Public speaking can be exciting, interesting and frightful. Many of us step back to speak in front of a crowd out of fear. But all it takes is your willingness and a little effort. Therefore, 13 steps mentioned below can be helpful to overcome the fear of public speaking from your mind.
If you are anxious or physically unfit, it will be noticed to your audience. So, Be mentally and physically ready for your big day.
“Your inner strength is your outer foundation”
– Allan Rufus.
Make sure you sleep well the night before your big day. Do some light exercise to warm you up. Also, ensure that you eat and drink hygiene. Avoid having red meat, oily food, cola etc. before your event. Instead, have juice, fruits, sandwiches to keep yourself calm.
The first step to overcome the fear of public speaking is preparing your own self well. When you are organized enough to speak in front of your audience, half of your fear fades away.
“Organize, don’t agonize”
– Nancy Pelosi.
Do your homework, practice, know your time limit for speaking. Also, be informed whether use of PowerPoint is allowed, or you need to directly speak to your audience. Doing so will ease your nervousness and improve your ability to speak fluently in front of your audience.
Your audiences are the ones whom you convey your message to. Try to identify some basic information about them such as their profession, age, purpose of listening to you etc.
Famous author Lewis Howes said,
“The most important thing to remember is you must know your audience”.
Before speaking, identify who will listen to you and tailor your speech accordingly. For example- if you are conducting training and your audiences are busy corporate employees, keep your speech short and to the point. However, start your presentation with a short story or give examples when your audiences are young groups or students.
While you are taking preparation for your big day, let yourself be the first one to assist you.
Famous Greek fabulist said,
“Self-help is the best help”.
Practice your speech, record it and watch. Judge your own performance now. Ask yourself that did your content sound convincing to you? Would you appreciate the same message if it was conveyed to you? If yes, Bravo! If no, then practice again and repeat the act until you are convinced. Focus on your body language, facial expression, tone as per to the type of your event.
Before giving your final presentation, you can practice on others. You can choose your family members, friends or someone you rely on to rate your performance. Make sure you tell them to be a honest critic.
They can be your best critic and corrector.
“A bitter critic is the sweetest corrector”
– Michael Bassey Johnson, Mater of Maxims.
When you will give your speech in front of them, they will correct you with their feedbacks. For example- feedback whether you spoke too fast, need more knowledge etc. Also, they will ask you questions and answering to those will lessen your fear. You will be more prepared now to present adequately and answer questions from the audiences. Receive feedbacks from others and work accordingly.
Trying to memorize everything only gives you pressure and enhances your fear of forgetting. So, avoid memorizing your whole speech and present in your own way.
“Don’t memorize, familiarize”
– Readers Digest.
Do not memorize every word or just read your script thoroughly. When you convey a message that comes from within, you will not be nervous at all and the audience will be connected to you.
However, if you are sharing any quote, incident from history, a person’s bio or such detail that needs to be accurate, memorize that well. Except that, present the rest of your speech in your own way.
Your audiences are the ones who listen to you. So, present in a way that encourage them to listen to you. Once your audiences are with you, the only thing you need to focus on is your message.
“If you want engagement, be engaging. Ask Questions. Leave room for your audience to add their voice”.
– Darren Rowse.
Keep rhythm and give pauses while speaking. Be little humorous and jolly sometimes. Do not speak at a stretch. It boring! You can keep your speech segmented so that audiences can anticipate where you are going. Your engaged audience can be your big source of motivation to speak and erase your nervousness.
Fear of public speaking comes from the fear of getting rejected from the audience. So, throw away the idea of getting rejected from you mind. Keep courage within and go ahead.
“Fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind”.
– Dale Carnegie.
Be it a training program, business presentation, competition or public events; no matter who your audience is, your voice matters, and they are there only to listen to you. So, win your fear. Be confident and present yourself.
During any public speaking event, the purpose of the speaker is to spread a message to the audiences. Perceive public speaking as a mean to spread your idea, message or knowledge with others. Do not fake anything. Let your inner voice come out.
“You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart”.
– John Ford.
Always remember, you are speaking for good and your words are valuable to your audience. Your voice can change lives of many. Do not miss this great chance out of fear. Speak your heart out.
If you are new to the journey of public speaking, here are some other suggestions that can assist you to overcome your fear and master the art of it.
Start speaking in front your family, friends or close ones who you are comfortable with. Do not take anything in your early days that require you to speak in front of thousands of people. Instead, start within your surroundings.
In your early stage of public speaking, choose a subject you are good at or you enjoy sharing. This will increase your willingness to speak in front of others. Do not pick up a topic you do not like, or you have not adequate knowledge in. Otherwise you will face obstacles while speaking and this will only enhance your fear. Therefore, start it small from your comfort zone and slowly move to the bigger level and master the art.
There is no alternative to learning and only practice can keep you going in the journey of learning. The more you practice speaking, the better you become at it. No knowledge can sustain without practice.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.
Take every chance to learn and sharpen your speaking ability. Go and host a seminar at your office, take part in debate, competitions, join some public speaking clubs, host the farewell party in your college. Utilize every little opportunity you receive. Only practice can conquer your fear.
Nervousness is a generic human behavior. Each of us gets anxious before we do something big. Even big celebrities get stage fright before they perform.
Famous actress Bridgit Mendler said,
“I definitely get stage fright”.
So, let your nervousness be a source of strength for you. Practice more every time you get nervous and sharpen your skill.
Believe yourself before anyone else does. Think that you can outcome your fear of speaking in front of audience and give your best. Your self confidence is the key to erase your fear.
“To be a champ you have to believe in yourself when no one else will”.
– Sugar Ray Robinson.
Therefore, have belief in you and achieve your victory.