Overcoming Fear of Speaking

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How many of you would consider yourself brave? Self Confident? “There are two types of speakers: Those that are nervous, and those that are liars. ” Mark Twain. Introduction Just imagine yourself being in front of thousands of people. Giving a presentation on how to live a better life, and a happier one. People are chearing, laughing, and having a great time. The presentation ends with a standing ovation and you feel on top of the world, inconquerable. To think you were once worried about public speaking, but no more. Thanks to your improved speaking you are much more confident person.

Unfortunately this is just a dream, and you must face reality. Do you have problems with public speaking ? If you fear the spotlight, you are not alone. 3 out of 4 people have some form of stage fright, ranging from small worries to physically disabiling symptoms, such as vommiting. This fear is known as Glossophobia. This goes for everyone, including those who have to give numerous speeches every year. Barack Obama, for example, who speaks in front of millions and millions of people, will admit that deep down he is often afraid when giving speeches.

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The reason he has become such a great public speaker is because of practice. He has given so many speeches throughout the course of his life, that rarely, does he ever start to second guess or give into his fears. And today you have a unique opportunity, because we are going to tell you some useful tips how to overcome your stage fright and become a successful public speaker. The first step in solving a problem, is admitting a problem. So in order to over come your fear of public speaking, you must first identify with it. Here are some common symptoms: dry mouth, sweaty and shaky hands, fast pulse, trembling lips and so on.

But there are merely physical symptoms, only you will ever truly know if you suffer from stage fright. So be open, be honest, and listen to the important information we are about to present you with to help conquer you fear once and for all. Main part First of all you should know that preparation is critical. Never underestimate how important good preparation is to reducing your anxiety. When you know what you want to accomplish, what you are going to say, and how you are going to say it, you will be less anxious. Mark Twain claimed it took him three weeks to prepare an “impromptu” speech.

Another great speaker, Winston Churchill, said it took him six to eight hours to prepare a 45-minute presentation. Here are two important rules for preparing your presentation. 1: Know your topic. Audiences can sense when you are bluffing, and when they feel you are unsure of your material, they lose confidence in you. Being unprepared also makes you, the speaker, anxious. If you give any type of speech, you should be an expert about its topic. 2: Imagine questions people might ask. Come up with answers before you give your speech.

Either incorporate the answers into your presentation or hold them in readiness in case those questions are asked. For example, many corporate leaders and public people use this technique when planning to meet the press. A day or two before the press conference, leaders are briefed by staff about likely questions and possible answers. That review makes them more confident. They feel better prepared. If they do so and it really helps, try to do it too. 3. Memorize the first minute of your presentation. You experience your greatest anxiety at the beginning of a speech.

Having the start of your presentation memorized makes you more comfortable. You also may want to memorize the last minute of your presentation in order to conclude with conviction. Don’t stick with the ‘usual’ People with stage fright often have very rigid expections about what makes a good presentation. “every good speech starts with a joke. ” An anxious scientist believed that “all speeches should have three main points. ” A VP related that “every presentation must in clude color graphics. ” These speakers liked and stuck to their rules about speaking.

Consequently, they were haunted by them. All of these rules may help give a good presentation, but they are not necessary to give a great presentation. Be flexible. Drop the rigid rules! Know the audience and settings. If you know your audience and setting before giving a presentation, you can greatly reduce your anxiety and fear. How can you get aquanted with your audience? The answer is simple. Just try to talk to a few people who will be in the audience. Ask who else will be attending and what interests them. May be you can find out what knowledge the audience already has.

Just as important, look over the setting before your presentation. Find out where you will be speaking and get there early. Check the room’s acoustics, sit in a chair and see the room from the audience’s perspective. Test all the equipment. Assume nothing. It is very important during your speech to focus on your Audience, not on yourself. On generall, most of us do not like to feel conspicuous. When you talk to a group of 20 people, there are 40 eyes staring at you. If you start thinking about all this attention, your focus may shift from the presentation to yourself.

Focusing on the audience will help take away the worries and fear of what you are doing. Television broadcasters know this. In studios they avoid looking at monitors while the camera is on them. If they watch themselves, they’ll be distracted. Some books suggest that you practice in front of a mirror. Have any of you ever tried this?.. This is bad advice! When you start talking, you’ll notice your facial expressions, your hair, and your gestures, shifting focus away from your presentation. What should you do when you feel self-conscious during a presentation?

Talk to individual listeners. Pick out a person. Tell yourself that you are going to talk right at him until he begins to smile. Then, move to another audience member and do the same. What you are doing is shifting your attention away from your self and onto the audience. Relabel Your Physical Symptoms Positively Much like an athlete getting ready for a big game, your body gets “up” when you make a speech: your heart beats faster, your palms get sweaty, your legs seem a little wobbly. When experiencing these feelings, some people think, “I’m scared. Other people say to themselves, “I’m excited. “. The only difference between fear and excitement is what you call it. The adrenaline rush from jumping out of a plane is the same rush you get prior to a presentation. The difference is that you call the former fun while labelling presentations scary. Same feeling, different label. So next time you start a speech, label the experience positively. Labeling is only the first step. People who have a great deal of stage fright often talk themselves into being nervous: “This is going to be awful. . .

I’m going to make a fool of myself. . . People are going to walk out” When you talk this way, you may begin to believe it. Experienced speakers convince themselves that they’ll do a great job: “I’m going to be incredible … This is awesome! … Im prepared and ready to go! ” Use the energy you experience—don’t be used by it. Before your presentation, walk around if you can, take some deep breaths, stretch. When you start your presen tation, move, use gestures. Let your nervous energy ani mate your speech. You Don’t Look That Nervous People are often their own biggest critic.

Often times after a presentation you will judge yourself harshly even while others congratulate you. Research shows you often don’t look as nervous as you feel. But the more you think you look nervous, the more it may be exaggerated. Conclusion It goes without saying that is it not easy to eliminate or even reduce stage fright. It cannot be done in a day and requires practice and commitment to facing your fears. The techniques we have discussed will help bring you a long way, but the rest of the work is up to you. You must expect to make mistakes, which in turn give you a chance to learn and grow.

Try not to focus on the negative so much, a positive thinker is an intelligent thinker. In Summary: Strategies for Reducing Stage Fright Know more than your audience. Prepare your message; indeed, over prepare. Get to know some members of the audience before you speak. Memorize the first and last minutes of your presentation. Focus on your audience, not on yourself. Don’t practice in front of a mirror. Never tell the audience you are nervous. Talk positively about your presentation to yourself. Turn your energy into something positive. Be flexible and adaptive during your presentation.

Understand that no presentation is “that important. ” Remember that you are not a good judge of how nervous you appear. Workshop Exercise Visualize: This may sound silly but listen to this, recent studies show that pianists who imagined practicing in their heads, without touching a keyboard, improved as rapidly as those who practiced at the instrument. Athletes have known this for years. We would like all of you to sit quietly, and start to relax. Please close your eyes. Being breathing deeply and slowly, imagine something relaxing, such as walking through the forest, or laying on the beach at sunset.

You feel comfortable and calm, at peace with the world. For the next part, I would like you to invision yourself getting up on stage, about to give a presentation. Think about everything you’ll be doing and how that makes you feel. Imagine how you come into the room, how you are in the front of all these people and ready to present. If you are getting nervous at this time, switch your mind onto the positive image that you have already created earlier. Just feel relax, its all in your mind. When you feel relaxed once again, continue with imagining your presentation. Now you are going to start to present.

You give your introduction and everyone listens to you. Focus on your audience, image how they are looking at you, how they are reacting. If you feel anxious at any time, simply go back to relaxing. Now imagine yourself giving a great presentation, feeling confident, and really think how good that feels. Keep that feeling with you and realize you are capable of this the next time you present. Now relax, great job,this visualization is complete. The more you practice visualization, the better speaker you will be come. Research shows that, although these methods may seem silly, they work.

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Overcoming Fear of Speaking. (2016, Oct 27). Retrieved from


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