Do you experience fear and over-excitement at the very thought of public speaking? Are you competent and confident, but you still sweat and feel your heart pounding before your first or even your next public appearance? You probably have glossophobia – fear of public speaking. Imagine, 73% of the population is susceptible to this problem.
Do you want to be a fearless speaker? Do you dream of stepping confidently onto the stage to give a speech or a presentation? Break the ice with a good joke, captivate your audience with a story. Answer the toughest questions with ease and go out to applause.
Or you have plans to learn how to sell well through the presentation of your product. This is realistic, because the podium already positions you as an expert and increases your sales opportunities.
There are many ways to solve this problem and become more successful in business, work and even personal relationships.
Reasons For Fear
Let’s first look at why people get nervous when they have to speak in front of an audience:
- it is commonly believed that most problems come from childhood. Often parents forbid their children to even talk loudly in public. “What will people say?”
- The fear of saying the wrong thing only increases with age. Some people develop terrible public discomfort;
- Teachers and instructors often criticize students too. This already reinforces a negative attitude, and you’re ready to get nervous before every performance;
- For many, fear of speaking in public is based on negative personal experiences. They are anxious because they had a bad moment related to public speaking;
- someone is nervous because they rarely hold a speech.
Now that we understand the origins of the problem, it remains to decide how to deal with it.
How to overcome the fear of public speaking?
It is easy enough to teach a child to perform and not be afraid. But overcoming your fears as an adult is more difficult, but doable.
You can seek help from a certified psychologist or psychotherapist, or take suitable training or courses.
Overcome their own fears of public speaking, stop worrying and activate their activities will help you 10 ways and 4 working techniques. Let’s take a closer look at them.
1. Start small
If you’re new to the world of public speaking, start small:
- Start by working alone in front of a mirror.
- Then plug in your video camera or smartphone and film yourself.
- Then practice on a close audience, family or friends. Start with a smaller audience, gradually increasing in number.
Rehearse beforehand, be sure of a positive result.
In fact, audience size doesn’t matter much if you know your topic. The big fear will gradually go away. Practice regularly by diligently following the following guidelines.
2. Prepare carefully
Nothing helps ease the fear of public speaking like knowing your material. A true professional starts that way. The ability to connect with your audience comes from the confidence that you won’t get lost in presenting your subject.
You have to remember the key points, use clues and examples to cover the topic.
Repeat the material several times just before your presentation. Have a backup in case there is still time left.
Immerse yourself in the topic, you should like it. After that, you will feel more confident and you will feel less anxious before the performance.
3. Prepare comprehensively
Mastering the art of public speaking does not come simply from memorizing word for word your entire speech. There is more to prepare:
- Don’t use boring monologues and minimize endless PowerPoint slides;
- Speak easily
- Put a little bit of personality into your presentation;
- Do improvisations;
- Make your performance bright, memorable, and delicious.
4. Reduce stress
The scariest moment of any presentation is the minute before you go on stage. Use the tactics of elite athletes, vividly visualizing a positive outcome. Apply deep belly breathing techniques to reduce stress and build confidence.
5. Engage your audience
When you have to give a speech, and it’s mostly a monologue, the question of captivating the audience becomes acute.
Make your conversation two-way by interacting with the audience – asking and receiving questions to preempt boredom.
Engaging people also gives you the opportunity to reorganize your thoughts if things aren’t going well.
6. Focus on your eyes
Before your performance, introduce yourself to a few people in the front rows. Or simply find friendly faces among the audience. As you speak, make eye contact with them so you can stop being nervous and better connect with your audience.
7. Imagine your fears
Before a performance, fears come. Some of them are justified, some of them are not. You’re afraid of making a mistake in public-stop worrying about it. Because the result is only increased excitement, and an increased likelihood of a mistake.
Remember, no one is immune to mistakes and errors in speech, even professional speakers.
If you have 90 slides for a half-hour presentation, your fear of wasting time is perfectly justified. You need to cut back on that kind of material.
Beginning performers often have a fear of stumbling on stage. So what? Someone will film the episode, post it on YouTube, and the video could go viral. But it can also increase the number of fans.
And remember, it’s impossible for all listeners to like you, and fears and mistakes are an incentive to improve your public speaking skills.
7. A positive view of the audience
Think well of your audience. Beginning speakers are often wary of their audience. They become more anxious, and the words are forgotten. Imagine that your listeners have become your admirers, and it will be easier to speak.
8. Rest before the performance
Get some rest the day before. Get a good night’s sleep. Warm milk, favorite music, and a light book are great for relaxing before going to bed. Don’t schedule anything important the day before the performance.
9. Careful with stimulants
Many people believe that alcohol and caffeine will help to cheer up the spirit and confidence. But, as practice shows, alcohol in drinks is rather harmful. Coffee and tea are allowed to cheer you up before the performance. But be careful with them too.
10. External Confidence
You need to prepare carefully for the day when you give your speech. If you like yourself in the mirror, you feel more confident, and you’re already less anxious and worried. This is especially important before a speech.
So, to summarize. In order to get rid of children’s and adults’ fears of public speaking, the following simple but working solutions will help you.
- Start small. Practice in front of a small audience. But first, practice on your own.
- Prepare thoroughly. Repeat. Have a supply of material.
- Prepare comprehensively. The speech is accessible, memorable, a little personal.
- Reduce stress. Imagine a positive outcome.
- Engage your audience. Q&A.
- Focus on the eyes. Find an audience response.
- Imagine your fears. This will help you avoid mistakes.
- Have a good rest before the performance.
- Watch out for stimulants. No alcohol, minimal coffee.
- Try to look great on the day of the public address.
These tips, even at a mature age, will help to solve the problem of fear in public speaking. But most importantly, practice, practice, and practice again.
Take every opportunity in your normal life to practice.
Over time, you will notice that you become much less anxious, you will stop feeling fear of public speaking. Your career will go up and your business will bring in more and more income.
Techniques for successful public speaking
To stop worrying and become a successful speaker, the following fairly simple techniques are appropriate.
The essence of the technique is to concentrate yourself on the present moment. Here and now. The key techniques will help in this:
- meaningful breathing;
- the focus on emotion at this very moment;
- The realization that thoughts go quickly and mean little;
- attention to the sensations in the body.
Regular use of these techniques improves brain function. The areas responsible for memory, learning, emotional empathy, and concentration work better.
Progressive muscle relaxation
This technique will train you to release tension as soon as you start to become anxious.
- First, you have to tense the muscles in a certain part of the body.
- Breathe in slowly and deeply.
- Clench the corresponding hand into a fist and tense it very hard. Hold for five seconds.
- Then you have to relax the tense muscles.
- Concentrate on these muscles and notice the difference between tensing and relaxing the muscles. This is the most important thing in this exercise.
Use meditation and muscle relaxation techniques regularly. Take at least five minutes a day to do breathing exercises. Research by University of Massachusetts scientists suggests that these techniques change your brain structure. It affects your emotional state and your overall satisfaction with life.
This technique will help you avoid uncontrollable emotional states.
Imagine yourself at a bus stop and different vehicles stop near you. You know their routes and their final stops. Imagine that these vehicles are your thoughts. You are the one who chooses which vehicle to get on. You have to personally choose what to think about.
Sometimes you catch yourself thinking about a situation unconsciously, and your emotional state worsens. Then stop and “shift” into another vehicle. Don’t be in automatic mode – choose your own personal thoughts.
Do you remember a person’s posture when they are anxious and fearful? Usually our body language shows closure in this situation, our gestures are restricted, and our voice trembles. Scientists say that imitating desired emotions with the body will eventually lead to actually experiencing them. That is, imitating a smile will gradually give a feeling of joy.
There is a wonderful expression: Fake it until you make it. Fake it for two minutes. Strike an open pose, relax your shoulders, and put your hands up as if you’re excited about something. As a result, you’ll feel more comfortable and confident.
Finally, the methods and techniques listed above will help you master your fear and stop worrying. By doing this, you will enjoy public speaking, sharing your knowledge and experience, and interacting effectively with your audience.
Believe and remember, mastering fear and becoming a successful public speaker is quite possible!