Can Awareness Training Help with Public Speaking?

A new study published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis evaluated the effectiveness of awareness training for the reduction of three nervous habits that manifest during public speaking: filled pauses, tongue clicks, and inappropriate use of the word “like.” Four university students delivered short speeches during baseline and assessment sessions. Awareness training resulted in meaningful reductions in target behaviors for all participants. Booster awareness training sessions were necessary for all participants to achieve further reductions in target behaviors. Generality probes conducted in front of a small audience indicated that treatment effects generally maintained. Social validity scores indicated that the treatment was acceptable, and participants indicated not only decreased use of verbal fillers, but also improved overall public speaking ability posttreatment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

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