Terrified of Public Speaking? Here’s Some Ways to Help Overcome Nerves
If you’re not used to it, public speaking can be terrifying. However, there are ways to approach the act of speaking publicly that can help you not only speak better but also feel better about the entire experience.
In particular, nerves can be a real issue leading up to and during a speech, to the point where it can make you shake and can even make you almost incapable of speaking.
Now, if your nerves are so bad that you can barely speak let alone make a speech, you may want to focus a lot more time and energy on relaxation tactics before and during the speech itself.nbsp; But if you’re still nervous but you feel your nerves are within manageable limits, then perhaps the following tactics and ways of thinking about the experience can help you feel a lot more relaxed, and help the entire experience go much smoother.
Are You Worried That Everyone Will Be Judging You?
You may well be worried that everyone’s going to be judging you, which sadly may be true in a sense, but importantly there’s ways to look at this which can perhaps make you feel much better about it all.
Although people may be judging you, do also remember that many if not most people these days (especially since everyone’s got a smart phone in their pocket now) is a lot more self absorbed and concerned about what’s happening in their lives.
So the point is that they’re here for themselves, if in fact they’re paying any attention to you at all.nbsp; As bad as that sounds, speaking to a distracted audience can be a lot more relaxed than speaking to an audience that is hanging on your every word.
Of course as you’re speaking skills grow, and your presentation improves, people might be hanging on your every word which may be exactly what you want.nbsp; But let’s walk before we can run, and perhaps if it’s helpful see how the audience responds to other speakers before you even need to speak, and how much attention they give the speaker, so you can be aware of exactly the kind of attention you will be receiving from them and what the audience’s expectations may be.
Are You Perhaps Concerned That Your Speech Won’t Be Perfect?
And maybe related to all this, your overriding concern is that your speech will not be perfect. Well, nobody gives perfect speeches, not even Prime Ministers and Presidents!
So do your best, and most importantly aim to present useful, relevant, and up-to-date information to your audience, in a way they can relate to and appreciate.
So in another sense, it’s not about you at all.nbsp; Even if your audience is barely paying attention, you’re there to help them, otherwise why are they even there at all?
Every word, every idea, every concept you put across, is for your audience’s benefit.nbsp; Of course giving a speech and it being successfully received can help your career prospects significantly, but you can only achieve that benefit by focusing on what’s important to your audience.
What if You Freeze up?
This may be your biggest concern – what if you freeze up entirely, forget what you want to say, or even going entirely blank in front of the audience?
Well, significant preparation can really help.nbsp; Rehearse your speech again and again and again.nbsp; Just by yourself, and with a small friendly audience even of one, and even record yourself on video and see how you do.
And you can of course aim to remember every single word, or have every single word written out, but that can sometimes make the speech come across as stilted.nbsp; But if necessary take that approach trying to avoid looking down too much, or the next step up is to know your speech very well but work off cue cards rather than reading out word for word, as that can help your speech flow more and sound more interesting and natural.
So yes, if you do suffer from significant nerves you may need to look into ways to calm yourself before and during your speech, but the ideas and tactics detailed in this article may also help you present an interesting, informative, and compelling speech and allow you to feel comfortable and confident before and during the process.
This post is by Craig Chapman who writes for www.celebrityspeakers.com.au,
Photo by Joybot