Fear Of Public Speaking: Mental Tricks To Overcome And Conquer Your Fear
It takes that extra something to be able to address a group of people. With every public performance, be it a recital or just simple public speaking, nervousness while public speaking is something that people experience side by side. Any forms of public performances, be it song recitals or even dance performances, may cause nervousness. Public speaking though, is not just a one-way performance, but involves interacting with the audience to keep up their interest levels. I am not just talking about the palpitations that one experiences when he has to make a public speech. That bit of anxiety is desirable and is what pushes us to give our best. What I am referring to, is about having cold feet and a feelings of dizziness when one even thinks of speaking to a crowd. Let's understand the causes of what many simply refer to as 'nervousness public speaking' and some nervousness public speaking tips to overcome the drawback.
Nervousness and Public Speaking - Causes
Some unpleasant childhood experiences are what have been found to be one of the main reasons for nervousness during public speaking. One wrong pronunciation, one lapse of memory and the whole class may laugh at you. The teacher may scold you so that you don't repeat the mistake. But any one of such instances may leave an indelible impression in a child's mind, that scars his confidence for speaking in public for a lifetime.
Other than this, there is the fear of rejection and self consciousness. Am I looking wise? Am I talking smart? Would my point be accepted? What if I am criticized in front of everyone? These thoughts often plague one when he is required to make a public speech. After all no one wants to cut a sorry image of oneself in front of an audience.
Well while there are inherent factors that relate nervousness and public speaking, there is another aspect that goes a long way in making great public speakers out of average men. That factor is PRACTICE. Rehearsing one's speech using public speaking exercises.
Overcoming Nervousness and Public Speaking - Tips
Here are some useful tips that will help you learn how to give a speech confidently:
Know Your Subject
In case you are starting off with public speaking as a practice to overcome nervousness during public speaking, choose a topic that you have good knowledge on. Once you know that what you would speaking at the event is correct, half your fear of public speaking would be gone.
Prepare a Researched Speech
One of the best ways of performing well in public speaking and coping with the nervousness associated with it, is to prepare a well researched speech. In case the topic does not belong to your area of expertise, do not despair. Internet and libraries are excellent repositories of information on almost any subject. Familiarize yourself with the various aspects of the topic and prepare for all the probable questions that the audience may have regarding your speech.
It's a Mind Game and You are the Winner
The key to overcoming the fear of public speaking is to understand that the hurdle is more in the mind of the speaker than it actually is. The audience there does not expect you to come out with brilliant ideas like Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Some useful suggestions would definitely be expected. Nevertheless you wouldn't be walked to the gallows if the audience did not agree with you. All that is expected of you is to give some relevant points that you must make to sound credible, using proper reason and logic.
Reach the Venue Well Before Time
Remember that what makes us more nervous is how we feel just before the speech than what happens once we are on the podium. Reach the venue well in advance. This is one of the most effective tips for public speaking nervousness control. Familiarize yourself with the surroundings. Talk to people around. Some of them may be the audience. This will help you relax before the event starts and you would realize that like I said earlier, the audience does not expect a revelation from you. Remember that more than what one speaks, it is how one speaks it that sets the audience's reaction in one's favor.
Attend Public Speaking Events
This will help you in understanding what is required of a good public speaker. Observe the smart ones, how they speak, their body language and how they interact with the audience. You may think that the confidence that they exude is something that they were born with. But let me tell you my friend, it can be inculcated.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Having talked about inculcating confidence, what helps you in doing that? The magical word that helps in dealing with stage fright and overcoming nervousness during public speaking is PRACTICE. Practice in your college auditorium or in your office boardroom when it is unoccupied. You could also ask a friend to sit for audience and take his feedback on your performance. At home, look into the mirror and practice your speech. Observe your body language and make note of the aspects that need to be worked on.
Before Walking Up to the Stage
While you are sitting with the other speakers take deep breaths. Fresh supply of oxygen will soothe you and calm your nerves. In most cases, speakers sit facing the audience. Within the crowd there would always be a few friendly faces. Locate them and remember to look at them while you speak. If you are carrying your notes, attach the picture of your pet, your friend or your favorite cartoon character - whatever makes you smile and occasionally look at them.
When on Stage
If you are carrying your notes don't hold them in your hands once you walk over to the microphone. Also don't hold the microphone in your hand. In case your nerves haven't yet calmed and your hands are trembling, your notes or the microphone would betray your nervousness. One of the most effective public speaking tips is to start your speech with a tinge of humor. It could be a joke or a funny incident (could be fictitious, but you could pass it off as a true one). Try to maintain eye contact with the audience. This would quickly gain you audience's favor.
Brush up your knowledge on some of the:
- Types of Public Speaking
- Famous Speeches