You Can Overcome Your Public Speaking Fear
Public speaking is one of the most common fears that have plagued humans for years, if not since the beginning of man. I doubt that delivering the Gettysburg Address was easy for Abraham Lincoln. Like many of us today, he probably paced the floor while reciting those words inside his head over and over again. And what about Martin Luther King? He approached the world with such a tender subject and changed the lives of humankind forever. I can't imagine that being anything less than nerve-racking for him, but by overcoming the fear of public speaking he left the world a much better place.
Everyone is different, but I'm sure there are some helpful suggestions that will work for all of us. Practice - it's a sure way to be positive that you know your material. It might be helpful to practice at home in front of all your friends and family. As the saying goes, "practice makes perfect".
Confidence is key. If you know that you are a great speaker, then everyone else will know you are, too. No one is born to be a public speaker, but anyone can learn to be a great one. Be sure of yourself, while still practicing humility, and your words should flow like water off a duck's back.
Remember that you are speaking to human beings, not a roomful of gods and goddesses. We all make mistakes and that's okay. If it helps, practice the timeless trick of imagining everyone is naked, but personally I wouldn't be able to help laughing. Find something that works for you and try it out.
Research. When it comes to public speaking, you want to be absolutely sure you know what you are talking about. Get on the computer, go to the library or talk to people who can provide you with further information. You can never know too much and knowing too little might prove to be a humiliating experience for you, if you leave yourself open to ridicule then overcoming the fear of public speaking will be impossible., you won't want to repeat the experience.
Choose only a few key points, research them in depth and stick to them. People want to learn and if you have taught them even just one new thing, they will feel like their time with you was a success. Picking out only a few key points will help you to provide your audience with more details and will keep you from doing tons of research. This way, you will have more time to practice your speech and work on your delivery.
Decide what approach will work best for you. Perhaps you could start out with a joke to ease the tension or maybe a happy story to put your audience more at ease. If your audience feels comfortable with you, then you will feel more comfortable speaking to them. If that's the case, you will have a wonderful experience and hopefully conquer your fear of public speaking.
You live and you learn. Some experiences will be better than others, but you should walk away from each one having learned something new. Once you overcome the fear of public speaking, you will find it an exhilarating experience to command a room full of people just by your own voice.
The Two Main Fears People Have
If you're one of those who panics when if front of a group of people, there are more than likely one of two reasons.
The first reason is you fear messing up. You're worried you'll stutter and stammer your way through the presentation. You're worried you'll forget everything you wanted to say, even if it's written down in front of you. Or, you're worried your mind may go completely blank. All these things can be make stronger if you've ever seen someone struggle through their own presentation. What if it happens to you?
The second reason people are afraid is because they're worried about what people will think. Will they think what you have to say is stupid? Nobody wants to look dumb. Will they blankly stare at you when you make a joke? Are they going to make fun of the way you are dressed? Will the audience laugh at you or talk behind your back when you are done? You've probably done that to someone else and you surely don't want it happening to you. In other words, your biggest fear is what kind of response you will get. Sure you think you're capable of delivering the message, but how will it be received.
Well first of all, if you're worried about these things, no matter how capable you think you are, your message will not be presented or received as well at it could be.
But the best solution to both of these fears is confidence. And as we mentioned above, you can get more confident. Just follow the tips outlined above and if you need to get help from the source we told you about.
The good news is, you really can become a confident public speaker and reap the rewards that come along with it.
Don't let what happens to Don Knotts in the video below happen to you.