Almost everyone has had a case of stage fright at least once in their life. And while the thought of speaking in front of an audience–large or small–can have a variety effects on different people, some dread it so much that they might feel their heartrate quicken or break into a sweat. This could be an example of glossophobia, also know as the fear of public speaking.
It is easy to guess that this fear is one of the most common phobias of all time; some mental health experts have even gone as far to say that it could affect about 75% of the world’s population. As a result, a number of sources say that glossophobia is the most common phobia in the world, even above the fear of spiders or heights.
While most of us are afraid of something, conquering our fears is always a good strategy to self improvement. It is International Freedom from Fear of Public Speaking Day. And considering that this fear is so popular, I have a list of tips for anyone who wants to become more confident about speaking in front of a crowd.
1. Speak about a topic that you are passionate about.
There are a whole bunch of topics that many people value. Racial stereotypes, mental health, and protecting wildlife are just a few great examples of many. I am a firm believer that when you have the option as to what you want to speak about, you should definitely use that to your advantage. It is much easier to get over your nerves–while connecting with your audience–when the purpose of your speech hits closer to home.
2. Focus on the purpose of your speech, not the audience.
What throws a lot of people off when it comes to speaking in public is the amount of people sitting in the audience. But the thing is, the people who are watching should never be the first thing in your mind when you are giving a speech. Instead, try to focus on what you will be speaking about–this is why choosing a topic that gets you excited is so important. The more you focus on the topic, the less important the amount of people in the crowd will become.
3. Do regular breathing exercises.
A good tip for anyone with anxiety–or anyone who is working on a public speech–is to practice taking deep breaths; specifically when you feel as if your heartbeat is getting faster. Not only does this fill your lungs with a breath of fresh air, but it also helps you remain calm and keep your heartbeat at a steady pace. Even if you need to pause a few times during your speech to take a breath, it truly is a tremendous help when it comes to keeping your nerves in check.
4. Bring a real presentation.
While there are some situations in which the environment is more casual–take school, for example–other speeches may take place in an area where you want to look more professional. While it is always good to make sure that you are presenting yourself in a way that is, well, presentable, you also want to make sure that you don’t loose who you are and what you stand for in the process. Trying to be perfect or speak like everyone else is simply putting on a fake face. No matter how much experience a person has, they are never an “expert.” Even the people who speak often mess up here and there. It’s okay to be nervous, and most importantly, to be you. Trust me, your audience will likely appreciate it just as much as you do.
5. Practice, practice, practice!
Like any other skill, public speaking is not something that becomes natural without putting in some effort. That’s why before the big day comes where you have to present your speech, it’s important to try building up your confidence little by little. This could be by speaking in front of your stuffed animals, your family, your friends, or even a mirror. The more you repeat your speech, the more confident you’ll likely become in what you have to offer in your presentation.
I remember having a much harder time speaking in front of small crowds when I was little. To be honest, sometimes I would be quiet infront of people who spoke to me first lol. But with much practice and experience, I am much more sociable and confident with speaking now. And I hope that these tips will help you, as well.
LET’S CHAT~Have you ever had a past fear of public speaking? If so, what measures did you take to conquer your fear? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
Have a beautiful and blessed day everybody! Peace in, and I’ll see you all next time! ♡