You admire those students who always have something important to say. You’d love to be like them. But you’re one of those students who’d rather sit in the corner, hoping for the teacher to forget all about them. If you speak up, your voice cracks and your heartbeat goes crazy.
The fear of public speaking prevents you from taking any leadership roles. When you’re asked to make a presentation, you stress out over the project for weeks. Then you step in front of the class and your voice gives up on you again.
There are ways to overcome this fear and master public speaking once and for all. We’ll list a few techniques for you to try.
How to Master the Art of Public Speaking
- Understand Your Fear
This fear is called glossophobia in medical terms, and it’s closely intertwined with social anxiety.
The majority of the population fear public speaking. The only difference is that most individuals overcome the nervousness as they start speaking. Those with glossophobia choke. They experience full-on panic symptoms that include sweaty and shaky hands, weak voice, and complete loss of thoughts.
Learn about your fear. As you understand it more, you’ll recognize the symptoms when they arise. You’ll be closer to controlling them.
- Prepare Amazing Content
If you don’t have superb speaking skills, a great presentation can make up for them. You can rely on an EduBirdie in the UK to help with the content. When you know what to say and you practice a lot, you’ll stay on track during the presentation.
- Prepare Attention-Grabbing Visuals
Use effective educational software to prepare the visuals. Invest a lot of time in them. The slides will grab the attention of your listeners. They won’t look directly at you, so that might make you feel at ease.
- Watch Good Presentations
Are you watching TED talks? Go through at least one of them per day. Analyze the body language, tone, pace, and speech elements of the talkers you like the most. What makes them more charismatic than others? It’s okay to copy some of their skills.
- Practice a Lot!
You want to be prepared for the moment when you step in front of the audience. The preparations may boost your anxiety. You’ll be alone practicing at home, but you’ll dread the moment of public speaking and you’ll be nervous.
It’s okay. Be nervous, but still practice. You’ll overcome the initial nervousness as you make more attempts.
- Know the Environment
Will you speak in the lecture hall, the classroom, or out in the open? It’s important to know the space, so you’ll adjust your voice accordingly. Take a look at the spot before it’s time for the speech. If possible, practice your talk when no one is there. This technique will make you feel more comfortable about the upcoming event.
- Show Your Personality
It’s okay to get emotional when you speak about things you care about. Did you watch Greta Thunberg’s speech during the UN Climate Summit? It’s powerful because it’s so emotional.
- You Need Some Positive Self-Talk
Close your eyes. Visualize the situation: you’re in front of the audience giving your speech. Visualize the best possible scenario. See yourself full of self-confidence, speaking without any hesitation. Do this every single day, for at least a week before the speech.
If you catch yourself in negative self-talk, cut it out. It increases your anxiety. Do the positive visualization again, so you’ll convince your mind that it can handle the situation.
- Act Self-Confident
Imagine you’re an actor, creating an act for the audience. You get into the character of this self-confident person who’s not afraid to speak. Be that person when you step on the stage!
- Brush Off the Mistakes
It can happen. You might skip an important part of the speech. You might get confused. It’s okay. Just carry on talking as your thoughts lead you. It’s okay; no one knows you made a mistake because no one knows the script of your speech.
You Can Do This!
You’ve read many public speaking tips so far. But did you try them? People with social anxiety are prone to negative self-talk. They are convinced that no matter how hard they try, they will fail. That’s the first flaw to work on. You can overcome this fear. You just need to try.
Start by practicing the methods we listed above.
BIO: Elizabeth Skinner is a full-time blogger and part-time online learner. She discovered her passion in human psychology and strived to learn as much as possible about it. Elizabeth’s blog is a place where everyone can talk about their fears.