Many people have a fear of public speaking. In fact, it is very difficult to find a person who does not have that fear. And yes, there is an official term for this fear – glossophobia or “speech anxiety”.
Glossophobia is a fear of public speaking and is a very common phobia. Researchers believe that this social phobia affects up to 75% of the population. Even if you think you don’t have a complete fear or official diagnosis, you could suffer from the anxiety of public speaking. That nervous feeling that happens before you get into social situations. Learning how to overcome this fear may seem impossible. But still, there are a few steps that can help you.
Some of the physical reactions you may experience include:
- Rise in blood pressure
- Heart rate starts to speed up
- A trembling voice
- Dry mouth
- The muscles are tense
- Butterflies in the stomach
- A rush of adrenaline
Get to know your material
For someone who has a fear of public speaking, it’s better to feel like you’ve done too much than too little. So, before going on stage, get to know your material. Prepare for the speech as best you can. This will make you feel more confident.
Breathe through your stomach
The “fight or flight” reaction to social anxiety exacerbates anxiety. To counteract this, learn to breathe diaphragmatically. This will calm and slow down your heart rate and your voice will sound louder and more normal.
Practice in front of others
Ask a friend, acquaintance, or family member to listen to your speech. That way you will receive honest criticism and you will find out if you were too loud, what your body language was like and so on. Take notes and then go through them again.
Turn negative conversation into positive thinking
Reverse self-destructive statements by reversing that negative way of thinking. Create a positive shelter where you can stay. Encourage yourself with nice and positive words and rest assured that everything will be ok on stage.
The ability to focus on something in your environment and direct mental effort is the key thing to achieving goals. Check some tips HERE.
Work on your body language
A very important part of your public speech is your body language.
Most people are prone to stuttering when they see a large audience. They forget what they have prepared for the public appearance. Some people bow down in shame, avoid eye contact or do not know where to put their hands and shoulders. Work on body language to be more confident.
Work on hand movements. Do not move your hands out of anxiety.
If possible, walk while talking. Standing still and giving a speech could be intimidating. Work on establishing eye contact with the audience, eye contact is essential.
Having healthy self-esteem is very important because it helps you make positive decisions in your daily life. It also gives you the courage to be on your own, have good relationships and helps you deal with difficult situations. Check some tips HERE.
Involve your audience
If you are feeling nervous or left empty about what you have to say, you should immediately turn your presentation from monologue to dialogue. This will shift the focus of the audience from you to the person you asked the question to.
Feelings of nervousness in front of a wide audience are common. Using audiences to attract an audience is a great tactic used by professional public speakers.
Work on self-confidence and be confident in yourself and your knowledge. You got this!