7 Ways To Overcome Your Fear Of Public Speaking - Chase Your Fears
Chase Your Fears
Sharing is Caring!
Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

7 Ways To Overcome Your Fear Of Public Speaking

Nothing, not even death seems to scare people more than standing before an audience and speaking. The fear of public speaking can be paralyzing, yet it is one of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert or authority in your field.  Teri Hart (@TeriHart) is an accomplished reporter and a multi-platform entertainment personality. She has shared her tips and a five step acronym, BRIEF (Belief, Rehearse, Interesting, Edit and Fun), to use as a checklist before making any presentation or public speech to boost your confidence. 

1. Believe - Preparation and Belief is Everything
Prepare your speech well. Think carefully about what you want to say. It is important that you, yourself understand and believe what you are talking about. Otherwise the audience will not be able to follow you. Make the words of your lecture or presentation your own by using words you are comfortable with to help you believe in what you are saying. 

Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

2. Rehearse - Practice at Home
Practice, but don't do the typical advice of practicing in-front of a mirror. Everyone is their own biggest critic and tend to pay attention to any imagined imperfections about themselves. But the audience will not see what you see because they will be paying attention to what you are saying. Instead, practice your presentation at least two to three days before your event by reading it out loud until you are familiar with what you are saying. 

Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

3. Interesting
Trust that you are interesting. You are the one presenting the information and the audience is there to listen and hear what you have to say, so believe that what you have to say is interesting. One of the ways to ease your nerves and to connect with the audience is through humor. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. If you're nervous, feel free to let the audience know that you're nervous, your audience will sympathize and find you more interesting.  

Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

4. Edit - and Set Goals
Edit your presentation so that it's to the point and entertaining. Ask yourself: "What do I want to achieve with my lecture? What does the audience want to know and what interests do they have?" If you want to convey a certain message, you must define it beforehand. Set a goal to deliver your message in the most concise way. Don't repeat yourself unless it's to emphasize a point and don't stretch your speech longer with content that doesn't need to be there. 

Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

5. Fun
You're the expert so enjoy your moment and allow yourself to smile, everyone is more friendly when smiling.  And remember that you’ve done the hard work to be here and having people listen to you, that should be FUN! Plus, when you're having fun the audience feels it and they will be more engaged and enjoy your presentation more. 

Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

In the video below Teri Hart shares her tips of how to overcome your fear of public speaking. 

Mark Twain once said “There are two types of speakers, those who get nervous and those who are liars”.  

​To help you overcome your fear of public speaking here are 7 Ways To Overcome Your Fear Of Public Speaking that you can start to implement right away.

  1. Preparation is Everything
    Prepare your speech well. Think carefully about what you want to say. It is important that you yourself understand what you are talking about. Otherwise the audience will not be able to follow you. Make the words yours so you are comfortable with what you are saying and you will sound natural. 
  2. Set Goals 
    Ask yourself "What do I want to achieve with my lecture? What does the audience want to know and what interests do they have?" If you want to convey a certain message, you must define it beforehand. Set a goal to deliver your message in the most concise way. As the great orator Winston Churchill once said: “A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.”
  3. Learn from the Greats
    Listen carefully to pro speakers. You can learn a few tips whenever you listen to and watch a compelling speaker. Ask yourself: How does the speaker shape his speech? What do I like about it? Learn from others speakers as well including their mistakes, and see how they improved over the years. Richard Branson has always struggled with his fear of public speaking, but he always pushed passed his nerves and greatly improved with practice event though he still gets a bit nervous. 
  4. Involve the Audience
    After 10 minutes of speaking the audience's attention starts to drop. The longer your presentation, the more you should involve the audience. Ask something in the audience, even if it is only a rhetorical question to refocus their attention on you. Additionally, the feedback from the audience will help you feel more comfortable.
  5. Practice with Friends, Family or Your Tribe
    Practice your speech or presentation with family members or best yet is to build a tribe of people who are also interested in giving speeches and practice with them. The feedback, whether positive or negative, will help you tremendously.
  6. Show Openness
    We're all human and we all get stressed and nervous at times. Feel free to tell your audience before the presentation that you are a nervous and excited to be there. No one will laugh at you for that honesty and most people will sympathize with you. Openly admitting your fear demonstrates great courage and at the same time contributes to a looser atmosphere during the presentation.
  7. Practice to Gaining Experience
    Practice creates masters so the key to get over your fear of public speaking is practice, practice, practice. With every speech, with every presentation, the next speech, the next presentation becomes a little easier as you become a better speaker. Imagine the situations and just practice over and over again. You will notice how you gradually you become so much better and less anxious. 
    You don't always have to give speeches to large groups of people. You can start with a small group and just speak and speak often. 
Even people who are naturally good speakers are often nervous or anxious before giving a presentation. Good public speaking is learned and just as any skill, you can improve with practice and experience.

About the Author Peter

Leave a Comment: