How to face the fear of public speaking?
Checking the mirror several times to see how you look, skimming through your cue cards repeatedly, enquiring when you need to be on stage, and looking terrified when you are invited to speak are symptoms of Glossophobia. Few may be aware of the term Glossophobia, but many are familiar with its impact. Close to 77% of the world population fears speaking before an audience.
If you are afraid too, do not worry. Remember, you can conquer any fear. You only need to work towards it. Following are some tips that will help you overcome and become a master at public speaking.
Prepare and practice
Public speaking is a learnable skill. The more you prepare, the better you become. Never get on the stage unprepared. When you receive an invitation to be a speaker, start training immediately. Write a powerful script and read it to your loved ones for honest feedback. Stand ahead of the mirror and read out your speech several times. Focus on speaking as clearly as possible.
Pay attention to body language and avoid making too many hand movements. Have a clear stance and speak with confidence.
Pick a familiar topic
A common challenge most people face is missing out on important speaking points. You end up saying that it is irrelevant or of lesser importance. To avoid this, pick a topic you are familiar with for public speaking. This way, you know what you will speak and have plenty of pointers. Plus, when you talk about a topic you are passionate about, that energy translates to the audience. This way, you can connect and engage with the audience better.
Be unafraid of the audience
Do you peep to the stage behind the curtains to see how people have gathered to hear you speak? Are you more anxious than excited to see a room full of audience? You need to drive the audience's fear away to become a successful speaker. Try interacting with them. Share with them your story, and be vulnerable. This helps you break the barriers and build a rapport with them.
Always maintain an eye contact with the audience. This portrays confidence and enables you to be more direct with your words.
Do not fear silence
Do you fear you would go blank and be unaware of speaking before the audience? This is something faced by every speaker, even the most successful ones. Do not fear a moment of silence. If you go blank, take a few deep breaths, and try to collect your thoughts. Sign up for communication skills training program to polish your public speaking skills. Remember that fear exists only in your mind.
Do not let it come in the way of your success. Have self-confidence and put your best foot forward with every speech.