Visualisation key to anxiety-free public speaking

National 1 minute, 25 seconds


STUDENTS preparing for an oratory competition at Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (YSHHB) secondary school were told to repeatedly visualise any fear they have on public speaking to relieve anxiety when performing.

Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and Social Science in Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Dr Chris Woo conducted the oratory workshop yesterday at YSHHB secondary school’s Lecture Hall, as a prelude to the sixth English Language Oratory Competition for Private Secondary Schools which will be held later in the year.

He said on the sidelines that it was important for youth to cultivate a habit of communicating effectively to groups, as a valuable skill to be developed and used throughout a person’s professional and personal life.

“When I was younger, there was very little awareness of public speaking. Now with these competitions and workshops, there is a growing trend towards taking up public speaking,” he said.

Most fears relating to speaking in public are due the perception of being singled out and judged by a group, which Woo said can be remedied by visualisation.

“Imagine speaking to a big public audience in your mind every day. When you actually have to do it, your fear isn’t triggered as much because as far as your brain is concerned, you’ve done it already a million times,” said Woo.

He also touched on the use of gestures, voice projection and stance to fine tune delivery.

Twelve schools participated in the workshop yesterday, including (YSHHB) Secondary School, St George’s School, St Andrew’s School and Chung Hwa Middle School.

Since 2008, the competition organised by YSHHB Secondary School has received positive responses from private schools in the country.

The Brunei Times