7 Tips to Overcome YourFear of Public Speaking From Darrell Zahorsky, former About.com Guide
Start SmallIf youre new to the world ofspeaking, start small. Find afew friends and family topractice on. Begin by speakingto smaller groups and build upfrom there.
PrepareNothing helps ease the fear of publicspeaking than knowing your material. Theability to connect with your audiencecomes from having the confidence youwont get lost during your delivery.Rehearse several times before the bigtalk. Time your presentation and alwayshave back up material in case time is leftover.
Avoid BulletsThe majority of business presentationsand speeches are boring monologuesfilled with endless PowerPoint slides andbullet points. Trash the PowerPointpresentation and make your material thefocal point of the talk. If you do usePowerPoint, take the approach of usingvisuals that quickly convey your message.
Reduce StressThe most fearful moment of anypresentation is the one minute beforeyour stage entrance. Use the tactic ofelite athletes by visualizing a positiveoutcome and using deep bellybreathing to reduce stress and buildconfidence.
Find a FriendPrior to your public speaking on stageintroduce yourself to a few membersof the audience in the front row.During your talk look these people inthe eye to ease your nerves andconnect with your audience.
Engage the AudienceCreating a monologue presentation putsthe entire task of informing andentertaining the audience on you. Makeyour talk a two-way interaction withquestions and participation to reduceboredom and speak with ease. Having thegroup involved also gives you time toreorganize your thoughts if things aregoing off track.