There are many people who have the fear of public speaking. If you have anxiety before speaking in public, just remember you are not alone. For most people, the fear can even be debilitating. Some people shake, while others sweat or get a running stomach just at the prospect of speaking in public. The good news, however, is that you can overcome this fear. Here are some tips on how to overcome public speaking anxiety.
1. Prepare Adequately
One of the best ways of ensuring that you do not experience anxiety before speaking in public is by preparing your speech well in advance. Preparing your speech involves doing a lot of research on the topic you will be speaking about. It also entails practicing your speech by yourself or in front of people before the big day. If you are adequately prepared, you will have an easier time than if you had not.
2. Practice Makes Perfect!
A seasoned public speaker will tell you that speaking in public frequently will give you the sense of confidence that you are looking for. It all depends on how bad you want to master the art. For some people, finding opportunities to speak in public works like magic. All you have to do is volunteer or sign up for public speaking events and give it a shot. Before you know it, you will have gotten better and better.
3. Know Your Audience
One of the things which most public speakers do in order to do a perfect speech is knowing their audience beforehand. Whether you are speaking before a group of family or friends, or a professional group for work purposes, you must understand what your audience is expecting from you. This way, you will not be nervous because you said something inappropriate or made a distasteful joke.
4. Focus on a Familiar Face in the Audience
Another trick which master public speakers use when they are nervous is to focus on a person they know in the audience. This helps them start off nicely and with less anxiety. It also makes your interaction with your audience less strained as they will think you are good at maintaining eye contact.
If you are called upon to speak on a topic that is not your forte, you can reduce your anxiety by using props. Some of the best props to use may be other people in your audience or even a PowerPoint presentation. The trick lies in being able to break the ice while maintaining the audience’s focus on what you are speaking on. You should also be cautious when using people in your audience, because some of them might be uncomfortable and they may decline your offer. Always ask people to volunteer instead of handpicking.
Public speaking comes with its challenges, but the reality is that just like any other art, it can be mastered. With these five useful tips, you should be able to overcome the fear of public speaking in no time.