Public speaking is one of the most common fears that plagues us all! But have you ever wondered why it’s so common? I mean, we all speak all the time to our family and friends, what makes public speaking so different?
Well, it tends to be a social fear because we don’t want to appear stupid in front of others. After all, what could be more embarrassing than making a fool of yourself in front of a large group of people?
Fear of Public Speaking Symptoms:
- Dry mouth
- Racing heart rate
- Sweaty palms
- Unsettled stomach
- Trembling hands or legs
- Stammered speech
- Rambling incoherent speech
Do these symptoms of fear plague you when you think about speaking in public? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people go through the exact same symptoms as you. There are ways to overcome your fear of public speaking:
Making every preparation before the big event will help give you confidence. Planning out every detail will help to put you at ease.
- Know your material. If you’re worried about rambling off course, try to have very detailed outlines and notes of what you’re going to say. Then, stick to the notes when you are speaking. You should know your material well enough that your eyes are not glued to the paper for the entire speech.
- Know your audience. Be aware of why the audience has come to listen to you speak. If it’s a special occasion, then be prepared for the importance of the event. This may make you more nervous, but it’s better to know beforehand.
- Know the conditions under which you will speak. Check the lectern and microphone ahead of time to make sure everything is working properly. Check out the room and visualize how the speech will go so you can make your entrance and give your speech with confidence.
- Practice your speech as many times as possible. You can practice alone, in front of a mirror, or even in front of some friends. Recording yourself giving your speech can also be helpful.
Relax Before Opening Your Mouth
This can take an enormous amount of effort, but by following a few simple steps, you’ll find that you can relax and speak as you normally would. And after a few practice runs, you might even find that you enjoy public speaking!
1. Visualize the audience as being on your side.
They’re friends waiting to hang upon your every word. If you feel this way your body language will reflect that in your speech.
2. Don’t hesitate to take deep breaths and pauses when needed.
For example, when you’re called on to speak, take several deep breaths before leaving your chair. When you reach the lectern, thank the person who introduced you and then slowly count to 3 in your head before speaking.
Implementing these tips will give you time to collect your thoughts and calm your nerves. You’ll be less likely to start rambling and you’ll start to feel your muscles slowly begin to unwind. If necessary, look at your notes and prepare what you’re going to say before opening your mouth.
If you’re worried about looking foolish in front of others, simply eliminate the possibility. If you’ve come prepared and relaxed about the event, then you’re no fool! You’re an intelligent human being with something special to offer the audience. Don’t forget it!