5 Tips to Beat Fear of Public Speaking

scared-womanWe succeed when we behave in line with the rewards we want, rather than the things we fear – even though facing our fears can often be, well, frightening!

Everyone, no matter how fearful we may be of public speaking to begin with, can defeat that fear and reap the rewards of being a good presenter.

I know because I’ve done it myself. If I can do it, you can do it too. I guarantee it. Here are 5 tips to get you started:

1) Make it about the audience

Stay focussed on  the people who are really important to your presentation: the listeners! They’re the ones you should care about. If you pay more attention to the people in the audience, you pay less attention to your fear and anxiety. Remember: you’re goal should be to help them, that’s why you’re there to speak. So it’s not about you, it’s all about them. And keep in mind that the audience is on your side, they want you to to succeed!

2) Remember, it’s “normal”

Most people, even the most experienced speakers, feel a little anxious before speaking. It’s normal. We’re all in the same boat. And that means you already have something in common with most of the audience – they’re on your side, they want you to succeed and they don’t expect perfection. If the truth were known, they’re happy it’s you up there, not them!

3) Get organised

Nothing beats preparation when it comes to overcoming fear of public speaking. Give yourself plenty of time to think through every aspect of your presentation.

Start with the audience FIRST, move on to what you want to say, then plan how you will deliver your material effectively. (For a no-fail, step by step approach, use my Bull’s Eye Model.

See the Bull’s Eye Basics here; see my Five-Star Speaker Habits here.)

4) Change the label

The mind is a powerful tool. You can use it to change fear (a “negative”) into EXCITEMENT (a positive). Just like a racehorse getting ready to dash out of the starting gate, we are on edge, ready to perform. If we don’t feel a little nervous at the start, we probably won’t do as well in the race.

Keep in mind that the symptoms of fear (e.g. faster heart beat, sweaty palms, feeling flushed) are the same things we experience when we feel excited. Use your mind to change your perception: you are not afraid of public speaking, you are excited at the prospect!

5) Make it meaningful

Talk about things you care about personally.  If you are passionate about your subject, you are more likely to lose yourself in the topic and forget about being afraid, especially once you start speaking.

See more Tips here.

Susan Macaulay created and curates SheQuotesMy Alzheimer’s Story,  Amazing Women, and Succeed With Susan. She is a feminist, global citizen, lifelong learner and the author of Everyday Feminine Wisdom and soon-to-be-published “the dogs’ breakfast.”

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