7 Tips To Help You Overcome Your Fear Of Public Speaking
Public speaking..... Ah! For some, it brings up the fear of extreme awkwardness and for others, terrifying fears. What if you forget what you’re going to say or what if you stutter?! These are completely understandable reasons to be nervous. It’s a big commitment and it takes a lot of responsibility. Sometimes we have to do things that we may not want to do. However, if you're having to do public speaking, it makes sense to prepare yourself and ease your mind of what 'could' happen.
I have done public speaking at a 12-Step program, (Alcoholics Anonymous), and shared my story at over a dozen meetings and also in college. It can be nerve-wracking, but I felt a lot of satisfaction from doing it. I actually started to feel excited about doing it. I like that I get to be in the position of influencing people. I like that my story could potentially help them. I like that it makes me a more confident person in the end.
I’m sharing these tips in hopes that they will help increase your confidence for your public speaking.
7 Tips To Overcome Public Speaking
1. Visualize Yourself Succeeding || Imagine yourself succeeding at the event over and over again. Imagine how the whole event will go and imagine yourself feeling very accomplished afterward. This will help you to feel more prepared for the actual time.
2. Talk To Someone Supportive || It’s good to have someone supportive to talk to about your fears and stress. Maybe they have experience with public speaking and can offer you some tips. You can express to them your thoughts and take the pressure off you.
3. It’s Not All About You || In the twelve-step program that I am in, if I feel nervous speaking, I tell myself that it’s not all about me. I tell myself that I am there to carry the message of recovery to others. Like one time I shared that I was nervous and the crowd accepted that! Think of how your audience can benefit from you speaking. If you start feeling self-conscious, think about their benefit in the end.
4. Practice || If you’re doing a presentation for a college class or work, make sure to review your notes. Memorize everything you can and practice, practice, practice! It’s a good idea to rehearse as many times as you can, even in front of a mirror or record yourself on your phone. When I was in college, I had to recite a poem for poetry class and I practiced it in the mirror until I memorized it.
5. Select An Outfit || To feel prepared and boost confidence, decide what you’re going to wear ahead of time. Make sure it’s something that’s appropriate for who you’re speaking to.
6. Be Confident || Make eye contact with your audience and smile. Show them that you’re engaged and interested. They're more likely to listen if you appear confident. Also, let your personality shine through. Be yourself.
7. Give Yourself Credit || It’s not an easy thing to get up there in front of all of those people. Give yourself some credit! You’re brave! Do something nice for yourself.
These 7 tips have helped and continue to help me before public speaking. Remember to practice and rehearse beforehand! Don't doubt yourself; you're going to do great! There’s always a chance that you’ll make a mistake but that’s ok, you’re only human. Chances are, if you just continue to speak no one will notice anyway. Bravo to you for taking on such a challenge!