In this 3 part article series I will be showing you the best and easy ways to overcome the fear of public speaking for your next speech or presentation at work, school and anywhere else you might have to stand in front of a crowd!
The Fear of public speaking is the most common of all phobias. It’s a form of performance anxiety in which a person becomes very concerned that he or she will look visibly anxious, maybe even have a panic attack while speaking. Over time, people try to protect themselves by either avoiding public speaking or by struggling against speech anxiety. People rather do other tasks like write 1000 page essays or go bungee jumping than speak to a group or a crowd.
But many times there will be many moments where we wont be able to avoid it. So what can we do to beat the fear of speaking in public completely?
The 1st big secret is…
Take the pressure off yourself. No one ever does a perfect speech no matter how good you are as a speaker! have that in mind and the audience will understand this completely so they wont care. They are there to get the message and most of the times if you make a mistake they will completely forget about it. Even the President of the United States has room to improve when it comes to public speaking, and your audience will understand if you make mistakes. Think of every speech you give, and the mistakes you make, as a stepping stone toward becoming a more effective speaker.
The 2nd big secret is…
Practice, Practice and Practice some more. Formal practice before a speaking event will help you feel more confident about what you’re going to say and how you’ll say it. According to studies it has been shown that one must practice at least one week or two weeks before you speak and practice every day for at least two hours to ace that and know by heart that presentation.
- You can also film yourself and then re watch the video and fix what you did wrong. It might be weird but it will help you tremendously.
- Another quick tip is to gather your family or best honest friends and let them critique you. but the most important part is to actually listen to them and don’t get offended or angry. Just listen and then change.
- Practice in the room where you’ll be speaking, if you can.
- Stand up. You get more realistic voice projection.There’s no other way to find out whether you stumble over a particular phrase or can’t pronounce something easily, in which case you can do a rewrite or workaround. You’ll also get a sense for how speaking makes you feel—whether you tense up, speak too fast or soft, or have some other issue.
- Time yourself. You can easily do this yourself, but it helps if someone else can time you.Insert planned pauses, and insert delays when you expect laughter or some other audience response. This may feel funny, but an accurate timing estimate will tell you if you need to do more editing.
The 3rd big secret is…
Warm up your body and mouth before speaking. Exercise reduces tension and helps you concentrate. Getting a little bit of physical activity before your speech will calm you and help you get rid of excess nervous energy. Try taking a walk outside, doing arm circles, or stretching gently. But also informal practice in social situations (talking in class, speaking to people you don’t know at a party, etc.) will also help you conquer some of your speaking anxiety and fears. Get speaking a lot and you will warm up your mouth and when its time to speak it will flow naturally.