A part of social anxiety treatment is to practice giving presentations. Having to give a presentation often entails a lot of tension and it can be useful to learn how to cope with this. Often, you will notice that your attention is focused on yourself and that you perform safety behaviour. In addition, you can have negative expectations and catastrophic thoughts. For these reasons, it can be helpful to practice giving presentations during social anxiety treatment. It will help you to obtain a more realistic outlook of your presentation. Your professional will always discuss this exercise with you.
- You are going to give a three-minute presentation, for example, about the social anxiety model. During this presentation, you will explain how social anxiety works and provide examples from your own life.
- For the presentation, you will come up with a personal goal: for example, to reduce the use of safety behaviour or to show more open behaviour, such as making eye contact, smiling, using body language, or paying attention to the other. With the help of your professional, you will make this goal as concrete as possible. For example, a concrete goal would be ‘Don’t touch my hair during the presentation’, rather than ‘Leave a good impression’.
- Before you start presenting, do thirty seconds of attention training. Start off by focusing on yourself and your anxiety symptoms, then on the environment in which you will give a description of your environment. Finally, you will focus your attention on the content of the presentation and then summarize it.
- You will use recording equipment to film yourself (for example, use your partner’s phone, an old phone, a digital camera or the camera on your laptop).
- Your professional will keep track of the time.
What was it like to give the presentation? What do you see when you look back at the recording of yourself?
Keijsers, G. P. J., Van Minnen, A., Verbraak, M., Hoogduin, C. A. L. & Emmelkamp, P., (2017). Protocollaire behandelingen voor volwassenen met psychische klachten.