You’ve spent endless hours preparing the perfect speech – enthralling, witty, entertaining BUT the minute you get near a stage or podium you begin to fall apart! Fear of public speaking is all too common in our professional and social lives. Tackling your nerves may appear to be an impossible mission. There are however practical tips and techniques that have helped people of all ages to face and even overcome their fear of public speaking.
The rewards of moving beyond fear are invaluable!
Understand Your Fear
Our first step in beating any phobia is to try to understand what causes our reaction. Fear of public speaking is only one of a group of anxiety related illnesses known as social phobia but it is probably the one fear that affects most people. The way our bodies react to fear inducing situations comes from signals in the brain that cause physical symptoms including:
In more extreme cases, a full-blown panic attack can happen, where an overwhelming feeling of anxiety takes over. People resolve to forever avoid the occasion of that fear.
Learn to Channel nervous Energy
Know that you are not alone if you suffer from a genuine fear of public speaking. There are very few of us who initially feel comfortable about getting up on a stage or talking in front of a crowd of people, but the good news is that with effective public speaking training, you can learn how to direct your nervous energy in a positive way. Breathing and relaxation exercises combined with focus on your purpose for speaking are key elements in coping with your anxiety about public speaking.
Learning how to use your nerves to your advantage can often be the first step in beating the fear.
Prepare and Practice
Investing time to prepare content and practice delivery for a planned public speaking event is naturally essential and can go a long way to help ally fears.
For the times when you are asked to make a last minute presentation or to answer questions from your audience a binge of practicing alone at home or in your office is NOT a practical or logical solution. Being able to stand up in front of a group of people without the benefit of practicing beforehand is a challenge that happens often in our busy worlds. This challenge can be met with the right coaching and your own mental focus. Preparing yourself mentally allows you to exchange current habits of thinking in exchange for what works. There are proven ways to prepare for the unexpected!.
Fear of public speaking is a widely recognized problem but there is help and training available. A good public speaking coach should address not only the basics concerns over nerves and anxiety, but will examine the reasons behind the fear, and help you with your individual needs.