Tips for Public Speaking Anxiety

You can enjoy many benefits of being a fearless public speaker. The Wall Street Journal states that public speaking is the leading fear in the United States. Fear of death ranks second. In other words, most people are afraid of public speaking than they are afraid of death. They would rather jump off a plane or from the topmost part of a four-story building and not speak in the public. If you are among the people who need help, you have a fear of death, known as the fear of emotional death.

Tips for public speaking anxiety

The main reason you might not want to speak in the public is that you feel exposed and naked when in front of people. You believe that others will scrutinize everything you say or do. As a result, you are likely to pressure yourself to appear perfect to prevent the suffering of your self-worth. We all do that in fear of facing rejection.

So, how should you increase your confidence and reduce public speaking anxiety? You will have to avoid several bad habits and incorporate a few helpful tips. Here are several tips for public speaking anxiety reduction to use.

Prepare adequately

Most speakers will take several minutes to organize slides before they start talking. However, that is not a good way to prepare for your public performance. Just as a musician would not start the preparation part 10 minutes before going on stage for performance, you should not do it too. The method of preparation can be unjust for your audience who will sit for 10, 20, 30 or even 60 minutes listening to what you have. You will need to prepare for around one week before giving a presentation so that you can feel comfortable.

By formatting your talks in “point, example, point, example” format, you will be able to visualize the whole presentation and think deeply about your subject matter. File the topic point, skip to the introduction and conclude. Use stories for better results.

Practice like you are doing the real thingpublic speaking anxiety

When preparing the presentation, set up the environment as if you are giving the real presentation. That will remove any unknown variable and you will spend lesser mental energy thinking about the details when delivering the real presentation on stage. A study that MIT researchers conducted in the year 2009 showed that when many visual stimulants exist before a speaker, one or two things are activated in the brain, which means that the speaker can only focus on 1-2 items.

You will have to stand in a play where everything you will want to do is connect with your audience and deliver your speech or story in a better way without worrying about the arrangement of your slides or the best place to stand on stage. Another better way of preparing for public speaking involves speaking out the presentation in front of another person. The method will reduce anxiety when you get in public – you will have read the presentation in front of a real person.

Never expect perfection

No one is perfect in this world. However, in public speaking, everyone will kick him/herself overall little perceived mistakes she makes. They magnify the imperfections while ignoring anything that is well and good. When preparing for public speaking, keep in mind that anyone, including the most experienced speaker, will make a mistake from time to time.

And whenever they do it, they recover very fast. In other words, you should keep going because everything is well. That is among the important tips for public speaking anxiety avoidance to keep in mind. Most of the people will not realize your mistakes unless you decide to halt the speech, confess to them or break down. Proceed without poise.

Public speaking is different from your self-worth

You have worked hard to get to your current position and public speaking is just a small part of your professional ability. If you are not confident, there is room for improvement. Some capable professionals end up shriveling up as though nothing about them is right. Whether you are an expert in public speaking or inexperienced, keep in mind that it has nothing to do with your personal value. It is a skill that people learn and improve with time.

Do not be nervous about the nervousness

Bruce Springsteen, a singer, and songwriter who is widely known for live performances observed that each time he felt relaxed before a show he would not perform as he would if he felt nervous. The singer had a better way of channeling the nervousness into power and excitement on the stage.

Lack of confidence will cause you to feel nervous and on top of that, you will feel anxious about the nervousness. The result is compounded anxiety, which can be much stress to deal with. Nervousness is all about the flow of adrenaline. It is a form of energy that you can make work for you and turn nervousness into charisma, engagement, and enthusiasm. If you are nervous, make the energy work for your benefit.

Do not memorize every statement memo

Unless it is your marriage vows or the Pledge of Allegiance, you do not need to memorize the speech word by word. Memorization of statements will increase stress and compound your nervousness if the words you have memorized go amiss.

Do not read word for word

Do not read your presentations word for word. In public speaking, reading is very different from speaking. Actually, dry reading will disseminate the information and turn off the audience. Use your personality and content to make an impact so that your audience can understand your messages and see you as a professional. Each time you read excessively from a script you will limit your chance of advancement.

Tips for public speaking anxietyEngage your audience

Monologue presentation will put the whole task of entertaining and informing the audience on you. Make the presentation a two-way interaction by asking questions to minimize boredom. If a group is involved, you will be able to reorganize your thoughts if something goes off track.

Conclusion

When applying the tips for public speaking anxiety, keep in mind that you will have to deal with your ego. In public speaking, your ego might be your greatest enemy. If your ego is much, you might not be able to connect with the audience. If it is very little, you will not earn the trust of your audience. You have to be present, be Humble and confident.

To your public speaking success

Rod Taylor

Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking

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7 Comments

  1. ajibola40

    Nice article on tips for public speaking anxiety. From experience it is essential as a person to be able to speak in public for this will enable you to express yourself in the manner you wish and moreover it is one of the quality of a leadership because as from the beginning of time leaders are always a good public speakers I know many will find this tips useful in speaking to the public 

    • Rod Taylor

      Thank you fro the comment.  Yes, you are right, leaders do need to know hot to overcome any public speaking anxiety.  I am glad you enjoyed the article.

  2. Doug

    I myself have done very little public speaking. I ran my own business for 38 years, other than having staff meetings with my employees (5-6) maximum. To me the low number of people were easier to talk too, but I also new them and worked with them daily.

    While I was reading your tips on public speaking, I do remember one occasion when I was talking to about 100 people that, I soon realized that I needed to talk to the people and not stare at the floor in front of me. Once I looked out at the people and saw some smiling pleasant faces, that seemed to be what I needed to continue speaking.

    Thanks for your tips on public speaking, had I applied your techniques and done research on how to be a good public speaker, I just may have become more in evolved in facing and speaking publicly.    

  3. Adamuts

    Wow…….this is a motivating article on tips for public speaking anxiety. Public speaking is one of the hardest thing for people to engage in, but following these tips step by step will definitely be of help and an advantage over the anxiety of speaking in the public . All leaders are readers but not all readers are leaders, a good leader must possess the quality of public speaking. I gained a lot from this article and it will be of help to me. Best regards 

    • Rod Taylor

      Thank you for you comment.  You remark about leaders being readers, is spot on.  Readers are also better public speakers.

  4. Ola

    One thing I have always wanted to learn is how to speak publicly. I have read different books but it seems your tips are quite unique compared to what I have been reading before now. I think one of my setbacks is because I always expect perfection and it discourages me a lot whenever I am unable to perform due to expectation. The tips you have shared is an eye opener for me and I would make sure I implement.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Rod Taylor

      Thank you Ola for the comment.  Public speaking anxiety is far more common than you may think, but these simple tips can go a long way to overcome it.

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