You CAN learn how to overcome fear of public speaking
Are you sick of seeing your apparently more confident colleagues get noticed because they can speak in public?
Is your fear of embarrassing yourself in front of groups holding you back from becoming a better speaker?
Would you secretly like to become a confident speaker but are too scared to even try? If so, the information on this page will help.
I meet lots of people like you who want to learn how to overcome their fear of public speaking and, I feel privileged to have watched many of them blossom into confident, credible and compelling speakers.
Imagine what doors might open for you when you are able to let go of your public speaking anxiety.
"The feeling you get when you engage and influence an audience for the first time is out of this world."
And it get’s even better as your skills and confidence build.
The good news:
As unbelievable as it may seem right now, you can overcome your fear of public speaking with the appropriate help and guidance.
The bad news:
You have to be willing to face up to your fear and then push through it. You cannot overcome the fear of public speaking without giving speeches or making presentations. Like most skills, it takes practice to develop the level of mastery desired.
More good news:
With the help of the information on this page, you'll learn how to overcome your fear of public speaking. Every idea and technique on this page works if you apply it. I know because I have used them to help thousands of people like you become confident speakers and presenters. If they can do it so can you!
Ready to take the first steps to a new, more confident you?
Get yourself ready to speak
- Choose a small friendly audience to start with:
When starting 0ut, most people find it easier to seek out speaking opportunities where the audience size isn’t too intimidating. Here's how to make your talk relevant to any audience.
- Choose a topic you know about and feel strongly about:
When you are learning to become a confident public speaker it makes sense to start by making things easy for yourself. Speaking about something that you are passionate about makes perfect sense.
- Remember that perfection isn’t connection:
Like all human beings, you will make the odd mistake, and your audience won’t think any the less of you for this. In fact, they will empathise with you and that builds a powerful connection.
- Make time to practice your speech:
Rehearsing your speech will reduce the chances of things going wrong, and therefore, reduce your anxiety. I think it’s a bit like getting a “flu jab.” It's a form of inoculation that triggers a mild form of the “dis-ease” in order to reduce the chances of a full-blown attack. Here are some tips
- Acknowledge your feelings and embrace your vulnerability:
Denying your feelings doesn’t help. Most speakers, if they are honest, feel some degree of nervousness at the thought of making a speech or presentation. Strange as it may seem taking a few minutes to be with your emotions can transform them.
- Question any negative self-talk:
our fear of public speaking arises from your thinking. Does your “inner critic” undermine your willingness to speak in public? While it’s almost impossible to switch off these thoughts, you can challenge their validity. Here’s how...
- What to do if you hate people looking at you:
Scopophobia is is an irrational fear of being looked at and it can be a real problem for some people. Here's one way to deal with it.
- Reframe fear into excitement
The physical symptoms that we associate with fear are due to adrenalin and are more or less the same as the ones we feel when we are very excited about something. Many people find that relabelling their fear as “excitement” or “anticipation” creates a much more resourceful mindset.
- Visualise success
I said earlier that our thinking is the cause of our public speaking anxiety. By recalling past public speaking failures, or imagining what could go wrong, often in great detail, you are torturing yourself unnecessarily. Instead, take the time to mentally rehearse success.
- Focus on your existing public speaking strengths:
Some people cannot help but focus on their shortcomings and failings. While you cannot simply switch this trait off overnight, you can retrain your thinking by setting yourself the challenge of listing your strengths too.
- Remember that your audience wants you to do well
Most good speakers have a positive expectation of themselves and their audience. I call it inverse paranoia. Find out more about it here. Find out more about it here.
- Release any tension in your body:
Stress and anxiety cause tension in the body which can restrict your ability to speak and, in turn, trigger, even more, anxiety. This quick exercise is the perfect way to release tension before you start.
- Take three deep breaths:
Breathing is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to let go of stress and anxiety. Before you start to speak, take a few deep breaths and feel the tension leave your body.
- Pause and connect:
Do you find that looking out at a sea of expectant faces makes you more nervous? Relax, you are not alone. Even professional speakers get this feeling when speaking to an unfamiliar audience. Do what they do – pause and connect before you start to speak.
During your speech
- Act as if you are confident, (even if you think you aren’t!):
Your physiology can override your psychology. Adopt an open, balanced stance, make eye contact with all areas of the audience, gesture naturally and move with purpose. Some people call this “fake it until you make it.” Remember the first three letters of confidence are “con”.
- Refocus your nervous energy outwards:
When we are feeling anxious, we generate lots of “nervous energy” which can leak out in the form of distracting mannerisms. Try these simple techniques to refocus that energy so that it enhances your presentation.
After your speech
- Seek out specific feedback on what you did well:
When you start out, it’s natural to focus on your mistakes, but this rarely helps. It's hard to be objective when you are starting out so why not find a coach, mentor or buddy who will give you constructive feedback.
- Keep a journal and jot down what when well:
Take a few minutes to reflect objectively on your performance and jot your thoughts down in a journal of some kind. Remember, focus primarily on what went well.
- Consider hiring a public speaking or presentation coach:
If you are serious about becoming a confident speaker then hiring a speech coach can be a great investment. Here's why
Ready to find out more?
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