10 Tips to Combat Public Speaking
Studies reveal that 75 percent of the population suffer from 'Glossophobia' or the fear of public speaking. Yes, standing up in front of an audience and having to make a speech can be mentally crippling and the anxiety can even impact a person's life, but the good part is that it's an anxiety that can be won over or overcome. Regarded as a social phobia, this fear very often can be traced back to childhood.
Practice is the key to perfection
1. Practice (in front of the mirror if you want to) till you know the speech inside out- and that means performing over and over again till you're tired of it. You need to breathe, eat and sleep the speech so that it becomes a part of you. Most of us are scared of public speaking because we're scared of failing, but rigorous practice should ensure against that and give you confidence. The more often you practice, the greater is the retainability factor and the more skillful is your delivery.
2. Be positive about the outcome
Having belief in yourself and your ability to succeed leaves no room for failure. In fact, since the end is in your hands only, you're sure to fail if you so believe and sure to pass with flying colors if you so visualize it. The speech needs to go right and it's up to you to make that happen.
3. Take help before D-day
Just before you need to deliver that speech, get your friend or family to be your audience while you deliver. Ask them to be honest about your ability and give them the freedom to point out mistakes. This way, you will not only smoothen creases in your delivery but will also get that extra bit of courage to face the real audience.
4. Motivate yourself
Motivation is the key to success for it inspires you to go ahead; so find something inspirational in your otherwise boring speech and choose that as a pivot during your performance.
5. Awesome opener
When you start off on the right note and your audience too thinks it to be so, the rest of the speech is easy. So work on getting the opening lines to be really amazing- you'll not only feel good about delivering them but it will also encourage you to snap out of your 'anxiety zone.'
6. Build steadily
Don't be in a hurry to get the speech over, ponder about what you're saying even as you talk. Let the brain have enough time to get into 'recall mode' without pressurizing it. This helps to make the talk smoother and gives you enough time not to commit a serious 'faux pas'.
7. Before your speech is also important
Drinking a cup of coffee to soothe your nerves is perhaps the worst thing that you can do. Caffeine increases the heart rate and only exacerbates your 'anxiety levels' rather than alleviating. Eat light, exercise a bit to get those endorphins moving and you should be okay.
8. Music soothes the nerves
Listening to music has always been touted as producing a good experience. It relaxes your nerves, gets that heart beating regularly and helps to get your mind off the speech. It does a whole lot of good, so why not give it a try?
9. Rein in your stress
Breathe deeply, meditate for a few minutes and you'll feel the calmness flowing through you. It's just not the end of the world for you- so don't think that way. It's a beginning with great opportunities- so focus on that- take a deep breath and work your way towards the end. It's easy if you allow yourself to get 'that sticky feeling' washed away.
10. Believe in your ability
Work hard, believe in yourself and it will pay off. Shrug off those fears that torment you so and tell yourself 'I can and I will do'. Faith, tis said, can even move mountains, so be confident about your abilities.
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