How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking
Sweaty palms, quivering voice, and dizziness at the mere thought of speaking in front of a large group of people are not symptoms only you feel. Glossophobia, a fear of public speaking, is something that characterizes up to 75 percent of the population. In fact, the fear of public speaking is more common than the fear of death. But how to solve it?
Conquering the fear of public speaking might be harder than it seems.
Fears are frequently irrational, and we have to “dig deep” into our subconscious to understand why exactly we have stronger reactions to certain events or situations. Whatever the case is, we have to conquer ourselves to conquer our fears, which is always a hard thing to do. But, before we start pitying ourselves, let’s see what we can do to overcome our fear of public speaking and become the best version of ourselves.
TIP#1 Practice makes perfect
Sometimes the best thing to do to overcome a stressful situation is to prepare for it before it happens. The same goes for fear of public speaking. If you have an important presentation, or you’re a speaker at some significant event, don’t let your fears stop you from achieving your dreams. Practice in front of the mirror a few weeks before the event to decrease the chances off fear paralyzing you.
TIP#2 Pay attention to the audience
There’s a common belief that fear of public speaking will decrease if we avoid paying attention to our audience. However, this is completely untrue. Avoiding paying attention to our audience often means we miss the chance to interact with them and lose their valuable insights. Failing to engage with our audience leaves us more room for our own “scary” thoughts to creep in, which can be a severe stress trigger. The bottom line, no matter how much you dread it, make sure you form and maintain a bond with your audience.
TIP#3 Always be yourself
A part of the reason why we’re afraid of speaking in public is our primal fear of rejection. Whatever we do, we should always embrace ourselves just the way we are. Otherwise, it’s harder to pretend we’re someone we’re not if we’re under stress. And hiding our anxiety can only make things worse. That’s why we shouldn’t hide our anxiety, even if it’s obvious at first glance. Just keep on rollin’, and it will eventually pass.
TIP#4 Take your time
The worst thing we can do while speaking in public is to rush our speech. We should always make sure our audience understands what are we talking about and keep an even pace while holding a speech. Take time to relax and finish your speech; nobody will dare to judge.
TIP#4 Choose the topic you care about
Anxiety and fear will leave us once we choose to talk about something we actually care about. And even if we have to talk about something that we’re not quite fond of, we should look for the things that are personally important to us and find motivation in that. This is how we can make our fear go faster and easier.
A cat enthusiast and a cupcake maniac, Ana is a freelance Content Writer passionate about HR, productivity, and team management topics. When she’s not at her keyboard, you can find Ana in the kitchen, trying to make delicious cookies.