There is no doubt that overcoming your fear of public speaking will make your life better. Fighting this fear (also known as glossophobia) head on will not only improve your professional life but your personal life as well.
Mastering the art of public speaking will give you the confidence to become a sociable person. You can become the life of the party or improve your business tremendously just because you have mastered this art of communication. You will also develop high self-esteem and a positive attitude that will allow you to crush any goal that you set for yourself.
And let’s not forget that public speaking is one of the most highly paid professions in the world. As of September 2019, public speakers in Australia earn up to $146k per year according to PayScale, while the best speakers in the world can make around $1.5 million per presentation!
So, if you’re ready to overcome your fear of public speaking, here are our top six public speaking anxiety tips to get you on the road towards becoming a master presenter.
1st Tip – Picture Your Perfect Presentation
Here’s a process that I do just before my presentations that assists me when dealing with public speaking anxiety, or what I call expansion. This will allow you to imagine your presentation exactly the way that you would like it to be done. It’s a process called self-programming.
Self-programming is used by all the top athletes from around the world, and anyone who operates in any form in the peak performance space also does some type of self-programming.
So, here’s the process:
- Sit down, take a deep breath in, and tense all the muscles in your body.
- In your mind, count from three to one, then exhale and just relax like you’re going to sleep. Slump in a position that’s comfortable for you.
- Attempt to open your eyes but pretend that you can’t open them! So you’re moving your eyeballs around but you’re pretending that your eyelids are not opening. Then, just stop trying and simply relax.
- Now, imagine how you would like your whole presentation to go.
- Once done, quickly open your eyes, and act as if nothing happened, and you’re feeling great!
The reason do these steps is to switch off our critical faculty.
As most of us know, we have a conscious mind and an unconscious or subconscious mind, and there’s something that blocks these two from communicating with each other, which is known as the critical faculty.
This method convinces the brain that your eyes no longer work. So, your brain is going to freak out! The critical faculty does not know what’s real or what’s imagined. Therefore, this will allow your critical faculty to disengage, because it wants to do something more important, which is to make your eyes work again.
So, it’s a way to trick your critical faculty, switching it off, and then just dumping everything you want straight into your unconscious mind, which in turn will help you to deliver your ideal presentation.
2nd Tip – Believe & Trust In Your Content
Believe what you're saying. Quite often, people are asked to give a presentation, and they get notes from marketing, the communications or from their bosses on what to present, and there may be words and sentences there that don’t ring true. Maybe there's something in there that just doesn't roll off your tongue.
So, spend the time and make sure you believe everything that's coming out of your mouth.
Because if you believe it, you will feel it, and you will be able to present it in a way that you feel confident about, thus preventing glossophobia.
This will also allow you to trust your content because trusting your content will allow you to have more confidence during your presentation. Trust that your presentation is interesting because it is. It’s the first time your audience is going to hear about it, and you’re the only in the room that has that information. So believe and trust that.
3rd Tip To Overcome Fear Of Public Speaking - Follow A Formula
Making an engaging presentation is usually about the quality of your content and how you deliver it. Studies have shown that audiences understand structured presentations, or speakers who follow a formula, 40% more accurately than unstructured presentations.
If you’ve ever experienced a great presentation, you'll have left feeling either informed or inspired to take some type of action. This isn’t because the speaker was the smartest or the most motivating person in the room. It’s because they followed a formula and know how to design presentations the right way.
Great speakers create their speeches in a logical and easy way that allows their audience to keep up and remember the key things in their presentations.
As a matter of fact, not only is following a formula important to keep your audience engaged, but it’s also important for you as the speaker. Sticking to a formula helps you to remain calm and confident, stay on topic, and it will eliminate those dreaded awkward silences.
4th Tip – Practice
Practice, practice, practice… and practice even more! As I’ve mentioned before, public speaking is a doing thing, like playing a musical instrument or physical sport. To get better, you MUST practice.
Now there's no exact way to practice properly. You have to find your own way. But a really good kind of standard is the text of your presentation should be completed two days before a speaking event. If you're waiting on approvals from a boss, communications or marketing, tell them that. Ask for what you need. Say, “I need this two days before so I can get my practising in.”
You're allowed to ask for what you need when you're the expert standing in front of the room.
It’s good to run through it twice the night before and three times in the morning. Do it in front of somebody and do it standing up. Give yourself the body memory that you need to be in that moment.
5th Tip - Speak To One
Probably among the absolute scariest things about speaking in public is the crowd - just looking at the audience, all there silent and waiting for you to speak can be a terrifying thought!
So here’s another tip on how to fight your fear of public speaking - speak to only one person in your audience. Make eye contact with one person, then dedicate your whole talk to them. After a few seconds, focus on someone else and talk only to them.
Imagine that you’re talking with a good friend at some café and just chatting away. Always remember that they are there to learn something from you. You are the expert, and you’re there to help.
6th Tip – Learn From The Best
One of the best ways to overcome your fear of public speaking is to learn more about it. Learn from the speakers that you look up to by watching them and taking notes. You could also take a presentation skills training course to truly take your public speaking skills to the next level, like Present Like A Pro.
Present Like A Pro is designed for anyone who wants to learn how to create and deliver a world-class presentation that sells. We’ll teach you all the best presentation techniques that we’ve used over the years that have helped us to become a two-time BRW Fast Starters award-winning company. If you would like to learn more about Present Like A Pro, click here.
We hope you found some value from these public speaking anxiety tips and on your way to overcoming glossophobia. You can also check out our free audio program here to get you started on presenting like a pro.
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