Public Speaking Fear

Public Speaking Fear

Public Speaking Fear

Before you jump onstage or in front of the room to deliver an important presentation, do you experience physical or emotional symptoms like nausea, sweaty palms, anxiety, or feelings of panic? It may not be so extreme for you, but it happens to millions of people everywhere.

Nine Ways to Help Reduce Presentation Anxiety Some people rank the fear of public speaking higher than the fear of death! It is very real and can be debilitating. Even billionaire Warren Buffett admits that he was "terrified" of public speaking early in his career. He decided that to reach his full potential, he had to overcome his fear of it. If you are faced with a similar challenge, there are several techniques to help you overcome your fears.

  • Nine Ways

Anxiety disorders manifest in many ways and no two cases are ever the same. However, there are certain types of anxiety disorders that present frequently, which include the following:

  • Accept that being nervous is not a bad thing. – FBeing nervous means you care about giving a good presentation. Your nervousness produces adrenaline, which helps you think faster, speak more fluently, and add the needed enthusiasm to convey your message.
  • Don't try to be perfect. – The fear of public speaking often stems from a fear of imperfection. Accept the fact that no one ever gets it perfect and neither will you. Rather than striving to become a "super-speaker," try to just be yourself. Your audience will appreciate it.
  • Know your subject matter. –One must "earn the right," to speak on a particular topic. Become an authority on your topic and know more than most or all of the people in your audience. The more you know, the more confident you will be.
  • Engage your audience. – Audience involvement is key. Ask your audience questions or have them participate in an activity to hold their attention. Turning your presentation from monologue to dialogue helps reduce your nervousness and engages the audience.
  • Visualize your success. – Close your eyes and picture yourself delivering your talk with confidence and enthusiasm. What does the room look like? What do the people look like? How do you look? Picture your successful presentation in detail and allow your mind to help turn your picture into a reality.
  • Practice out loud. – The best way to reduce your anxiety is to rehearse until you feel comfortable. Practicing by yourself is important but also practice in front of a friend, colleague, or coach who will give you honest and constructive feedback.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol. – Caffeinated drinks can increase your heart rate, make you jittery, and cause your hands to shake, which gives your audience the impression you're a nervous wreck. And, it goes without saying, drinking alcohol to cope with your fears will increase your chances of forgetting things and slurring your words.
  • Make eye contact. – Arriving early when the room is full of empty chairs and practicing by "pretending that you are looking into people's eyes." When you begin your talk, pick a few friendly faces in different areas of the room. Not only will the audience appreciate it, but also you will see that they are interested in your message. Add a smile and you are bound to see some in return.

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