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How to overcome fear of public speaking

Do you often experience fear of public speaking while you are in front of a large audience? Are you looking out for ways to conquer your fear of public speaking?

Before we proceed on how to tackle this fear, let us take a simple test to ascertain if you indeed have the fear of public speaking.  Let us say there is an important business seminar, which your boss is unable to attend. In turn, he chooses you to give a presentation in front of a large audience. What would you do in such a given situation?

A) Try to avoid the situation by all means
B) Confront the situation

Your behavioural response to the above situation would roughly indicate the extent of your fear of public speaking. Now, you can well understand how the fear of public speaking can cripple our thinking and our actions!

Fight the monster within you!

One of the best ways to tackle the fear of public speaking is to take charge of the situation under your control. How do you achieve that?

The best way is to divert your attention from yourself and stay focused on your audience. Most of us get scared thinking about the kind of responses that one is likely to get from the audience after addressing them. After all, the audience is not your enemy! Get rid of the enemy of fear of public speaking that lies within you!

Another way to fight the fear of public speaking is by repeating positive affirmations to yourself. Visualise the audience in front of you and imagine as if you are interacting with them. The feel good factor created with positive thoughts can boost your level of confidence.

Rehearse your speech well

It is a good idea to have a clear understanding of the main theme of your discussion before you actually narrate it to your audience. You should be able to convey the message of your discussion to the audience. Hence, it doesn’t matter if you need to rehearse your speech several times and have a mock session so that you are well prepared for the final day. This will help in improving your confidence while speaking to the audience and overcoming any fear of public speaking as well.

Keep your audience engaged!

It is necessary to interact with your audience while you are on the stage. This will also help you to distract your mind from the fear of failure lurking your mind. A good way to connect to your audience is to narrate some of your personal experiences or incidents. Even humour used in the right dose can create a favorable impact on the audience. By establishing a good rapport with the audience, you can get rid of you initial fear of public speaking.

Remember, it lies in your hands to change your life for the better. Self-help books on public speaking can definitely help you to a certain extent.  Beyond that, you need to cultivate the necessary habit of conquering the fear of public speaking.

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