Your palms are sweaty, your knees are wobbly. The enormous crowd in front of you dissolves into a thick cloud of darkness as anxiety gets the better of you. You are most probably one of the numerous victims of Glossophobia, a strong fear of public speaking. Don’t fret! Public speaking anxiety haunts multitudes that cannot evade the task of orating on stage. However, if you wish to make it big as a successful leader, you must conquer your innate fear of giving public speeches. A Glossophobic person will try his/her level best to escape the burden of a public speech. He/She perceives this task as a threat and dreads failure or being ridiculed by audiences. For such a person, the heart rate begins to race, thus triggering a rise in blood pressure and irregular breathing. Uncontrollable perspiration, unrelenting quivering and irrepressible stammering are embarrassing symptoms that inevitably follow. If all this sound similar to you and you have finally made up your mind that public speaking isn’t your forte and that you should elude the prospect at all times, wait in for a surprise. Can you imagine a thriving business of the present generation obeying the futile pleas of aerophobia? Hence, you should be thoroughly convinced that your public speaking phobia must be conquered for the sake of achieving all your endeavors, professional or personal! Explore this article and learn a few reliable ways to combat fear of public speaking.
Ways To Overcome Public Speaking Anxiety
Erase The Preconceived Notions
People typically associate the task of public speaking with stress! This is absolutely untrue! Public speaking is only stressful if you allow it to be! Ironically, if you shake off this incorrect belief, public speaking can be a very enjoyable and invigorating experience for you. Try to dig out the hidden cause for your fear, diagnose it and say hello to a new fun hobby! Knock off the fear of public humiliation! You’re overreacting! It’s purely psychological. Stage fright can be curbed with a smooth build up of self-confidence. The best way to start that process is by facing reality and accepting that public speaking is not as difficult as you once thought!
Capitalize On Three Good Points
Stumble upon three relevant points and you’re ready to nail it. In other words, you have good potential to set the stage on fire! Maintain a calm and composed demeanor! You don’t have to be the funniest or smartest orator on the planet to receive a round of applause. Even if you make a couple of mistakes, skip a few important portions of your speech and pause for a minute, you haven’t necessarily failed! Stop focusing so much on your performance, it’s the value of the content effused that matters most. As long as audiences have something valuable to take back home (or with a smile on their faces), you will be remembered positively. Bear in mind that heaps of inconsequential facts does not augment your orator status. Stick to two or three clever points and render your speech interesting and genuine. Stress on one key point if you strongly believe in it. Diminish the number of quick notes and let words flow straight from the heart to the tip of your tongue! Avoid silly complexities for you will end up boring the crowd.
Prepare But Don’t Over-Prepare
Preparation is essential. More importantly, prepare well in advance and not overnight for anxiety will double and the outcome will be messy. Practice does indeed make a man perfect but never overdo it. A speech turns superficial when planned too far ahead. It should be natural! In fact, the more effort you put into it, the worse might be your performance. So, don’t over-prepare! Relax and take a deep breath! Just rehearse once and revise the key points along with a few good examples. Memorizing a speech verbatim only ruins the authenticity of a speech and implies that you don’t have a firm grasp over the subject. Try not to script the speech! Gain self confidence and you will soon begin to respect the natural public speaker hidden deep down inside of you.
Select A Topic That Interests You
It will make all the difference if you chose a topic that you feel strongly passionate about! You will feel excited to research the topic and make the overall speech as interesting as possible. As you immerse your heart into it, you will notice your phobia slip away. Even when you have no choice but to resort to a lackluster topic, you could make alterations to the technique or approach of speech making. For example, make a colorful PowerPoint presentation or screen a funny video! The surging enthusiasm will tranquilize the goosebumps.
Be Humble, If Not Humorous
While adding a glint of humor to your speech would earn you brownie points, it’s not mandatory. It is important to discover your style of speaking and work on improving that. However, it is important to maintain a fine sense of humility throughout your speech. When you stand up in front of the masses, share some of your weaknesses and frailties. This highlights your image as a credible, respectable and lovable speaker. Audiences will be able to connect with you and respect your honesty. If at all, humility isn’t your style, don’t feign it! The pretense of acting humble is easily detectable and this will trample your image in no time! You could hence make up for it by capitalizing on your good sense of humor! After all, who doesn’t enjoy a good hearty laugh! Start with a joke or narrate a bunch of anecdotes, just don’t digress from the actual topic.
Don’t Let Hecklers Get To You!
Hecklers are all over the place and most of the time, they do a pretty good job at tormenting speech makers! However, it is in your best interest that you master the art of turning a deaf ear to such obstacles or counter-attack their witty statements with a wittier one. This most definitely helps you overcome all fears. But if you are still battling with glossophobia, then you should try your best and ignore those silly sadists or respond with an “I really appreciate your comment”.
Elite athletes rely on the technique of visualization to enhance their athletic performance. Every time you rehearse your speech, visualize your audience being amazed by your oratory skills! It is best to believe in yourself and that you are conveying solution for a very strong ground-breaking problem. Hence, your audiences ought to be impressed. Hear the cacophony of thousand claps and “wows” every time you emphasize on the last sentence of your speech! Boost your confidence!
Obey to these rational pointers and bid adieu to your fears. Be the star of the stage and fall in love with the task of public speaking! Good Luck!