We might die at any time! However, most of us rank the fear of our own mortality much lower than we do the fear of public speaking. Just the thought of standing on a raised platform and facing a group of people is enough to reduce grown adults to tears! The nerves…the anxiety…and the sweaty palms may be bad. But when they happen while your stomach ties itself into knots, they make us feel even worse.
Now imagine all of that keeping you from a public speaking event that could potentially change your career. Would you give up the opportunity or would you rather overcome the fear of public speaking? We’re sure you chose the latter, which is why we are providing you these 7 ways to conquer your fears of public speaking:
Starting small can mean several things. You can start with small speeches. Or, you can begin by speaking to a small sized crowd. Do whatever makes you feel less nervous and then go from there.
It pays to know the material so well that you can recite it in your sleep. Practice as often as you can. That way when nerves have the upper hand while you are on the stage, your brain will carry you through the ordeal. You won’t get flustered just because you forgot what to say next!
If you know your audience, you will less intimidated surrounded by familiar faces. While you might not always be speaking to your friends, there is a workaround solution you can use. Try and mingle to your audience before your speech. Introduce yourself to them and form a connection.
Don’t fight it
It is natural to feel nervous when speaking in front of a crowd. Most of us feel that way, even if it is limited to just a twinge of anxiety. Instead of hiding your fear, let it flow through you. When you attempt to squash that fear, you make your public speaking anxiety symptoms worse.
Choose a familiar location
A friend has a heightened fear of public speaking. However, she never lets that stop her and actively looks for opportunities where she must perform in that capacity. However, she prepares as best as she can. First, by practicing the material until she can deliver it fluently. Second, by visiting the location where she is to speak. If she hasn’t visited the place before, she spends some time familiarizing herself with it. Knowing where the audience will be seated and where she will be sitting before/after the speech calms down her nerves. We’d suggest you take a page out of her book!
Speak about the cause close to your heart
We are all passionate about one thing or another. For some of us, it could be the inhumane treatment of strays at the pound. For others, it could be global warming. Regardless of what that is, we love talking about it. Use this trick to your advantage. You will see that your nerves vanish when you are speaking about a cause that is close to your heart!
It might not be as bad as you think
When we are at the front and center of the stage, we seem to think everything we do is obvious to the audience members. Be it an awkward pause that wasn’t even long enough to be noticed or some other minor mistake. We keep berating ourselves for making it. The truth is your listeners probably didn't even catch those errors. So, instead of stressing yourself out by revisiting those false starts, just let it go, and move on with the rest of your speech.
Follow these 7 ways to conquer your fears of public speaking will assist you are giving speeches, debates, and presentations. But most important of all, don’t forget to go easy on yourself!