Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking

For many people the thought of public speaking, also known as Glossophobia, can leave them tossing and turning at night. Picturing themselves standing in front of a group of people and giving a speech makes them feel anxious just thinking about it. It should be no surprise then that those with this fear tend to avoid public speaking at all costs. Unfortunately though this can hold people back from reaching their full potential. If this is something that people feel they want to work on, there are ways to overcome the fear of public speaking.

Public Speaking Tips

To overcome the fear of public speaking, it is first important to go over what are typical habits that happen when giving a presentation or speech. Do you try and avoid eye contact, rush through the words, read it word for word, or read directly off of the slides? Why do you do these things?

Also what do you feel when you are giving the speech? Do your palms get sweaty, do you feel too exposed, are you short of breath, or do your knees feel weak? Take a moment and think about these questions.

Don't Rush but Enjoy

To help fight off these feelings it is important to first realize that there is no need to rush through the speech. If you rush not only will you feel stressed and out of breath, but the audience will feel it as well. Take your time and keep the audience engaged in what you are saying. Embrace the role of the speaker and enjoy it. Use the nervousness you may feel towards energy and enthusiasm.

Be Prepared

Reading a speech word for word can be laborious and boring for you and the audience. If you have a script, don't read it word for word and definitely dont' try and memorize it as it prevents you from having to think on your feet. Rather a better option would be to have an outline that guides you through your points but also gives you flexibility and time to think about what you are talking about.

You aren't perfect

No one is expecting you to be perfect, and you shouldn't expect yourself to be either. This puts a lot of unnecessary stress on yourself and is unrealistic. After the speech, look at the good things you did rather than dwelling on the negative. If you made any mistakes only you will know, that is unless you point them out to the audience.

Practice. Practice. Practice

As many of our parents told us at a young age, Practice makes perfect. This is often true when trying to overcome the fear of public speaking. Everytime you give a presentation or speech, you are finding ways to improve for your next speech. It takes time and practice so don't get too frustrated at first.

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