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How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking - Stage fright to Stage presence

  1. 100 EXPERTS SHARE STRATEGIES ON HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKING Hi, my name is Akash and I’m a presentation skills coach and author of “Public Speaking Secrets of the Champions”. I asked over 100 public speaking experts, “What’s the best way to overcome your fear of public speaking?” The responses below are the best answers I received on how to overcome the butterflies when speaking. Akash Karia
  2. Prepare A simple but unrivaled-in-importance response in one word: Preparation Gerry T. Kierans 1 I am someone who had terrible stage fright and learned to conquer it. As a theatre major in college and an aspiring actress, that was not a good thing at all! I learned so much from my mentor and former employer actress Olympia Dukakis. She prepared by rehearsing over and over so the words came easily. She also found out in advance about her audience so that her remarks were relevant and meaningful. And she got to the venue with time to spare to feel the space. I now do all of these things and the stage fright has blessedly gone away. The message and the desire to be understood becomes far more important than the fear of speaking. Good luck! I feel your pain and wish you all the best.
  3. Bonnie Low-Kramen Just going ahead, with as much preparation as possible, and doing it, is the best way I have so far managed to overcome my fear of Public Speaking:) Mohammed Naveed Usmani I find that preparation and practice are the best methods to overcoming public speaking. Also know your audience- get to the event early and talk with attendees beforehand. Marsha Haygood Prepare; and then prepare some more. After you've done all of that preparing do one last thing; prepare and practice some more.!! David Roussel
  4. Practice with an audience 2 One of the things I recommend and have my do is practice their speeches in front of loved ones, and in class in front of small groups (3-5 people). This accomplishes several things. First, it forces my students to speak out loud just as if they were actually giving their speech to their intended audience. Second, helps them work out all the um’s, ahhs, and OK’s. Third, and most importantly, it gets them accustomed to speaking in front of people. I have used this simple strategy with great success. Typically my students are terrified of speaking in front of a group of people. Using this strategy helps ease them into public speaking. Renato Amarena
  5. Practice with Video 3 My number one tip for overcoming the fear of public speaking is to PRACTICE WITH VIDEO. While it is helpful to practice before friends, family and the mirror; none of these can be as effective as recording yourself speaking and then watching it on playback. Practicing with video allows you to actually see what the audience will see. You get to hear your own voice coming into your ears through the air and not through your head as it normally does (a lot of people are surprised when they hear themselves for the first time. They can't believe how their voice actually sounds!) Video is the closest thing you have to the real audience.
  6. PS: I suggested using video because it is the best practically available option people have (at least, everybody now owns a camera phone so, no excuse). However, not even video comes close to the "curative" effects/powers of VIRTUAL REALITY (VR). If you can afford a VR treatment, go for it. The simulated experience of actual immersion in front of a dynamic virtual audience is totally un-paralleled! Jonas Ezeanya
  7. Stage Time The longer you speak, and the more prepared and comfortable you are with each passing speech, there is very little fear, if any. At least that's how it has been for me. 4 Plus, I just focus and concentrate on my message, which is to help other recovering addicts get better, and I really do not feel any fear or nervousness at all. There is no replacement for experience, and those who still do have fear and get nervous would be wise to channel that energy towards their audience. Gary Goldstein Speak more frequently. In front of an audience. Everything else comes after. John Chappelear
  8. Power Pose For 5 minutes before each presentation, take on a 'Power Pose' - this is standing tall and straight with shoulders back, loose arms and open stance - this facilitates the diaphragmic breathing. Posted by Gareth Humphris 5 Stand tall, shoulders back, head up so that the head and spine are aligned, eyes to the horizon, shoulders down and arms relaxed Peter McCann
  9. Start with a Story from 6 Your Life Start with a story from your life. That will calm you down and you'll get your brain in the right place. Lorie Eber
  10. Breathe Breathing: take several quick, short breaths through the nose and exhale from the mouth; then a long, slow inhale through the nose and a long slow exhale through the mouth; then, a long, slow inhale through the nose and 7 hold for five seconds, then a long, slow exhale through the mouth and hold empty for five seconds. (This breathing takes practice, maybe for a week or more to become skillful and natural.) Peter McCann By taking a deep breath, exhale slowly before going in front of a group of people. Madeline Case
  11. smile When you practice and when you speak, look out to the middle of the audience. Smile at someone in the middle and imagine that person is friendly and interested. Speak to that person for a few seconds. Then, look 8 to the left or right side and smile at someone and imagine that person is friendly and interested. Continue. (And, people are almost always friendly and interested!) Peter McCann
  12. Know the Venue If possible, get to the venue with time to spare. Stand at the place from which you will present, look into every corner of the 9 room/hall/space, take a deep, slow, mindful breath, filling your lungs. Exhale slowly and allow your positive energy to fill the room. You might then go to each corner of the room, turn and look at the space or place from which you will present, and, again, fill the room with your positive energy - get a sense of the proportions of the room and fully realize the implications of filling it with YOUR energy, into which you will welcome the audience! Michael Mallows
  13. Be Genuine Genuinely You: Remembering that a true diamond has flaws, excellence is your goal, not perfection. 10 Genuinely Interested: Be more focused on your audience and their needs, versus how you are being perceived. Genuinely Engaged: A succesful speaker understands that a presentation is a conversation, not a lecture, and that it's important to listen to the audience with your eyes and ears to engage them fully. Fear naturally disappears when you're focused on the value of what you have to give.... Rebecca Herrera
  14. Focus on Your Audience 11 Focus on the Audience and ask yourself: "What can I offer them?", "How can I add value to them?". When your thoughts completely at the audience, they are away from you and fear can't exist. Georg Wanek
  15. Embrace the Fear 12 Fear of speaking is often fear of being afraid! Welcome the nerves. Embrace the fear. Fear initiates adrenaline flow. Adrenaline creates energy that generates the will to perform with enthusiasm, engagement - even excitement. Share adrenaline-induced dynamism with your audience. Revel in and thrive on their reflected vitality. When the pheromones start pinging round the room, know that you’ve overcome the fear and truly connected with your audience. Roger Harding
  16. Don’t Worry 13 about Making Mistakes I heard somebody advise once that the best thing to keep in mind is that the audience is thinking "glad it's not me" and they are on your side - so if you do make a mistake, they understand... Susan Walker
  17. Display Confident 14 Body Language Display confidence via body language. Negative body language tells the audience you are nervous. Avoid touching the head/neck, looking at your feet, shoving hands in pockets. Act like you know what you are doing. Harry Hall
  18. Wrap Up So, next time you feel the butterflies in your stomach, use the following 14 tips shared by our experts:  Prepare, prepare, prepare’  Practice in front of a group of people  Practice with video  Get as much stage time as possible  Use the power pose  Start with a story from your own Life  Use breathing techniques to calm down  Visualize  Know the Venue where you will be speaking  Be genuine  Focus on your audience  Embrace the fear  Don’t worry about making mistakes  Display confident body language