How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking?

You are in the middle of the room. You’re expected to speak, but you can’t say a single world. Everyone is looking at you waiting… Or, another situation: you’ve started your talk, but your voice is shaking and low, you’re turning red. You lose
confidence rapidly.

Those aren’t nightmare scenarios, but something that happens to people speaking in public every single day. How to overcome this? I must disappoint you: the fear won’t go away in a week. It will take more time, but the good news is that there are methods to make the fear go away.

First: prepare
When you’re prepared, you feel more confident and less things can go wrong. Be on time for your speech. If possible speak about a subject you know well: something you’ve done for instance.

For your speech learn your first one or two phrases. This will make sure that you start and when you’ve started it’s becoming easier. You don’t have to learn the whole talk (some people do that, however), instead be sure you know the main arguments and important expression you’d like to use.

Second: practice
Practice, especially in a secure environement, allows you to learn more about public speaking. It’s especially good to practice in a public speaking club like Toastmasters in your region. In a club everyone has the same goal: improve. you can safely test different solutions and progress while knowing that you’re not judged. This helps to overcome your fear even faster. So practice, practice, practice. Especially in a club.

Third: have support of the audience
The fact that knowing the audience better helps is something I’ve found out quite recently. You can use the following method: when you’re at your speaking room before your speech time, ask some of the arriving attendees what do they want to learn. You will normally find out that they are very positive about your speech, they want to learn something interesting and that they want you to succeed! When you have support of the audience and you know it, speaking becomes much easier.

Those are three methods you can use to overcome the fear of public speaking. Which one(s) to use depends on your case. Good luck!

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