We all experience it in our own unique ways. Some of us draw a complete – and total – blank. While others toss and turn endlessly in the middle of the night with dread. Some of us squirm with knots and butterflies in our stomachs. While others sweat profusely in gripping anxiety. Its symptoms might be different from one person to the next, but it stands as one of the most universally shared anxieties in the world. It is the ever so infamous, ever so imminent, ever so petrifying, fear of public speaking.
It’s not as Bad as you Think:
One of the most well-known statistics circulated about glossophobia is the allegation that most people fear public speaking more than death itself. As sensational and astounding as this statistic sounds, did you know that there has never been a single recorded incident of fatality directly caused by speaking in public? In fact, the vast majority of people survive and overcome the jitters that come with public speaking anxiety. Communication Theorist and Forbes Magazine contributor Nick Morgan estimates that only ten percent of people are legitimately paralyzed by fear of public speaking. The remaining ninety percent either relish it, or tolerate it despite being nervous.
Take Charge of Your Emotions:
It’s understandable that fear is an intimidating emotion to experience. However, fear is unique in that it is one of the few emotions that can actually be channeled into constructive behavior. This is because fear naturally activates the fight or flight instinct within us. Faced with these alternatives, always remember that it’s entirely within your power to choose fight. Instead of allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by fear of public speaking, draw from it. Use the agitation it causes to concentrate on the task at hand. Use the apprehension it triggers to be alert. Reset your attitude about your own inherent resilience, and it might surprise you just how capable you are of flourishing as a speaker. Here are ten tips to help you conquer your fear and perform well as a public speaker:
1. Know your Audience:
Before you address a gathering of people, take some time to analyze exactly who they are, and why they have convened to listen to you. The more formal your speech is going to be, the more important it is to understand your audience and how best to relate to them as you speak.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice:
The more fluidly you can recite or express the subject matter of your speech, the more effectively you will connect with the people listening to you. Never deliver a speech impromptu unless you have no choice. Practice your timing, practice your delivery, practice your posture and you will reduce the chances of getting frazzled.
3. Stand Tall:
Remember that public speaking is a simultaneously visual and cognitive experience for an audience. They’re not just there to listen to you, they’re there to see you as well. This makes it important to project confidence in your posture and demeanor, even if nerves have you feeling otherwise. Even if you have to fake it, stand tall.
4. Focus on Your Topic:
One of the most common mistakes people make when giving speeches is thinking too much about audience-reactions. Dwelling on this aspect of the experience immediately triggers a fear of rejection. On the other hand, concentrating on the details of your topic allows you to tune out the gaze of the crowd and provide what’s important, an articulate message.
Be conversational as you address your crowd. People often become so mechanical when delivering speeches that they actually forget to pause between sentences. Don’t become so exasperated that you end up gasping for air during your speech. Forgetting to breath can actually make you faint in the pressure of the moment.
6. Take your Time:
Public speaking is so excruciating that most people just want to get it over and done with. Regardless of whether or not you’ve practiced your timing, when the big moment comes, slow down and be eloquent. Even if you don’t feel like your speaking quickly, chances are that you’re rushing through it. There’s no harm in compensating for this tendency by taking your time in order to get a clear message across.
7. Don’t Be Late:
If your speech is scheduled for a future date, don’t add to the stress of the moment by showing up late to your venue. Showing up early gives you time to present yourself with composure. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your audience will be.
8. Be Interactive:
The easiest way to bore your audience to death is by depriving them the opportunity to actively engage in the speech you’re delivering. Strategically using Q&A sessions in your delivery encourages full participation from your listeners. It reminds them that you are there to connect, not lecture.
9. Use Visual Aides:
Always remember that people internalize information in different ways. Some can easily grasp concepts purely by listening to raw facts. However most people need visual illustrations to understand new information easily. Including props or imagery in you speech can help break the monotony of the experience for your audience, while helping them comprehend the message you have to communicate.
10. Take Some Classes:
You don’t have to go it alone when it comes to public speaking. There are countless resources available either to train or educate you on how to master this essential life-skill. For instance, RISE Programs offers specialized coaching both for novice and experienced public speakers. With the right instruction you’ll become unstoppable.
The first step towards overcoming fear is taking the initiative to confront it. When it comes to fear of public speaking, it all boils down to preparation and coordination. The more you practice and organize your speeches, the more you will eliminate the nerves that keep you terrified. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how The RISE Programs Academy for Business Coaching and Leadership Training can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.