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7.5 Tips To Overcome Your Fear Of Public Speaking
Do you dread speaking in public? Does getting up in front of an audience make you sick?
The fear of speaking in public is very common. Indeed, most people fear public speaking more than dying.
While the only cure for the fear of public speaking is public speaking itself, there are steps you can take that will stifle some of that anxiety.
Following these public speaking tips will build that important and necessary confidence in you so you can face your presentation proudly.
Tip 1. Be prepared
- Do research: Contact people, look up data and other information
- Analyze audience; think of questions they may pose
- Gather materials: files, notes, charts, photos, etc.; Develop checklist.
Ask yourself: “Am I missing anything?” Being organized instills confidence.
Tip 2. Develop script
- Don’t try to wing it. Ensures you cover material, are organized, and on time.
A. Outline format. DO NOT type your script verbatim. You’ll be stuck reading
from it, and that’s wrong.
Tip 3. Rehearse.
- At least 3 times.
- Record if possible. Listen for logic, filler words; timing. Adjust your speech patterns or script as needed.
- Test equipment, especially laptop and projector.
This is an extremely important step for quelling your anxiety and fear of public speaking.
Tip 4. Arrive early. 15 – 30 minutes
-Walk the room; walk up to lectern and stand in front. Start to become familiar with that location. Familiarize yourself with the venue. Familiarity builds confidence.
- Environmental issues? Such as temperature (too warm or too chilly?), external noise (from hallway or adjacent room), lighting: is it proper? Adjust as needed or compensate.
- Test A/V equipment again. Super important for building confidence. Leave projector on if possible. Seeing that first slide reinforces thought that the projector will work.
Tip 5. Greet audience members
- Breaks down barrier.
- Ask what they hope to glean from your presentation. Learn a bit about them. Do you pick up anything you can use in your presentation? That really helps to tailor and personalize your presentation.
Tip 6. Sit near front of room.
- Off to side. Scan audience, and get start getting used to seeing those eyes. Pump yourself up with power quotes and affirmations.
- Remind yourself: You’re educating/helping audience; not lecturing. “I’m just having a conversation with a bunch of friends.”
Tip 7. Move something (whiteboard, for example) into position.
- Motion and comment burn anxiety. Have a little fun in the process, “I’ll take a second to get this high-tech equipment into position.” Audience will chuckle, and you’ll immediately feel more at ease.
- Open with attention-getting statement.
Tip 7.5 Don't worry about mistakes.
- Bump into something? Plow on. Don’t dwell on it.
- Forget a comment? Keep going. Try to fit in later.