Seven Guiding Principles To Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

Do you have fear of public speaking? As many as 75% of people face this anxiety known as Glossophobia. Most, perhaps like you, go through life avoiding talking to groups and missing out on the benefits and joy of public speaking. There are steps you can take, some quite easy and others that are worth pursuing, that will help you overcome this issue:

  • Figure out the Source of Your Fear – Many people dread making mistakes or not measuring up to expectations. You need to identify the source of this fear – a traumatic incident in childhood, a time when you flopped on stage, excessive self-criticism, or inability to control adrenaline? Once you figure this out, there are techniques, which we can help you with, to keep emotions in check to stop yourself from undermining your desire to be an effective public speaker.
  • Talk to One Person – Though there will be people listening to you, each person in the room should be treated as if he or she is the most important and only person there. Imagine that you are speaking to just him or her. So what if there are others present? Each person, as an individual, is listening to what you have to say. And as with any engagement with a person, make it conversational and friendly.
  • Focus – Avoid multitasking and distractions so you remain focused on your material and delivery. Visualize your goals and the results to keep the big picture in mind.
  • Prepare your Material – Don’t procrastinate as you prepare for public engagement. Channel anxiety into familiarizing yourself with the event from learning more about the venue and audience to ensuring that you create a detailed outline that can be filled in with content that is original and backed by research and facts. Read your drafts out loud so you can spot parts that don’t sound smooth.
  •  Practice Public Speaking – Get used to performing in front of a group by finding a place in
    your area where you can network and practice. Toastmasters and social clubs are good places to do this. Choose a topic that you are familiar with. Try to memorize as much of your material as you can so you feel more in control when you perform.
  • Breathing Techniques – Focus on inhaling and exhaling to settle your mind and shift your mood. The calming effects of this simple exercise cannot be underestimated.
  • Mindfulness Exercise  – Mindfulness is a practice where you are present in the moment. There are many mindfulness exercises that help with focus and shut out distractions. Once you relax and silence the noise in your head, you can release stress and worry so you can focus better.
  • Talk to One Person – Though there will be people listening to you, each person in the room should be treated as if he or she is the most important and only person there. Imagine that you are speaking to just him or her. So what if there are others present? Each person, as an individual, is listening to what you have to say. And as with any engagement with a person, make it conversational and friendly.

Be yourself and let your personality take over as you allow people to get to know you and appreciate what you have to say.

If you are having difficulty and want to overcome your fear of public speaking contact Jonathan Wachtel at 917-327-0651.