Public Speaking has triggered a phenomenon of terror for people across the globe. It is one of the most common fears among humanity. Believe it or not, there are actually some effective ways to conquer your fear of this besides envisioning everyone in their underwear. Here are a few tips for giving a great speech while combatting a crippling fear of public speaking.
The fear of public speaking is so common that there’s a popular organization out to help people become excellent speakers. Toastmasters is a global organization in 142 countries with nearly 350,000 members. They make it easy to either start or join a club in your area so you can congregate with people who have a similar sentiment about public speaking. You can visit their website for more information.
Focus on your subject
A fear of public speaking can be enhanced by an unfamiliarity with the topic at hand. We’re put in this situation all the time in situations like academia where we’re speaking about subjects we know nothing about and otherwise wouldn’t care to learn about it. While you may never do any research about the particular topic you’re speaking about again, you should really work on learning a lot about the topic because then your focus stays on the information, not on your nerves.
If you’re worried about freezing up during your speech, rehearse it over, over, and over again. If you know your material back to front, then you set yourself up to give a better speech. Also, you give yourself room to tweak a speech to match a required time limit or add or cut out information. Rehearsal gives you more control. It is good to rehearse and have minimal notes because then you rely on your speaking skills and your knowledge of the subject.
Keep it light
If the subject allows for a joke or two, try to implement it in your speech, especially if it’s a wedding toast or something similar. Test the joke to see with someone with a good sense of humor before to see if it lands. Showing a bit of humor is a great way to break the ice and build confidence throughout your speech.
Usually, when people are giving a presentation, they’ll rely on a podium or stand perfectly still and just regurgitate the information in a relatively bland fashion. You’ll engage your audience more if you remove any robotic tendencies from your speeches. Move around a little bit and stay away from the typical mark. Pretend you’re presenting the next iPhone, and everyone is on pins and needles to hear what you have to say next.
Public Speaking is a conquerable fear, it’s something that takes a lot of practice, but you’ll discover how worth the hard work was when you receive a genuine laugh or applause from your audience because you have the ability to properly engage with them. Best of luck!