Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking

If overcoming fear of public speaking is a struggle, you are not alone. Terror of speaking in front of an audience is one of the most common phobias. 

Some of our world wide fears result from a real and possible danger. Hiking in bear country can be dangerous. Mountain climbing and deep sea diving can be too. A healthy respect for these activities along with a little fear is normal.These are rational fears. 

But public speaking fear is an irrational fear.You are not in mortal danger when you speak before an audience. 

Fears of public speaking come from inexperience, from not knowing the tools of the trade. Find top information on public speaking, great topics, how to use an outline, persuasive speech ideas, why public speaking is important and how to master public speaking.

                      Fourteen Top Tips                              for Overcoming Public Speaking Fear

  1. Be thoroughly prepared. The more ready you feel, the more confident you will be.
  2. Know your subject and the material. Know more than you are resenting.
  3. Know your audience. Who are they? Why are they there? What do they know? What is their attitude?
  4. Know the room. Check it out in advance. Check the microphone and stand behind the lectern if you will be using one.
  5. Be organized. If you will be referring to notes, make sure they are in order.
  6. Practice until you feel comfortable. Videotape your speech in order to improve your delivery. When you are at ease, your anxiety and public speaking will plummet.
  7. Visualize the outcome you want. Imagine your success. Believe in yourself and you'll increase the likelihood of delivering a great speech.

8.  Focus on the message, not on yourself. Put energy and passion into your subject and your audience will connect with it. This will help you feel more at ease.

9.  Connect with your audience. The audience wants you to succeed. Find a few people in the audience you know and focus on them.

10.  Put the past behind you. Ignore the past and bad experiences. All speakers are nervous in the beginning. It does get easier. I promise!

11.  Look your best. Dress appropriately for the audience and the occasion. The better you look, the better you'll feel.

12.  Breathe deeply. You'll start with a stronger, clearer voice and quell your nervousness with a few deep breaths.

13.  Give up the belief that you have to be perfect. Accept the fact that there will be glitches. Visualize a glitch or two before your speech. Then visualize yourself carrying on. Preparation is everything.

14.  Join your nearest Toastmasters' Club to conquer your anxiety in public speaking. You'll get tons of valuable feedback from your fellow members.

These fourteen strategies for public speaking fear will put you on the road for success. Go for it! 

Three Top Causes of Public Speaking Fear

1.  Thinking it's all about me. 

I remember stumbling and getting red faced with my speech. I was so worried about my performance. But, actually people are usually relating what you are saying to their own lives when they listen to our speeches. 

So it isn't all about you. To turn this worry around, know that actually, it's all about your audience, the message you are giving them and the way this information affects their lives. The audience is not there to judge you. It wants to be informed, inspired, entertained or persuaded to a different point of view. 

So when your thoughts change from yourself to the important message you are delivering, your nervousness will decrease. This might take a few speeches. But trust me, one day, with practice you will feel calm one day. I've been there! 

2. Focusing on a Difficult Past Speech. 

If your anxiety comes from a past humiliation or embarrassment, something that occurred in front of others as a child or adult, the thought of being the center of attention can be terrifying. Get rid of this public speaking anxiety by remembering your successes. Realize that the unpleasant event is in the past and won't happen again. 

Failure is no reason to quit. Remember that every failure is a learning experience. By focusing on your strengths and achievements, you will find the courage to move forward. 

3. Fearing the thought of making a mistake in front of others. 

There are two sides to this anxiety. On the one side is fear of public speaking. On the other is wanting to impress your audience. You want to excel. This is normal. 

The catch is that nervousness doesn't make a good impression. The best way to avoid mistakes is to practice. Do your research and practice your speech with the gestures that will make the content come alive. Then practice more! As the saying goes "practice makes perfect." 

Also, accept the fact that mistakes will happen and move on. Observe your mistake objectively and figure out how to avoid it another time. Then move on. Overcoming public speaking fear is easily solved with practice.

For help with self doubt go to Self Doubt.

To improve your writing skills, see Journal Writing

For help with organizing your speech go to Public Speaking Outline

To understand more about yourself see Vision Boards.

Check out Public Speaking Topics.

For support and learning in delivering great speeches, join the nearest Toastmaster's Club and you'll be on your way. Guaranteed! 

Go from Public Speaking Fear to Public Speaking 
Go to Self Esteem Home Page 

For top tips and resources --

* indicates required