. Pick out one or two people you know are friendly, or look friendly, and focus on them.

Also remember that communication is about your audience getting something they will find interesting from your presentation. In your preparation, think about what they need to know. The Buddha didn't just teach in the same way to all, he tailored his presentation to the audience.

:heart:
Mike

binocular
Posts: 7734
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: The Dhamma and Public Speaking

Post by binocular »

Ceisiwr wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:16 pm
Does anyone have any experience and advice on how to combat nerves and anxiety when speaking in public by using the Dhamma? Also any non-Dhammic tips would be appreciated.
I think fear of public speaking usually has one of these sources or both:
1. lack of preparation,
2. not believing in what one has to talk about.

No. 1. can be managed by taking appropriate action. No 2. requires becoming a skilled liar.


But as for inspiration/motivation, watch, for example, Larry Crowne


The rhetorics teacher there also gives some advice on public speaking, but I'll leave that to you to check out. Yes, I could give you many professional sources, but this one is for seeing it for yourself.
“One man’s “magic” is another man’s engineering. “Supernatural” is a null word.”
- Robert Heinlein

User avatar
salayatananirodha
Posts: 752
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:34 am
Contact:

Re: The Dhamma and Public Speaking

Post by salayatananirodha »

try to be a good person in everyday life, but also just understand right speech and know when/if your words are blameless. then you shouldn't have any fear
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

User avatar
Dhamma Chameleon
Posts: 114
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:55 am

Re: The Dhamma and Public Speaking

Post by Dhamma Chameleon »

Will you consider an adhammic suggestion? A low dose beta blocker (from your doctor) is very safe and I can vouch that it works wonders.

You can still apply dhamma strategies, but this takes the edge off and gives you confidence that you can get through it.
"Whatever grosser living things are to enter or leave this city, they will all have to do so just by this gate." DN16

Srilankaputra
Posts: 978
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:56 am
Location: Sri Lanka

Re: The Dhamma and Public Speaking

Post by Srilankaputra »

There are five mental faculties we are supposed to develop. Shradda, Viriya, Sati, Samadhi, Panna. When last three don't come through first two usually do. Just make a detailed plan and execute come hell or high water.
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

DarrenM
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:33 pm
Location: Llanelli, Wales

Re: The Dhamma and Public Speaking

Post by DarrenM »

Ceisiwr wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:16 pm
Greetings fellow deluded samsaric beings,

Does anyone have any experience and advice on how to combat nerves and anxiety when speaking in public by using the Dhamma? Also any non-Dhammic tips would be appreciated. I may possibly have to give a presentation soon regarding the results of a project i've undertaken and i suffer from bad nerves when presenting. When I have had to present in the past I'm not nervous at all running up to the event but as soon as I start to talk my heart starts racing, my mind can go blank and I sometimes struggle to catch my breath. Its like a subconscious reaction or fear that comes out of nowhere. Needless to say its becoming an inconvenience for me, so I'd like to try and sort it or manage it as best I can. Any advice on this issue would be appreciated.

I was also unsure where to post this, so admins/mods please feel free to move it if needs be.
The monks who remember the Suttas recite them continuously, use the same technique. I used to suffer from serious anxiety and just the thought of speaking in front of people used to make me panic.

I would highly recommend going over and over and over your presentation, speaking loudly and confidently as if there are people in front of you, until you can do it without any props and it’s annoyingly running through your mind constantly.

I have done this for interviews and college work where I have had to give a presentation and I swear it works. I actually enjoy doing it as I’ve found a technique that works, I’m so absorbed in the speech that nerves have no room to work. I know it works because if I don’t prepare and I have to do something similar off the cuff I feel quite nervous.

It’s monotonous but far better than standing there sweating and mumbling!!!

User avatar
Ceisiwr
Posts: 7681
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: The Dhamma and Public Speaking

Post by Ceisiwr »

Thanks for all of the advice everyone. Plenty to look into. I think thinking of the audience as friends and me having a duty to deliver good information to them might help me quite a bit ... whilst thinking of them as skeletons :jumping: A room full of friendly scientist skeletons :lol:
“Bhikkhus, whatever is not yours, abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness. ” SN 35:101

sunnat
Posts: 523
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:08 am

Re: The Dhamma and Public Speaking

Post by sunnat »

salayatananirodha wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:12 am
try to be a good person in everyday life, but also just understand right speech and know when/if your words are blameless. then you shouldn't have any fear
This is good advice. Minimise remorse.
In the long term, practice diligently. A time comes when, without trying, public speaking becomes easy.

Post Reply