The idea of public speaking can strike fear into even the most confident of people. The cold sweats, the sickness, the pounding of the heart can all come on when faced with the task of standing in front of a crowd.
You’re not alone if you feel this way. ‘Glossophobia‘ is the second biggest fear in the UK, finishing ahead of a fear of snakes, a fear of flying and even a fear of spiders. 56% of Brits admit a fear of public speaking, with 20% of those people being “very afraid” according to a YouGov survey.
Public speaking is a largely sought-after skill at all levels of a business or organisation and having the ability to speak clearly, coherently and confidently in front of people can accelerate your aspirations. Wondering how to overcome a fear of public speaking? Let’s take a look.
Discuss What You Love
This is one of the best ways to overcome a fear of public speaking, or at the very least delay the fear. Having the passion to share something that is unique, engaging and helpful can alleviate much of the fear. If your speech is driven by your feelings and what you believe in, you will soon forget about nerves while you attempt to further your knowledge in a subject that intrigues you. This will significantly reduce the nerves in the build-up and before you know it the big day will be ahead of you. At this stage, you’ll be so passionate about the themes of your speech that your glossophobia will take a backseat.
“Failure to prepare, prepare to fail”. It’s one of the oldest adages in the book. Preparation can make you feel confident. Knowing your subject matter and knowing that it is useful to your audience ensures you have the motivation you need to stand on stage. Spend time researching, punctuating your speech with stories from your experiences and helpful facts and stats. When you’re happy with what is on the page, practice it and practice it again.
And Again, and Again
Practising a speech is central to quelling your fears of public speaking. Giving yourself time to rehearse, and telling yourself that you will be prepared come crunch time is a recipe for success. Rehearse your speech, in front of the mirror, in front of friends or family you trust until you have memorized it fully and feel confident of smashing it on stage. Work on your delivery too, ensuring you are not looking at long sentences throughout your speech. Make it flow in a natural way by giving yourselves one or two word prompts that help you remember your next point.
Positivity is infectious, and that infectiousness is not only reserved for the people around you. Get a buzz from yourself. Pump yourself up with positivity by envisioning your success in the way that athletes do on the track. But also stay calm by breathing deeply, eliminating those butterflies. Know that when your speech is done you can reward yourself for taking a giant leap.
Share the Pressure
It can be overwhelming when it is you under a spotlight in front of a group of people who are expecting or at least hoping to get something out of your speech. But guess what? They’re on your side. They want to learn something from you, be inspired or find an action point lodged in your presentation. Use this to your advantage. Monologues can be tiresome and sometimes switch audiences off. Interact with the audience; a more conversational approach can put you more at ease.
Record Yourself Practicing
This can be key in getting used to how you speak and when you might need to change your intonation to be more authoritative or expressional. Many people dislike the sound of their voice but after a while of listening to it on a recording, you can use this to improve your tone and delivery.
Take a Class
There are experts out there who have done public speaking countless times on stages around the world. Tap into their secrets. Find out how they engage a crowd and keep their nerves in check. At Champions Speakers, we work with thousands of world-class speakers who have honed their craft to an exceptional level. You can book one to share their knowledge today.
Being nervous is normal however prepared you are for your speech. You can channel your energy into adrenaline though. Adrenaline can make you perform better. It naturally negates nerves, creating a platform for you to express yourself while feeling less fearful of rejection.
Provide a Killer Hook
Hooks are what keep us reading, listening and learning. We want to feel something from a speech – creating that is up to you. Find the parts of your personal and professional life stories that you know people love listening to. Develop them into works of art, ensuring they contain the drama an audience needs to increase the dopamine in their brain.
Get Paid to Do It
Once you’ve mastered the art of public speaking – you are ready to start increasing your quota of speaking arrangements. Start small and don’t command such a high fee until you are confident you are delivering a service that is as good as it can possibly be. Then it’s up to you how far you go.
If you’re ready to extend your public speaking efforts and make yourself available to support businesses and organisation of all shapes and sizes to improve their performance, motivation and more, get in touch with our team today. If you need further help with fear of public speaking, we can put you in touch with top consultants specialising in helping you to discover how to speak in public without fear.