7 Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking From Darrell Zahorsky, former About.com Guide
Start SmallIf youre new to the world of speaking, startsmall. Find a few friends and family to practiceon. Begin by speaking to smaller groups andbuild up from there.
PrepareNothing helps ease the fear of public speakingthan knowing your material. The ability toconnect with your audience comes fromhaving the confidence you wont get lostduring your delivery. Rehearse several timesbefore the big talk. Time your presentationand always have back up material in case timeis left over.
Avoid BulletsThe majority of business presentations andspeeches are boring monologues filled withendless PowerPoint slides and bullet points.Trash the PowerPoint presentation and makeyour material the focal point of the talk. If youdo use PowerPoint, take the approach of usingvisuals that quickly convey your message.
Reduce StressThe most fearful moment of any presentationis the one minute before your stage entrance.Use the tactic of elite athletes by visualizing apositive outcome and using deep bellybreathing to reduce stress and buildconfidence.
Find a FriendPrior to your public speaking on stageintroduce yourself to a few members of theaudience in the front row. During your talklook these people in the eye to ease yournerves and connect with your audience.
Engage the AudienceCreating a monologue presentation puts theentire task of informing and entertaining theaudience on you. Make your talk a two-wayinteraction with questions and participation toreduce boredom and speak with ease. Havingthe group involved also gives you time toreorganize your thoughts if things are goingoff track.