Updated: Nov 17
There's nothing more nerve-wracking than the thought of standing to speak in front of a large crowd. This common fear can cause physical symptoms like sweating, shaking, and a racing heart rate. Other people dread public speaking because they fear their audience will judge them, they'll make mistakes, or blackout and forget what to say.
Fortunately, you're never alone because most people feel this way. It affects even the most experienced orators. You can also access many resources to help overcome this fear, like public speaking classes.
If you want to nail your incoming presentation and become a more effective speaker, this article will provide helpful tips to help you face your fear of public speaking.
1. Visualize Your Success
Although taking public speaking classes can help you face your fears of speaking in front of many people, sometimes the best way to ace your incoming speech or presentation is to visualize your success. Besides helping to reduce your anxiety and boost your confidence, research has proven that it can enhance your future performance. You can improve your incoming presentation by imagining the entire process before beginning.
2. Know That Anyone Can Become a Good Public Speaker
Avoiding public speaking by telling yourself you’re not good at it isn’t helpful and doesn’t reflect the truth. While it may be challenging, you can’t always avoid public speaking because, at some point, you’ll need to give a speech or presentation.
While it’s true that you weren’t born a great speaker, you can improve your skills. Remember that anyone can learn public speaking; some people may have a natural confidence advantage, but anyone can develop it.
3. Practice Regularly
While you can improve by taking public speaking classes, you can only become a better presenter if you practice regularly. Think of it like you’re repeatedly playing your favorite musical instrument. You may also join a non-profit organization that helps with public speaking, communication, and leadership development.
4. Consider Your Audience
We usually focus on ourselves and our performance when we speak in public. We worry about how we will come across, what we say, and how the audience perceives us. However, remember your speech's purpose is to benefit the viewers, whether sharing information or entertainment they want or need to hear, not yourself.
5. Watch Your Body Language
Your physical presentation can significantly impact your self-image and how people see you. You can enhance your public speaking skills by standing with your feet apart at shoulder width and keeping your hands in front with your palms facing upwards. Also, don't cross your legs.
6. Move around the Podium
While a podium may help you look formal, remember that it can create a barrier between you and the audience. You can connect better with your viewers and show confidence in what you’re saying by holding small note cards and moving around the stage.
7. Smile and Maintain Good Eye Contact
If you have the time, you can overcome nervousness in public speaking by trying to spot some friendly faces in the audience before your speech. Also, don’t forget to make eye contact and smile.
8. Project Your Voice
Projecting your voice is essential for establishing a solid presence and a sense of authority on stage. Take deep breaths before speaking to project your voice without straining your vocal cords.
9. Acknowledge the Nerves
Nerves may never entirely go away in public speaking, and that's okay! However, with practice and tips, you can learn to harness them for good.
Public speaking can be terrifying, but you're never alone and can overcome it. You can face your fears by practicing regularly, knowing your audience, and taking high-quality public speaking classes.
If you need high-quality public speaking classes to help overcome your fears, visit FireStory Communication Academy! We're committed to creating a safe and engaging space for students to help them become excellent communicators. Learn more about our student programs now!