The dictionary defines fear as an emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm. Glossophobia or speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking. In simple words, the fear of public speaking relates to being anxious or nervous while addressing a smaller or larger audience. Many people who have great ideas, and are excellent with one to one communication skills fear speaking in public and are embarrassed by this fact.

Why, though, are we afraid of speaking? Here, I am not referring to making a speech on a well thought out topic. Why are we even generally hesitant to talk in front of a large group of friends? Ever thought about it?

We fear being judged by the people around us. We think that others around us know more than us, which might not be right. We fear making mistakes, and fear being unable to deliver.

In this article, let us look at the 10 ways in which you can conquer the fear of public speaking and own the stage like never before:

Know Your Content

There are two things that give you inner confidence; money and knowledge. Money here, will not work. If you know your matter well, you will be more confident and prepared for your speech.

Before going on the stage, get to know your topic well. Knowledge gives confidence like nothing else.

Practice

Before making a public speech, practice and rehearse. Be loud and clear. Watch your facial expressions, your tone, and your body language.

When you look in the mirror and practice, you will inevitably know your weaknesses and want to improve. You know you do not want to give a bad speech.

Plan Your Pauses

It is better to speak slower than to fumble in front of your audience. Many people tend to talk faster when they are nervous. It is because they want to get over with speaking. While it might be a relief, it comes across as awful.

Plan to pause in your speech. Pauses sound confident; fillers do not. Make sure you pause at regular intervals. It gives you time to think, to recollect and execute.

Just Do It

No matter how nervous you are, how badly you want to throw up and how sick you feel before getting on to the stage, do not show it to your audience. Take a deep breath, relax, walk tall and enter the stage with a smile.

Nobody will know that you are scared unless you tell them. Clear your throat and speak like you own the world. Show your audience that you are confident.

 Play with Your Hands

What do you do with your hands when you are speaking to a large audience? It is quite easy to rest it on the podium if you have one. But, what do you do otherwise? The way you play with your hands while speaking tells a lot about them.

Do not clutch them together or twist them nervously. Instead, use hand gestures to explain your topic. However, make sure you are not overdoing your hand gestures. BE moderate, not dramatic with your hands.

Oops! Those Shaky Knees

How to deal with those shaking knees? When you are behind a dais, it’s easy. Just lock your knees before beginning. They will stop shaking. And, when you do not have a dais and start feeling it, move a bit on the stage. Walk while you talk. It helps release anxiety and also positions you as a confident speaker.

Make Clever Eye Contact

It is very important to play carefully with your eyes while you are on stage. Making eye contact with your audience is necessary. We all know this. However, looking at our audience makes us feel conscious.

However, if you make clever eye contact, you can tackle it well. Make sure your eyes do not stick to one person for more than 3 seconds. It should be brief, not long enough to be misunderstood as a stare. Remember, your eyes can speak volumes. Use them well.

Don’t Overthink about Reactions

Most of us fear public speaking because we are afraid of how people will perceive us. We do not want to be misjudged by the public; we do not want to be mocked at. And hence, we develop fear.

Stop overthinking. People’s reactions are not going to define you.

Public Speaking Classes

Public speaking classes are aimed at making you a better speaker.

I recommend taking public speaking lessons to become a better speaker.

Make Public Speaking a Habit

Lastly, make public speaking a habit. Practice makes you better.

Grab opportunities to speak in public. The more you speak, the more confident you become.

Being afraid is alright. But don't let the fear stop you. The best speakers in the world also have fear, but they don't let it stop them.

Published by Vinil Ramdev