14 Ways to manage public speaking anxiety
It was a day of presentation. I have to represent my marketing plan in front of a team of 20 people. My mind was wavering with so many thoughts. All of a sudden a voice comes, Jaimi please raise and share your views. I stood up.. Team members were staring at me, but my mind went blank, my heart beats were raising. In the silent room, I started hearing giggles from the audience. I was crying inside, I wanted to speak but I couldn’t.
That was the 1st time I felt the fear of public speaking.
I decided not to choose the dark side. I want to fight against my public speaking anxiety. But how?
I started working on my fear with the practice of public speaking. I want to be on the brighter side, just to show myself that I am good enough to lead the team, to lead my success path.
A BIG QUESTION HOW?
I found such tricks that can help one to overcome a public speaking fear. By following these tips, one can become a good public speaker and a good leader.
So let’s begin.
I practiced these listed tricks to fight against my public speaking fear.
|Be Organized And Prepare Your Presentation
|Keep Positive Mental Imagery
|Take Periodic Pause During Speech
|Practice And Speak Slowly
|Maintain Body Language
|Create Connection With Audience Before Starting A Speech
|Deliver Friendly Face Expressions
|Create A Stage Persona
|Prepare For Challenges And Your Answers
|Focus On Your Message
|Don’t Worry If You Mistake
|Recognize The Positives Afterwards
Before starting the brief discussion, I would like you to know that 75% of adults are suffering from a fear of public speaking. Even professional public speakers also deal with stress, blank mind, and harder voice during speech, and nerves. But they have their techniques to get rid of this fear.
So, there is nothing that you cannot overcome it. Just pick your pain point and work on it.
Let’s discuss all the tricks to master your public speaking skills:
1. Be Organized And Prepare Your Presentation.
First of all, decide your topic, and its index on which you have to present your ideas. Do proper research and include some examples in your speech.
- If all set, then try to visit the venue where your presentation has planned.
- Your presentation must include visuals, so prepare it properly a day before.
- You can use cue cards during your speech.
- Don’t forget to create a backup video, script, or prints. It can help you during technical faults.
- Always reach your speech destination before time, so that you can get familiar and comfortable with that place.
2. Keep Positive Mental Imagery
- Keep visualizing your speech, place, and audience.
- Practice your speech in front of the mirror and deliver your confidence.
- Imagine all the senses and plan your speech. That will reinforce your confidence.
- If your imagination passes negative visuals, then challenge these scenarios by drawing on your previous experiences of successfully delivered speech.
- Prepare your mind with positive imagery that you can do it, and everyone will appreciate it.
3. Take Periodic Pause During Speech
Everyone communicates differently. The speaking style varies from one to one. So, in this case, if you speak so fast during your speech, then take a pause and breath. Because sometimes the audience may lose focus in what you say. So it is necessary to take a periodic pause during the presentation.
Your pause may look natural, as it will appear as you will give a thought about what you are saying next. Furthermore, you can plan your pauses strategically too. Such as, after a question, or passing a funny thought, or end of small sections. Taking a strategic pause will give you a chance to calm down, and also allow an opportunity for your audience to think about your words and reflect your ideas.
Additionally, pauses may help you to remove filter words, like “Um”, “Ah”, “You know”, etc..
So don’t sound unsure, practice this trick to sound like a professional.
4. Practice And Speak Slowly
The practice is key to perfection.
If you practice well for your topic, then you will sound familiar and confident in specific content.
- Don’t deliver your speech just like you are reading. Focus on transactions, expressions, and body language.
- Stand up, speak louder, and use facial expressions where needed.
- Work on your body language.
- The best way to analyze your speech is to record yourself and check where you want to improve.
- Practice in front of a mirror, family, friends, or mentor and seek their feedback.
- Talk slowly, so that the audience can capture your words with their visual powers.
- Sound natural.
- If you get nervous then naturally, you will move to finish speech speedily. It is probably frustrating for you and your audience. So speak comfortably, and slowly.
Practicing these may help you to perceive your audience’s attention and represent your confidence.
5. Maintain Body Language
Professional public speakers talk slowly, look relaxed and sound confident. Do you know why?
Because they focus on their body language and make positive body movement.
Here’s the tricks,
- First of all, maintain eye contact with the audience.
- Use your voice aptly.
- Slowly and steadily breathe.
- Use gestures to emphasize points, for i.e. match facial expressions with your ideas.
- Move around the stage.
- Reduce nervous habits.
6. Create Connection With Audience Before Starting A Speech
You always notice that the initial 3 to 5 minutes are crucial to engaging your audience. So to make them listen, you can use it to share your past mistakes, experiments, or any story to grab their attention.
People always relate themselves with your mistakes, feelings, experiences, and failures. So the more your words relate to your audience, the more attention you can catch. And engagement of the audience may increase your confidence.
Furthermore, You can start your speech by asking questions or some commentaries by targeting the audience that can also help you to get comfortable with your audience.
7. Deliver Friendly Face Expressions
As we discussed earlier, being comfortable with the audience is a must. While you are speaking, notice those people who are nodding, smiling and engaged with your speech. Make eye contact with them and pass a friendly smile. This may reduce your stress and motivate you to perform your best.
8. Create A Stage Persona
Many people have enticed to imitate their favorite speaker, but I suggest analyzing your special characteristics of speaking skills. Work on it and amplify it.
To create your stage persona, prepare a checklist:
- What are your best characteristics as a speaker? Are you empathetic, humorous, entertainer, or influencer?
- Improve your feature list with, how much do you gesticulate? What is your energy level during a speech? Do you stick to your topic or miss out on a few points? How much do you require to improvise?
These may help you to improve your public speaking skills by matching your identity.
9. Prepare For Challenges And Your Answers
Sometimes, the audience may ask a few questions. So during your preparation, be alert when the questions arise and how you have to attend them. Prepare notes or such sudden questions and your comments for it. That will help you to get rid of the audience’s judgments.
You can also prepare a list of your fears and sudden rejections. Don’t worry, that list will help you to reduce the negative inner dialogues. Challenge these thoughts and prepare yourself for sudden challenges and prove yourself that all the negative thoughts were unrealistic. You can handle everything positively.
10. Focus On Your Message
Whenever you deliver your speech, keep in mind:
- What is the purpose of your speech?
- Why does it need to deliver to your audience?
- What you’re saying?
These points will help you to stay focused and connected with your topic.
For example, during your speech, you may notice a few people are out of focus or falling asleep. Instead, focus on them, find those who are listening to you, and find your speech valuable. Deliver your efforts and plan to them and stick to the purpose of the speech.
11. Don’t Worry If You Mistake
No one can be perfect. So mistakes will happen everytime. What is more important is how you react to your mistakes?
Let’s take two scenarios:
Case 1: You make a mistake and get nervous, behave awkwardly so that your audience will get uncomfortable.
Case 2: You are mistaken, you point it out and laugh on it with a funny comment. Your audience will laugh with you and the surroundings will again be back to comfort.
So which one is more impactful? The second one right!
Don’t stop when you find your error, move on, and complete your speech comfortably.
12. Use Humor
Study shows, almost all professional public speakers use humor in their speech. They engage their audience by passing laughter and lighting their mood. Just take care your jokes may not be interpreted wrongly and offended by the audience.
Whenever you try to use this technique make sure you are confident about the tone, situation, and cautions. Most probably making fun of your stuff is safe, if you want to add humor in your speech. However, this cultivates trust and comfort in the audience, because they are relating to your situations.
13. Admit Nervousness
Use the emotional tactic. If you are a newbie speaker, or you are going to pitch a totally new thing for the first time then share it with your audience in a way, like “I am a bit nervous as this is something new to me” or so and so… This way the audience will forgive your few mistakes. Admittedly, you will feel relaxed after sharing these words.
Despite nervousness, if you finish your presentation amazingly then your audience will surprisingly appreciate your efforts and speech. So be honest with your audience.
14. Recognize The Positives Afterwards
Remember, you will get negative and positive feedback altogether. So, rather focusing on negatives, focus on positives. Acknowledge all the positive feedbacks and start improving on negative ones. Prepare your next speech for the future to challenge all those negative predictions. Don’t let yourself down. Strengthen your speech by improving all the feedback.
To sum up, develop the confidence to deal with uncomfortable situations. You will definitely get nervous, make errors, sometimes you perform poorly and sometimes you will be the best. It’s up to you to push yourself for a better version of yourself. Practice all the tricks and start working on your skills. One day, everyone will be curious to hear from you.
Listen to Audio to Master Your Public Speaking Skills.
I have something you might find useful : ACTION PLAN FOR MANAGING PEOPLE SKILLS IN JUST ONE MINUTE? | 10 Common Marketing Strategy Mistakes | Improve your Brand with a Strong Social Media Presence | Best Marketing Channels to boost E-commerce Growth | What is a Social Media Campaign? How does it affect your Business?