How to overcome fear of public speakingMarch 30, 2023 2023-03-30 16:10
How to overcome fear of public speaking
How to overcome fear of public speaking
A lot of people are afraid of public speaking. And that’s perfectly normal. After all, it can be pretty daunting to stand up in front of a group of people and give a speech. But just because it’s normal doesn’t mean you have to live with fear. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to overcome your nervousness and give a great speech.
Public speaking is essential for many reasons. For one, it is a great way to communicate with others. When you are able to communicate your ideas to others effectively, you can better persuade them and get them on board with your vision. It can also help build your confidence. The more you do it, the more comfortable you will become with it. And as your comfort level increases, so will your confidence.
Why Are People Afraid Of Public Speaking?
i. They have a low opinion of their abilities: People who are afraid of oral presentations may have a low opinion of their abilities, as opposed to those who have a healthy sense of self-confidence. They may believe that they will make a fool of themselves or that they will be unable to answer questions.
ii. They are afraid of embarrassing themselves or being judged: There is often a fear of being judged by others when it comes to oral presentations. People may be afraid that they will be seen as stupid, incompetent, or even crazy.
iii. They are afraid of the unknown: Speaking in front of a group of people can be intimidating for some people because it is something they have never done before. The unknown can be a very scary place.
iv. A biological fight-or-flight response that may be triggered: The fight-or-flight response is a natural reaction that occurs when we are threatened. The body releases adrenaline and cortisol, resulting in physical symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating, and trembling.
v. Past public speaking experiences: If someone has had a bad experience, such as being laughed at or getting booed off the stage, this can make them even more afraid.
vi. Audience makeup: If the audience is made up of people seen as being difficult to please, such as business clients or senior citizens, this can make the speaker more nervous.
There is no need to worry if you are afraid of public speaking. You are not alone. The good news is that you can overcome your fear in various ways.
Tips to Help You Overcome Your Fears
Get Curious About Your Fears
What is it about public speaking that makes you so anxious? Is it the thought of everyone looking at you? The possibility of forgetting what you’re going to say? The fear of saying something embarrassing? Once you identify your specific fears, you can start addressing them.
For example, if you’re afraid of forgetting your speech, you can practice it until you know it by heart. Or, if you’re worried about saying something embarrassing, you can remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes and that the audience is probably more forgiving than you think.
Getting curious about your fears is a significant first step to overcoming them. So next time you feel nervous about speaking publicly, take a few minutes to think about what’s causing your anxiety. Once you identify your fears, you’ll be one step closer to conquering them.
Take Advantage of Familiar Surroundings
When it comes to oral presentations, one of the best things you can do is take advantage of familiar surroundings. If you’re already comfortable in the room or space where you’ll be speaking, it can help to ease your nerves. After all, there’s nothing worse than being in an unfamiliar environment on top of being nervous about speaking.
So, if possible, try to choose a venue that you’re familiar with or that makes you feel comfortable. Even if you can’t control the location, there are other ways to make yourself feel more at ease. For example, you might try attending an event at the venue beforehand so that you have a chance to scope it out and get a feel for the space.
Or, if you know who will be in attendance, try to find out as much as you can about them in advance. The more prepared and comfortable you are, the less likely you are to be nervous when it comes time to speak.
Increase Acceptance of Your Fears
When we’re afraid of something, we tend to try to push those fears away. We tell ourselves that we’re not going to let our fears control us, so we try to suppress them. But this only makes the situation worse. Instead of making our fears go away, repression makes them stronger. And when our fears are stronger, they’re more likely to trigger a fight-or-flight response, which makes it even harder to speak in front of an audience.
So how do you increase your acceptance of your fears?
i. Start by recognizing that your fear is natural and normal. Everyone feels nervous before speaking in public, so nothing is wrong with you.
ii. Accept that you may never completely get over your fear; you may always feel at least a little bit nervous before you speak. That’s okay. The goal isn’t to eliminate all traces of anxiety but to become more comfortable with being uncomfortable.
iii. Commit to facing your fears head-on. Challenge yourself to speak in front of an audience whenever possible, even if it’s only a few people. The more practice you put in, the easier it will become. And as you gain confidence in oral presentations, your fear will fade. Increasing your acceptance of your fears may sound strange, but it works.
Master Mental Rehearsal
Mental rehearsal is a technique that allows you to rehearse an upcoming event in your mind, and it’s been shown to be incredibly effective in reducing anxiety and improving performance. Here’s how it works:
First, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then, begin to picture yourself in the situation you’re about to face, such as giving a presentation or speech. As you visualize the scene, pay attention to your breathing and heart rate. Notice how your body feels when you’re calm and relaxed.
Now, start to imagine the event going well. Visualize yourself feeling confident and staying calm under pressure. See yourself delivering a great speech or presentation and receiving positive feedback from your audience.
As you continue to practice mental rehearsal, you’ll find that your fear of oral presentations will begin to dissipate, and you’ll be better able to perform when the time comes.
Challenge Your Thinking
A lot of the time, our fears are based on irrational thoughts. For example, you might tell yourself that everyone will judge you and think you’re stupid. But chances are, they’re not even thinking about you at all. And even if they are, who cares? What other people think of you is none of your business. So challenge your negative thoughts and try to come up with more realistic ones. This can help you feel calmer and more confident when it’s time to speak in front of an audience.
Move your body
When we are nervous, our bodies tend to tense up, and we may start to shake. This is our fight or flight response kicking in. By consciously moving our bodies, we signal to our brains that everything is okay and there is no danger. This can help to calm us down and ease our fears.
Additionally, moving around can help increase our energy levels and alert us. This can be a great way to get rid of pre-speech jitters and give us the boost we need to deliver an excellent presentation.
Remember Why You Are Doing It
When it comes to public speaking, it’s important to remember why you’re doing it. Are you trying to persuade people to see your point of view? Are you sharing your expertise on a subject? Whether you’re giving a speech or pitching an idea, understanding your purpose will help you stay focused and overcome nerves.
It’s also helpful to remember that your audience wants you to succeed. They’re not looking for ways to criticize you but are eager to hear what you have to say. So relax, take a deep breath, and remember why you’re doing it. With that mindset, you’ll be able to deliver a confident and successful presentation.
The bottom line is that if you want to overcome your fear of public speaking, it will take some time and effort. However, following the tips above, you can make significant progress in conquering this fear. Just remember to be patient with yourself, stay positive, and keep practicing.