10 Ways To Conquer The Fear of Public Speaking
Speaking in public can be an exhilarating experience that helps you spread a message of information, motivation or inspiration to a listening audience. There are many people who experience intense fear at just the thought of speaking in public and there is really no sound reason for it. Overcoming your fear of public speaking should be easy to do and there are ten proven ways to conquer your fear of public speaking and share your message with the world. As with conquering any fears there should be simple action steps that you can take to expand your horizons and grow as a person as well as, in this case, a public speaker.
1. Re-Train Your Mind
It is true that what we think about certain topics leads directly to how we behave and face these situations. If you are constantly worrying about all that can go wrong when giving a presentation or putting yourself down with negative self statements, it is going to be difficult to succeed at all. Change those negative thoughts to positive ones is the first step in overcoming your fear of public speaking. Believing in yourself and your ability will help you do a better job.
2. Practice Makes Perfect
One of the best things you can do to conquer your fear of public speaking is to give speeches and presentations as often as possible. Embracing your fear will turn it into a strength many times. There are public speaking groups that you can join, as well as public speaking classes you can take to help you do this in a safe setting. As you develop your skill and confidence you will see your fear fade away.
3. Be Prepared
There is no substitute for preparation. If you know all that you possibly can about your subject you will be able to relay that information with confidence. You should also practice your speech as many times as is necessary to be able to present it in a way that is most entertaining. This will help you with words or names that you may have a difficult time pronouncing. Remember that most of the people on the planet have the ability to speak, it is your own perception of what people hear that makes people nervous. It is important not to obsess about your public speaking, there is a difference between this and preparing. Practice well in advance and then relax with the confidence that you will do a great job.
People turn to counseling to overcome their fears for many different things today. Public speaking is like any other fear such as the phobia of flying. We have had experiences in our past which have been seen as threatening and our egos want to protect us from pain. So there is fear involved in any activity related to past events that causes you discomfort. A therapist can help you pinpoint these moments in your past and help you recognize and overcome the blocks they provide you with. Then you will be able to perform whatever functions without having a fear of what might happen.
5. Connect With Audience
Much of the fear comes from speaking in public to a bunch of strangers. These audiences are just people and getting to know some of them will help you put a friendly face on the crowd you will be speaking to. If possible, mingle before hand and meeting two or three of the friendly people you are talking to. Then keep these people in the back of your mind as you are talking. These friendly images will help you find success in presenting your material, because you will have more of a connection with the audience. This relaxation will lead to a higher level of confidence and make your talk a success.
6. Understand Common Interests
One of the greatest tips about conquering your fear of public speaking will be that you will realize that there are many people who are passionate about the same things that you are and share your point of view about them. Seeing the faces in the crowd supporting you, and having conversations before you speak can help you realize that what you are saying is resonating with others, and build your confidence about public speaking.
7. Learn from Others
One of the best teachers you can have is the example others give when they speak. Watching others and taking lessons from their work can help build your confidence in your own abilities. You can critique their work and take methods that you like and ignore the things that you don’t think would work for you. Adding to your repertoire of skills is a vital part of growth.
8. Learn From Criticism
Because you put so much of yourself into your speaking, it is difficult to hear criticism of any kind about what your finished product sounds like. However, to really grow as a performer you have to be able to hear criticism with an open mind that there might be some improvements that you could make to be an even better speaker. People are always getting better or getting worse at their tasks, rarely do people stay stagnant. Any way that you can push yourself toward improvement is going to be a good thing. This will also help your confidence when you can impartially evaluate the thoughts of others.
9. Accept Mistakes
One of the biggest fears associated with public speaking is making a mistake in front of a bunch of people. It is true that there is no place to hide when you are speaking in public, but it is also true that mistakes happen to everyone at some point in life. Most people understand this, and it can make the audience more sympathetic to your cause. Laughing at your own mistake is the best way to humanize yourself to the audience. Once you realize one little mistake won’t ruin your reputation forever then you can relax and be more confident about your performance.
10. Have Fun
In anything you do in life you will be much better at it and enjoy it much more if you relax and have fun doing it. This is really a decision that you have the ability to make about everything that you do. Public speaking does not have to be something that you dread, but it can become a strength that is supported by your ever increasing confidence.