9 Strategies to Take the Fear out of Public Speaking

November 21, 2015 by  

If you are fearful of public speaking here are a few strategies to help you overcome that phobia.
1. Some people are afraid that they will forget what they want to say so become nervous about speaking in front of an audience. If you really know your topic well, and have NOT memorized what you are going to say, there is much less likelihood of forgetting.
2. Preparation and Practice are the most important aspects to consider when making a presentation of any length to any size of a group. The more familiar you are with your material, the more clearly you understand the concepts you are going the share, the more comfortable and confident you will be when standing in the “spotlight”.
3. Remember to Breathe so that you will send adequate oxygen to your brain and allow for rational thought and clarity to be available rather than panic and a big blank. In fact, take about 10 or even 20 deep breaths before you begin, you feel calmer and more focused.
4. Smile! “Fake it ‘til you make it!”……look like you are having fun, like you are confident, comfortable, honest and open and soon you will be how you look. Especially if you have followed the previous pieces of advice.
5. Greet people as they enter the venue so that you will already “know” some of the audience and will not feel like you are only speaking to strangers. It will make both you and your audience more comfortable with each other.
6. Wear clothing and shoes that make you feel good and are comfortable. If you do not care for belted slacks, tight sweaters, turtle necks, etc. do not wear them for your presentation. And ladies, those beautiful shoes that pinch your toes….leave them in the closet, sore feet detract from our ability to focus on the business at hand.
7. Get adequate rest before your big day, you do not want to be tired or look tired. Besides we need to be fresh and sharp. A lack of sleep will make that difficult to achieve.
8. Eat healthfully. Well balanced meals with adequate protein, whole grains and fresh fruit or veggies is a good way to allow our bodies to function well and our brain to operate at full capacity. Do not starve yourself. In addition be sure to hydrate yourself before, during and after. A “dry” brain does not work well either.
9. Believe in yourself. If you have prepared well and practiced until you know your topic inside out and backwards, you should feel confident that you will do a good job. Expect to do well and you will. The opposite will also be true! Create a reality that you really want, a positive outcome and a positive self-fulfilling prophesy.

In the end, just remember to have fun!