Overcoming Fear in Public Speaking

Everyone, at some point in his life, has experienced dose of fear in speaking in public. But how come there are people who speak so well in public as if they are born to talk all their lives? Actually, it is all about knowing how fear affects us and how to control it. The truth is the majority are scared of public speaking because they are afraid to make mistakes and get embarrassed. Yet, mistakes can be good or bad depending on how one looks at it. Believe it or not, people forget other people’s embarrassments sooner than their own. Some may not have noticed your mistakes, and some don’t really care at all. It is because every thing is all in your mind. Once you have decided the best thing to do with these nuisances, then you have already done the most vital part in overcoming fear, and every thing else is nothing but details. And here are those fine points:

  • Nothing beats a good preparation. So, know your subject well. Research. Research. Research. You will most likely be effective if you will choose a subject that you are more familiar. It will make you enthusiastic and comfortable as you speak, because you know what you are talking about.
  • Practice what you are going to say but don’t overdo it. What you don’t want to lose is spontaneity. It is very important to look natural before your audience. To prepare you for your speech, try to do a relaxation exercise like opening your mouth widely as you say hah-hah-hah or blah-blah-blah.
  • Don’t apologize. This is a common mistake amateur speakers are guilty. Remember that you are the one on stage and the one who has authority over the subject, So, don’t try to apologize for it only makes you look unsure of what you are saying.
  • Avoid nervous habits like rubbing hands, licking lips, stroking hair, nail-biting, and shifting feet. The best manner is just to stand straight, make eye contact, and gesture at necessary points.
  • Write down positive thoughts. Memorizing a short but effective verse with positive message is truly helpful. I am well prepared. I know my subject. You can say this aloud, or just repeat it in your head before you begin your speech.

Remember that no one is perfect and sometimes, mistakes just happen. But this does not mean you can never be good at speaking. So, throw away the negative thoughts that destroy your potentials of becoming a good speaker. Be the one in control.

by Keshia L.
(An old entry of mine. Written sometime between 2008-2011.)

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