By Ellen Egan
Do you fear public speaking? We have all probably heard that public speaking is the greatest fear that people have. it’s even greater than the fear of death. Within this blog, I’ve give a lot of different tips and techniques about improving your public speaking . But, this time lets talk about overcoming your fear.
I can remember a time when I would be shaking in my shoes at the thought of standing up in front of a gorup of people and having to give a presentation. I would avoid it at almost any cost. But, sometimes, there was just no avoiding it and I’d have to get up there, with my hands and voice shaking, palms sweaty, talking a mile-a-minute and praying just to get through it.
Sometimes it seems that people who are excellent public speakers were born that way. However, even those with a natural talent have to learn the skills of public speaking. These skills can be practiced and developed by everyone, and that means you, too. The key is practice,practice, practice. To start, lets talk about overcoming the fear so that you can practice your new skills.
1. Choose your topic. It is always easier to talk about something that you are passionate about. If you are going to practice giving a presentation, perhaps it is best to start with talking about something you are personally interested in but has a universal theme. If you cannot choose the topic, try to personalize it with a story. People love to hear stories.
2. Prepare your speech. Preparation is one of the keys to overcoming fear. Make sure you research your topic and find the answers to questions your audience may have. Get any materials or props that you need and have them ready for your presentation.
3. Get to know the environment. Find out as much as you can about the room where you will be delivering the speech. How big is it? how many people will be there? Do you have a stage or a podium? As as many questions as you can. Knowing this information, you can be better prepared when you arrive to give the speech.
4. Dress appropriately. Be sure that the clothing you choose is comfortable and appropriate for the environment and the audience. Feeling good about what you are wearing relieves tension and makes it easier to stand up in front of an audience.
5. Arrive early. When you arrive early you have a chance to acclimate to your surroundings. If there are any technical “hiccups” like a missing microphone or projector, there is time for solutions to be found.
6. Let go of your tension. Find a quiet place where you can sit for a few minutes and just breathe. Release any tension in your shoulders, neck, face, jaw or other parts of your body where you tend to hold stress. Clench your fists for 5 seconds and then release. Do this at least 3 times. Don’t forget to breathe.
7. Smile. Go out to face your audience with a smile. Keep smiling through your presentation. The act of smiling is a stress-reliever. When you smile at your audience, they tend to smile back at you, which will also relieve some tension.
These are some steps you can take to overcome your fear of public speaking. The key to overcoming your fear, though, is practice. One of the best ways you can keep practicing is to joing a Toastmasters club in your area. You will be surrounded by people just like you who want to improve their public speaking skills. Go to www.toastmasters.com
If you don’t have time to join a club and want to learn more about improving your public speaking skills, Click Here for an on-line course from the World Champion of Public Speaking.
To your success,