Teaching Speech Delivery Skills to Reduce Speech Anxiety
Moore, Laura J. Bennett
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The problem. Speech anxiety is a common problem among college students. This can hurt the student academically, and could also continue to affect him or her in professional situations once out of school. Therefore, an economical program designed to teach speech skills and reduce their anxiety would be beneficial. Previous studies have focused on reducing speech anxiety without teaching speech skills, or have taught speech skills without recording their occurrence. Procedure. Instructions and behavioral rehearsal were used to teach speech anxious subjects speech delivery skills. Prior to and following each skill taught, a probe speech was conducted. Both objective measures of anxiety five (i.e. Timed Behavioral Checklist, duration of speech, and number of notes) and subjective measures of anxiety (i.e. Personal Report of Confidence as a Speaker) were recorded. In addition, the occurrence of the specific speech skills taught was recorded. Findinqs. Subjects increased their level of speech skills, and reported a decrease in anxiety. Only one of the subjects observable indicators of anxiety decreased. Conclusions. This program increased speech skills and decreased self-reported anxiety. In addition, the program took very little time for the subjects to complete. Recomendations. This program could be implemented economically at universities in order to provide help to speech anxious students.
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