Did you know that of all the fears and phobias in the world, the fear of public speaking (glossphobia) is ranked the highest? Research shows that people are more terrified of speaking publically than death, and those who do speak openly 3 out of 4 still experience speaking anxiety.
So why would people rather die than speak publically?
Most people who have the fear, are worried about being judged negatively or criticized or they feel they’ll let somebody down who currently think highly of them, but it all boils down to negative self talk.
Feeling some nervousness before giving a speech is natural and even useful, but too much nervousness can be detrimental.
Here are some proven tips from toastmaster.com on how to control your butterflies and give better presentations:
- Know your material. Pick a topic you are interested in. Know more about it than you include in your speech. Use humor, personal stories and conversational language – that way you won’t easily forget what to say.
- Practice. Practice. Practice! Rehearse out loud with all equipment you plan on using. Revise as necessary. Work to control filler words; Practice, pause and breathe. Practice with a timer and allow time for the unexpected.
- Know the audience. Greet some of the audience members as they arrive. It’s easier to speak to a group of friends than to strangers.
- Know the room. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.
- Relax. Begin by addressing the audience. It buys you time and calms your nerves. Pause, smile and count to three before saying anything. (“One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand. Pause. Begin.) Transform nervous energy into enthusiasm.
- Visualize yourself giving your speech. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and confident. Visualize the audience clapping – it will boost your confidence.
- Realize that people want you to succeed. Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They’re rooting for you.
- Don’t apologize for any nervousness or problem – the audience probably never noticed it.
Go from being fearful to Fearless!