Most people experience some form of fear or nervousness when speaking in front of people.
You are NOT alone. The number 1 fear of people is…PUBLIC SPEAKING. This fear ranks before DEATH. Yikes! Soooo most people would rather die than speak in public.
In fact, Mark Twain says, “There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. The liars."
Nervousness is completely normal. You. Me. We…all get nervous.
Your name is called and you think Uh Oh…
I hope I don’t forget what I am going to say.
I hope I don’t bore my audience
What in the world do I do with my hands??
The GOOD news is you can learn how to deal with your fear and have success EVERYTIME you speak in front of anyone.
Right now, I want you to COMMIT to changing the way you think about FEAR. Embrace it, Remove the negativity surrounding it and turn it around for your benefit!
The goal is not to give yourself the impossible task of never again experiencing fear when you speak, but to DECREASE and MANAGE your fear.
Below are my 5 basic Tips to help you!
1. Connect with your audience BEFORE you speak
Before speaking meet as many people as possible from your audience. Show up a few minutes early to network and introduce yourself. The familiar, smiling faces in the front row of the audience will help to relax you and make it easier for you to talk.
Are you giving a presentation at work or to people you already know? Re-connect with your colleagues right before your presentation to help settle your nerves. This will help take your mind off your nerves and put it where it belongs…connecting with your audience.
2. Stop giving yourself unnecessary pressure and worry
“This is the most important presentation of my life.”
“Wow, there are so many people in the audience.”
“I didn’t prepare enough.”
These statements only work to increase your anxiety level. As your anxiety level increases it becomes a domino effect and you become more nervous.
Instead focus on positive affirmations such as, “I am ready for this.” “I am relaxed and excited to begin,” People want to hear me speak.” Positive affirmations will increase your confidence and your fear will take a backseat.
3. Proper Preparation Please
This one seems obvious, but no seriously this 1 step will help take away your fear. Studies show that preparation can reduce your fear by 75%.
The more prepared you are the less nerves you will have before and while speaking.
You will be relaxed and present as you speak because you don’t need to worry about what you are going to say next. This avoid the dreaded NON-STOP chatter and talking in circles because you don’t know what is coming next.
4. Don't forget to Breathe
Practice proper breathing technique to help relax you before speaking.
It is no secret why yoga and meditation practitioners have mastered the art of relaxation…they understand the importance of breathing technique.
It is amazing how often we forget to breathe while speaking. We hold our breaths and then it comes shooting out when we can no longer hold it. Remember to breathe as you are speaking to stay relaxed and energized.
Find a comfortable place to sit, if you cannot sit it is okay to stand. Breathe in through your nose and allow the breath to gently expand your diaphragm. Put your hand on your belly to feel your stomach expand as you breathe in and contract as you breathe out. You should breathe out 2 times as long as you breathe in.
5. Visualize Success
A simple visualization exercise will help to calm your nerves. Mentally rehearse your presentation or speech from beginning to end and the positive response that you receive.
Imagine yourself about to begin and seeing the people in the front of the audience smiling and eager to hear you. Picture yourself speaking clearly and calmly. You are engaging your audience with eye contact, your voice, gestures. Create a positive experience in your mind.
Make visual imagery a part of your rehearsal process!
It's Your Turn.
These are a few steps that you can take to help decrease your fear of speaking. Try 1 or all of these tips to see which ones work best for you. They will change the way you approach speaking, change the way you prepare, and change the way you communicate in all situations.
Decide today to take the first step!
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