Public speaking is an art which most people do not master easily. For some people, the prospect of speaking in public is not only daunting but also a trigger for anxiety. Whether you are confident, intelligent or competent, you could still experience anxiety before any public speaking session.
What most people do not know is that this fear has a name – glossophobia. The good news, however, is that you can overcome it. Here are several tips on how to overcome public speaking anxiety.
One of the best ways of overcoming public speaking anxiety is by starting small. Unless you are forced to speak before a huge crowd of people, make sure that you start with a smaller crowd. Practicing your speech before a couple of friends or family members is advisable. Before you know it, you will gain enough courage to speak to more and more people.
It is one thing to have the fear of speaking before a big crowd of people, and another to feel incompetent. It is important that you practice your speech days or even weeks before your scheduled presentation. When you thoroughly understand the content of your presentation, your confidence levels will increase. All you will have to deal with on the D-day is the pre-presentation jitters.
Engage your Audience
One of the important tricks which most master public speakers have mastered is the art of engaging their audience. If you decide to do a monologue, the burden of entertaining your crowd will solely rest on you. Finding ways of having your audience contribute to your presentation will break the ice and put you at ease. Humor, if used appropriately, is also a tool which you can use to engage your audience.
Go with the Flow
What most people do not understand is that even the best of public speakers started from somewhere, and chances are that they also experience anxiety before a speech. The good news is that with every second into the speech, you are bound to feel more relaxed. The common mistake which you may make is to try and hide your fear. This may work against you instead. If your audience detects your fear, they may feed off your energy and speech may ed up a disaster. Going with the flow is the best thing you can do in such a situation.
Take a Class
For some people, a few public speaking classes is what they need to overcome public speaking anxiety. With the internet here with us, finding an online class, or one near you is very easy. In a class setting, you not only engage with your teacher and mentor, but also other students who may also experience public speaking anxiety just like you.
Volunteer to Speak
Practice makes perfect! This is also true for public speaking. Instead of waiting for public speaking opportunities, it is advisable that you look out for them instead. Speaking about a topic that you love will make you feel more comfortable and relaxed before the big day.
There are many avenues for you to exercise your skill, including family events such as weddings, school, church and charity events. The idea is to practice speaking in front of diverse groups of people as much as possible. Starting out with familiar groups will build your confidence and reduce your public speaking anxiety a great deal.
Benefits of Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety
One of the reasons why you should strive to be a good public speaker is that it will improve your personal life and career all at once. Overcoming your fear of public speaking will not only make you a good and effective communicator but also a good leader. If you own a business, you could put your newly-acquired skill to use and earn yourself a wider clientele. You will also notice a great deal of growth in all aspects of your life including your relationships, both intimate and professional.
Mastering the art of public speaking involves working on your anxiety. The good news is that this can be done! All you have to do is accept the challenge and work towards overcoming your fear. With these useful tips, this should be fairly easy!
To your success,
Overcome Public Speaking Fear