Fear of public speaking – how to understand and overcome it.

Fear of public speaking

Did you know that the fear of public speaking ranks among the most common fears in the world?  In fact, some people say they would rather die than stand in front of an audience. Sadly, public speaking is one of the most valuable skills in the workplace. It is also a skill that could make you millions of dollars if you are passionate about it and if you took the time to master the skill.

Read on for some tips on how to dispel this fear…

The fear of Public Speaking.

The good news is most causes fear of public speaking can be solved. Some of the most common causes of fear of public speaking are;

  • You fear that the minute you hit the stage, you will forget the content.
  • Extreme self-consciousness and self-judgment when you’re on stage.
  • You fear that you will appear nervous.
  • “They’re judging me!” is a constant thought when you’re on stage.
  • Your past failures while giving a presentation.
  • Poor preparation.
  • Discomfort with your body and movement. Again, self-judgment!
  • Telling yourself that you not good enough.

fear of public speakingProper Planning and Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. – Stephen Keague

As you have learned from the above list, the most common characteristic that’s keeping you from flourishing on stage is you judging you! Yes, just like everything else in life, working on your self-confidence will play a big role in solving your fear of public speaking.

The phobia of public speaking is also known as…

The fear of public speaking is called Glossophobia.  People who suffer from glossophobia tend to freeze in front of large audiences. As soon as they are tasked with public speaking, their bodies start shaking; their voice becomes weak and their mouths dry.

Facts about the fear of Public Speaking

Before we dive in, take a look at the following interesting statistics related to the fear of public speaking.

  • The fear of public speaking is considered to be the number ONE fear amongst people. This fear affects 3 out of every 4 people.
  • 74% of people suffer from speech anxiety. This fear in men stands at 73% and 75% for women. This prevents them from making good presentations.
  • 5% of the world’s population aged between 5 and 50 suffer from the fear of speaking in the open to others. People look for a solution to this by turning to hypnosis therapy and self-help books.
  • More men than women seek assistance in speech anxiety.

You are not alone!

Overcoming Your Fear of Public Speaking

Treatment by Hypnosis

When it comes to public speaking, it is believed that past events can cause one to develop the fear of public speaking. Glossophobia is believed to have its roots in social anxiety.  Hypnotherapy is used as a treatment for this condition.

Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic technique in which clinicians use suggestions and visualization techniques. These techniques instill positive thinking. They are designed to relax help you relax and focus your mind, boost confidence and reduce anxiety. Ultimately, this will help you feel calm and collected when you hit the stage! As with most phobias, glossophobia is not something you can control consciously.

fear of public speakingCourage is resistance of fear, mastery of fear – not the absence of fear. – Mark Twain

How does hypnotherapy work?

Hypnotherapy works with your unconscious part of the brain to find out where the root of your anxiety comes from. Typically it comes from misinformation gathered from a past experience. Hypnotherapy can help to identify this and use suggestion techniques to correct any misinformation.

People may tell you to relax, but usually, this does little to control your symptoms. This is because the symptoms you experience stem from your unconscious. It is therefore advisable to seek treatment.

Tips to Overcome your Fear of Public Speaking.

We will explore tips around The Content, Your Voice, Posture, Movement, Nervousness, and Notes. If you work on the 5, you will be sure to make unforgettable presentations.

1. Content

One way to overcome the fear of public speaking is by having relevant content to deliver. Your message should be;

  • Easy to understand

  • Relevant to your audience

  •  Of the right length

This is important because people’s concentration spans are very low in this day and age.  This is mostly caused by social media addiction especially among the young generation. Relevant content gives you the confidence to hit the stage. Do your homework by researching relevant content depending on your audience. By the time you are done with your presentation, ensure that the content presented gives your audience a reason to care about it and take action.

2. Voice

Your voice tells your audience if you are nervous or not. To improve the quality of your breathing, follow the instructions in this video.

The correct breathing makes you less tensed. Always remember that if there is tension in your breath; the audience will also be tensed. You control the energy of your audience.

fear of public speakingIt is much easier to be convincing if you care about your topic. Figure out what’s important to you about your message and speak from the heart. – Nicholas Boothman

3. Posture and Movement.

Your audience will trust you if your body language is in sync with your message. For example, if you say ‘I am happy to see you all…’ but you fold your arms across your chest; this means you are communicating something different.

Do the following help you relax so  your body language can be in sync with your message

  • Make eye connections with your audience.
  • Stand as close to your audience as you can. This shows that you are confident.

4. Nervousness

Symptoms and Remedies of Nervousness.

  • Your hands shake uncontrollably – Hold something e.g. a book, paper, pen, a clicker. This keeps your hands busy. Do not put your hands in the pocket or carry coffee on stage as it shows that you are not taking the presentation seriously.
  • Shaking legsMove around the podium or room.
  • Excessive sweating – Bring a handkerchief and wipe it off!
  • Have a dry mouth – Drink water!
  • Wavering voice – Take full abdominal breaths instructed in the video above.

5.  Notes

One of the greatest fears associated with Public Speaking is forgetting what one is supposed to say.  Most people think that using notes on stage shows a lack of preparation. It doesn’t. Having notes proves that you did your homework. You researched. By carrying notes, I do not mean having a word for word script. No. I mean having a summary of your presentation.

Notes come in handy in that;

  • They will reduce the anxiety that is brought about by fear of forgetting your content.
  • Great form of preparation! It shows that you took time to research.

Here is a list of different ways you can access your notes;

  • Note cards.
  • Slides – The more visual they are, the better!
  • Using a notepad.
  • Flip charts – This is a reliable and low tech method which comes in handy especially if tech malfunctions causes you more anxiety. You can also use them to write down what your audience says. This will earn you points as it shows them that you value their suggestions and participation.

fear of public speakingThe way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid. – Lady Bird Johnson

While using your notes on stage, do not hide them. Do not overuse them as this will show your audience that you aren’t fully prepared. Also, don’t memorize your presentation word for word. It looks unnatural.

The fear of public speaking quizlet

The quizlet is a cool online education service that you can use to learn how to conquer your fear of public speaking.

You can take a fear of public speaking quizlet here.

And maybe tell us how the experience was on the comments section?

Courses to help you overcome the fear of Public Speaking

There are many courses available to help you get better at public speaking. The courses can either be online or through a live coach. You can also make use of many YouTube videos available for you.

Amongst the most popular courses is the one by www.dalecarnegie.com

Conclusion

Do you feel that I have given you great tips to help you shine on stage? The first step is to practice all the tips, then go ahead and use them. Tell us what worked best in the comment section! As always, see you on top of the success ladder! 🙂

Watch this great TEDx talk by Dave Guin on eliminating the fear of public speaking.

 

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