Stand Up To Public Speaking
There’s a large percentage of the population who suffer from phobias and one of the biggest fears is public speaking.
Let’s face it, these days we communicate via phone, email or Facebook Messenger – one-to-one communication is fading, never mind addressing a large group of people.
Whether it’s a business presentation, speaking at an event or you’re preparing to give a funny and memorable best-man speech, the thought of vocally expressing yourself in front of a crowd is daunting, even for the experienced speakers.
So, why are so many of us terrified of speaking in public? Here are some common reasons behind the anxieties, which are associated with this common terror.
What if I forget the words?
This is one of the biggest reasons for the dread of public speaking. What could be worse than standing in front of an audience and forgetting what you wanted to say?
What if they don’t like my speech?
You agonise over the content and wonder if the crowd will laugh at your killer joke, which you’re quite sure is the funniest thing you’ve ever written. Still, it’s in the back of your mind – what if they don’t laugh?
Everyone who delves into a speech or performance hopes that their creation is received well and who wouldn’t hope for a rapturous applause afterwards? (After all, you’d deserve it)
What if I don’t look right?
This is a common concern in most circumstances. You could be attending a job interview or panicking about what’s the best outfit for your niece’s christening. Either way, we all want to look our best in any situation.
The thing with public speaking is this: The audience aren’t there to critique your outfit, well – unless you’re hosting an event for Vogue.
The main factor is your content and how you deliver it to the audience. Is it informative? Is it humorous? Will it engage your onlookers and remain in their thoughts?
How do I overcome this fear?
The key is to relax.
I know you may think this is easier said than done but deep breathing has been proven to calm anxiety. Breathing techniques can be practised daily, you don’t have to cram it in minutes before a speech.
Imagine that you’re out with a group of friends having a drink and a chat. Present your material as if you’re generally chatting to a group in a social environment – sometimes it helps to ask the spectators questions or include them in your material.
One of the most important rules to remember is to rehearse. Rehearse so much that you could deliver the presentation in your sleep – this evokes confidence in your content to the crowd and it also eliminates the anxiety of forgetting what you’re meant to say.
Most importantly, enjoy what you’re doing. If your audience can see how much you’re enjoying entertaining them it puts them at ease too, because believe it or not – they are there to hear what you have to say and they want you to succeed.