How do I stop anxiety attacks when speaking in front of a new group of people?


A few years ago in my mid-20’s I began to experience anxiety/panic/something attacks each time I have to speak in front of a group of people I have never met (e.g. at a meeting when everyone goes around to introduce themselves). It does not happen if I’m meeting one or two people one on one.

When I was younger I frequently sang and performed in front of large audiences and would do a lot of public speaking. I had never had problems previously.

When this appeared, it also somewhat coincided with the timeframe of when I began therapy for PTSD, so I’m curious if there’s a connection.

I try to override my body leading up to speaking by breathing into the feelings, positive affirmations, practicing what I’m going to say, and self-soothing. But my heart begins to pound, my hands sweat, my throat closes, and the worst part is I begin to shake uncontrollably. It ‘feels’ like my body has a mind of its own.

As I continue with the launch of my new business and attending networking events and meetings I would love to show up with the confidence and excitement I feel – from the first introduction!

I’m new to the model and scholars, but here is my attempt:

C – Public speaking
T – I hope I can get through this without losing my voice and shaking uncontrollably; Everyone will notice the shaking and not take me seriously; I am going to be mocked and humiliated; I will be rejected
F – Heart pounding, panic, shaky, small, humiliated
A – Make attempts to soothe mind and body – practice what I say, deep breathing, smile, positive affirmations, self-soothing
R – Body loses its wits

I appreciate your input and feedback 🙂