Public Speaking: Getting Past Your Fear

Public Speaking: Getting Past Your Fear

Public speaking is often referred to as one of our biggest fears.  There have been studies that indicate there are a lot of people who fear public speaking more than death itself! As grim as that sounds, this can be a serious issue for people who are in positions that require public speaking and presentations for their livelihood.

Even if your job doesn’t require public speaking there are times in all of our lives where we are called upon to present.  It happens while we are at school, in our social world and of course in our family lives. We have all poked fun at a relative for bombing a speech at a wedding.

If you want to avoid being that relative with the speech remembered for all the wrong reasons, then read and learn the presentation tips below!

30 Tips for Presenting with Confidence

  • Fear of public speaking comes from the feeling that you need to be perfect when you’re giving a speech. It’s the idea that people will somehow look down on you or not believe you. In actuality, it’s just the opposite – making a mistake just tells people that you’re human. You carried on in spite of it, and for that these people respect for you.

  • Your fear comes from what you believe people will expect from you. One thing you can do is to turn this fear around by asking yourself what you would expect from the speaker if you were in the audience. Would you expect perfection? Probably not, so why expect it of yourself?

  • You might be afraid because of previous bad experiences with public speaking. But the past doesn’t predict the future. This is a different time, and you are a different person from the one you used to be.

  • Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves. We expect ourselves to not show any nerves, to answer every question, and to give a perfect presentation. That is all pressure that we’re putting on ourselves. If we recognize that the pressure is self induced, we can alleviate it.

  • Another thing you can do to alleviate the fear of public speaking is to practice. The more you do it, the less afraid you will be.

  • You can also take that fear and turn it to your advantage. Take that nervous energy and turn it into enthusiasm and excitement about your topic.

  • Remember, your audience is there because they want to hear what you are saying. They want you to succeed, and they’re ready to listen to what you have to say. If that weren’t true, they wouldn’t be there, right?

  • Another way to lessen your stress is to do plenty of research about the topic. Knowing that you are an expert on what you are going to say will help you relax.

  • A great way to help yourself is through helping others. Showing people that their fears of public speaking are unrealistic can bring that point home to you.

  • Some people use affirmations and visualizations in which they tell themselves they are powerful and strong and confident. This works wonders for quite a few nervous speakers.

  • A great way to reduce your nervousness is to find a friendly face or two in the audience. All it takes is one or two people who make you feel comfortable for you to be able to give a great speech.

  • Think about your audience four a minute. When you do, you’ll realize that they’re just ordinary people like you, nothing to be afraid of.

  • It may surprise you, but one of the easiest ways to gain self-confidence is to act confident. Have you ever noticed that when you smile, even if it’s a fake smile, you feel more positive? The same thing is true with self-confidence. Act self-confident long enough, and you will become self-confident.

  • Spend a little time thinking about the questions that might come from the audience. Once you know you can handle the questions, you will feel more self-confident.

  • One of the best things you can do to increase your self-confidence is to practice. Practice, practice, practice, not just giving speeches but in all types of situations. The more you speak up in general, the more self-confident you will be.

  • Sometimes knowledge is power. Did you know that most of the time when the presenter makes a mistake, the audience doesn’t even notice? So, that’s really stressing yourself about nothing.

  • Here’s an easy one. Just stay active on stage. Just moving around energizes you and enhances your blood circulation. It helps to keep your brain active and sharp.

  • Getting a workout in the morning – 45 min. to an hour –is a good way to keep you healthy in general and to keep your energy up and your emotions in check. Keeping yourself physically fit in general will pay off during your presentations.

  • Another thing you can try in order to manage your anxiety is to visit the place where you will be presenting. If you like, get up on stage and walk around. Familiarize yourself with the surroundings, and you will feel more at home during the presentation.

  • Getting enough sleep is one more excellent way to manage your nerves. Sleep is the time when we recuperate and rebuild. You will put your nerves in a healthier state.

  • Think positively. If you deliver the speech with a negative attitude, that will show to your audience and you will get that attitude in return. Remember, they want you to succeed and they would not be there if they didn’t want to hear what you have to say.

  • Don’t focus on the negative people you may encounter at the presentation. There will always be negative people, and you can’t please everyone. You know your content is good, so concentrate on the positive people in the audience.

  • Interact with your audience. The more you can get them to respond, the more you’ll know what they are thinking and the more you’ll know that they are actually listening.

  • Know your target audience and what they are interested in. It will boost your confidence to know that you are speaking about something that they care about.

  • Take a pause. Breathe. Being able to take a pause makes you seem more in control, and you will actually feel more in control.

  • If you say something incorrect or something you didn’t mean to say, apologize immediately and move on. Don’t make a big deal out of it, just apologize and move on.

  • If you forget your notes, see if somebody will bring them to you. One good strategy is to e-mail your notes to yourself and bring your computer in case you need to pull up a copy.

  • Research, plan, and rehearse your speech. The more you do of each one, the more relaxed you will be, and you will give a better presentation.

  • If you’re good at jokes, use a little humor. The audience will like it, and it will relax you.

  • Don’t read from a script. That is a negative experience for the audience, and it will translate into a negative experience for you. Know your content and then glance at a list of key points.

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