How to Overcome the Fear of Speaking in Public
Guest post written by Bob Williams.
Almost 25 percent of people face the need to conquer the fear of demonstrating their verbal pyrotechnics in front of others, be it in a lecture hall, a classroom, or a school lobby. Being able to offer ideas and deliver information in front of an audience is a very important skill. All students should work hard to master their communication skills to be able to achieve their educational and career goals.
While fear is a primal instinct that helps people navigate dangerous situations, it can also stand in the way of many students’ plans to succeed both academically and professionally. When scared, people fail to share their brilliant ideas, prove their statements, present effective solutions to important problems, etc.
There are many reasons why speakers struggle with fear. In this article, we will talk about how greatly our emotional dispositions, acts, and lines of thinking can change the amount of anxiety we face. Below, there are some steps to take to deal with the fear of performing in front of others.
Start With Small Discourses in Front of Your Family
Those who haven’t gained a solid experience in speaking publicly should start by preparing small speeches that are easier to deliver. Find your listeners and practice. Keep in mind that without much practice, you have few chances to become a good speaker, and a big talk should be preceded by a series of rehearsals.
Before performing in front of many, ask your family to pretend to be your auidence. When taking the floor, look into their eyes and try to establish a rapport with them to calm yourself down. As soon as you increase your confidence, you can try participating in front of a bigger group.
Learn Your Topic Thoroughly
Nothing works better at reducing anxiety of taking the floor in front of a big audience than knowing your topic to a tee. Many students experience a strong feeling of fear if they lack subject knowledge. They are afraid of being confused in front of their teachers and peers.
Therefore, it is of a great importance to get ready for an upcoming event thoroughly; otherwise, there are high chances of getting confused during delivery. If you know what your talk is about, are able to answer any question related to your topic, then you will see your fear quickly disappearing as soon as you start your speech.
Developing strong speaking skills has nothing to do with memorizing the whole text word-for-word. When students are required to give a presentation, it is better for them to remember its key points backed up by some examples. You can order a Power-Point piece from Pro-Papers, or you can do it on your own and involve some visuals in your presentation, such as charts and images. These elements can be put to good use when you need to recollect the forgotten materials and provide your recipients with additional items to put their focus on.
Relax to Reduce Tension
It has been shown that speakers feel the strongest sense of anxiety the minute before they take the floor. To reduce stress, it is vital to relax. There are many methods, and if you know how to use them, you will be able to influence your breathing and heart rate, as well as relax your body.
Visualization of positive outcomes can help you to reduce your self-doubt and emotional stress in some ways. Bear in mind that keeping a positive outlook is crucial as, without it, it is easy to lose your train of thought.
Decide on Your Time Slot
Prior to your presentations it is usually pretty easy to arrange with your peers the order in which all of you will make speeches. While some students feel less fear when taking the floor first, others may feel less stressed when delivering a speech last. Take this into consideration when planning your performance.
Interact with Your Recipients
Don’t turn to monologue speeches. When taking the floor, try to interact with your recipients. Asking some queries can help you to entertain your recipients and eliminate boredom. Having your audience engaged will give you a chance to pull yourself together if something goes wrong.
Try concentrating on your talk and your recipients rather than the level of your anxiety. The more you worry about your emotional state, the more scared you will become. Thus, if you concentrate on your discourse and your listeners, you are more likely to interact with the latter and get them involved in what is going on the stage.
In conclusion, it makes no sense to avoid situations that scare you. Trying to avoid giving speeches can hamper developing strong speech habits. You will always stand in awe of taking the floor unless you do well at it. Thus, in order to fight your anxiety, don’t stop rehearsing. Use every chance to give a speech and consider it as another step towards boosting your verbal pyrotechnics and fighting your fear.