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Public Speaking and Performance Anxiety

Being in front of an audience and giving a talk, speech or presentation, or performing an activity such as singing, dancing, playing an instrument and even participating in a sport can cause debilitating anxiety as well as intense bodily symptoms—i.e. pounding and racing heart, sweating, shortness of breath, nausea and even vomiting and diarrhea. The anxiety can begin long before the actual event, and may lead to sleepless nights, worry and irritability. Sometimes the anxiety will create problems with focus and concentration, which may affect one’s performance. This type of anxiety can also affect peoples’ choices of jobs, promotions and education, or cause potential regret due to lost opportunities.

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