There is an obvious reason why people come to the Fearless Presentations ® website and classes. They want to get over the fear of public speaking once-and-for-all. I have personally taught over 2000 public speaking classes in my career. (Yup… I’m old.) Although every class (and every class member) is a unique experience, all had a single thing in common. The people took time out of their schedule to find a way to eliminate public speaking fear.
10 Ways to Get Over the Fear of Public Speaking
- Realize that Most Public Speaking Symptoms are Unseen by the Audience.
- Never, Ever Write a Speech Word-for-Word.
- Avoid Memorizing Your Entire Speech.
- Show Up Early.
- Take a Few Deep Breaths.
- Look for a Friendly Face.
- Drop Your Hands.
- Speak about Topics in which You are an Expert.
- Show Enthusiasm.
- Practice with a Person.
How to Use These Tips to Reduce Stage Fright When You Speak.
1) Realize that Most Public Speaking Symptoms are Unseen by the Audience.
Even though public speaking nervousness symptoms like butterflies in the stomach, racing heart, shallow breathing, and shaky hands can be distracting to us as speakers, most of these things will be unknown to the audience. In fact, some symptoms like speaking faster and moving more can be perceived by the audience as being symptoms of enthusiasm.
2) Never, Ever Write a Speech Word-for-Word.
The biggest mistake that a presenter can make is to write out an entire speech word-for-word. When we do this, we are most likely going to read it to the audience. (Which is really boring.) Many speakers today claim that they would never do something like this, but they also fall into the trap of making a separate bullet point for every, single item that they will cover in the speech. In all practical terms, this is still reading your speech.
3) The Single Best Way to Get Over Public Speaking Fear is to Avoid Memorizing Your Entire Speech.
Because we know that we sound boring when we read a speech, we often fall into the second most common trap which is trying to memorize your entire speech. If you are nervous already, and you memorize your entire speech, your nervousness will shoot through the roof if you lose your place. In a later Podcast, we will show you how to design better presentations so that you can avoid both of these pitfalls.
4) Show Up Early.
If you are the presenter, show up well ahead of your start time. Give yourself time to work out any bugs in setting up your visual aids, etc. Also, get a feel for the room and the setting that you will be presenting in.
5) Take a Few Deep Breaths.
When our heart starts beating faster, it causes a number of public speaking fear symptoms. These symptoms include shortness of breath, queasy stomach, losing your train of thought, and more. If you take a couple of deep breaths from the diaphragm, you will slow down your racing heart a little which will reduce a lot of these symptoms.
6) Look for a Friendly Face.
Remember that, for the most part, the audience is not your enemy. In fact, if you are communicating well, your audience can help you build confidence. When you say something that people in the audience agree with, you will see members of the audience nod slightly. This is a positive piece of feedback to let you know that the person that nodded understood your point, and that you communicated well. As you see these positive forms of feedback, your confidence will grow. The opposite is true too, though. Sometimes there are people in your audience who are tougher to convince or who may just not want to be there at all. The more that you focus on these folks, the more uncomfortable you will feel as the speaker. So, focus on the friendly faces, and most often, the tougher cases will come along if you are really communicating effectively.
7) To Look More Confident When You Speak, Drop Your Hands.8) Eliminate Public Speaking Fear by Speaking about Topics in which You are an Expert.
In business presentations, if you are the person speaking, you are, most often, the person in the room who knows the most about that topic. For instance, if you are the project manager, then you’d be the perfect choice to deliver a project report. When we are learning to present, however, we often have to present on a topic that we actually don’t know a lot about. For instance, in High School, we had to give book reports. Since many of us never actually finished the book, we were really nervous in that situation. A lot of public speaking fear actually comes from well-meaning teachers or coaches trying to help us be more confident. By the way, we aren’t saying to avoid giving a speech if you don’t think that you are an expert. However, in those instances, make sure to practice more and research the topic much more diligently.
9) Show Enthusiasm.
The energy that you have as a speaker is the most important aspect of your speaking style. Enthusiasm is the most sought-after skill in public speaking. If you want your audience to be enthused about your topic, you need to have a little bit more energy when delivering the topic as well.
10) Practice with a Person.
Most people practice their presentations alone, and that is a huge mistake. When we practice in front of a mirror or record ourselves, we will be overly critical. In addition, we don’t get the feedback that is valuable to make corrections. When we practice with a friend, coworker, or significant other, though, we do get that feedback. When we say something that the partner understands, we see the positive nods. When we say something confusing, we see that confusion in the face of the partner as well. This allows us to make corrections to our presentations so when we present in front of our “real group”, we deliver an even better presentation. Be careful not to over-practice, or you will fall into the trap of trying to memorize the entire speech.
Want an Easy Way to Implement All of these Ways to Eliminate Public Speaking Fear?
If you really want to get rid of your fear of public speaking, there is a simple solution. This solution works every, single time. The absolute best way to reduce nervousness is to attend the absolute best presentation class. For details about the Fearless Presentation ® course, click the link above or complete the form below!