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Stage Fright? Do Your Speech for a Dog

A nonjudgmental canine can help you work through public-speaking anxiety.

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If giving a public speech makes you so nervous you can’t even do it in front of friends or family, you may want to try a dog. The Kogod Center for Business Communications at American University has tried this approach to help anxiety-prone students. “Addressing a friendly and nonjudgmental canine can lower blood pressure, decrease stress and elevate mood — perfect for practicing your speech or team presentation,” read a brochure for the project. “It makes you smile looking out at the dogs,” one student told The New York Times, adding a dog is no more distracted than your typical college student. You might even get a lick.

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