Public speaking is a requirement and obligation of most professions that require you to put yourself in front of others to share your message. The sooner you conquer your fear of public speaking the faster you will succeed in your business.
Whether your business requires you to speak in public or you have the responsibility of presenting to an organization or social group, overcoming your fear of being the center of attention will be of great assistance.
Mastering public speaking can be difficult, but the rewards are always worth the effort. Obviously, some people are born with talent, but most of us can acquire these skills through practice. Like you, many accomplished public speakers had to overcome their fear of the very activity at which they now excel.
What could be preventing your putting yourself out there and speaking in public?
Common Triggers for Fear of Public Speaking
People who fear public speaking have a preconceived notion of what could occur, which discourages them from engaging in public speaking. You may fear receiving a negative response from the audience, or you may fear the embarrassment of making mistakes in public.
Consider the following: What if you received a positive response from the audience?
The good news is that there are steps you can take to tilt the odds in your favor, so a favorable response is likely! Feeling more confident that your public speaking will be successful can help you overcome your anxiety.
Try the following techniques to ensure a positive outcome and reduce your public speaking anxiety:
- Be prepared. The greater your preparation for your speech, the more polished your presentation will be. Do whatever it takes to ensure that you are well-prepared.
- Do thorough research. Knowing your subject matter inside and out will eliminate many of your fears. In fact, once you’ve conducted exhaustive research, you’ll likely be able to deliver the speech without referring to your notes!
- Practice your speech. Perhaps you have given a speech that did not come across well because you did not practice it enough. And because it did not go well, you were devastated and determined to never speak in public again. However, you must not allow your fear to overcome you.
- Devote countless hours to reading and rereading your address. By repeatedly practicing the material, you will eventually be able to commit it to memory, just as with school subjects.
- Attempt to identify sections and references in your speech about which you can speak confidently based on your knowledge base. Not only does it demonstrate your competence, but it also helps you relax while presenting!
- Invite an audience for a private presentation. Requesting the assistance of family and friends can help alleviate public speaking anxiety. It would be prudent to invite a few of them over and deliver your presentation to them. They will not only be able to provide you with constructive feedback, but they will also help to calm your nerves.
As with anything else, the effort you put into mastering the art of public speaking will unquestionably help you overcome your fears. Demonstrate what you’re made of by becoming a fearless master of public speaking!
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