Fear of public speaking is an irrational fear, but it makes you feel awful. Your heart might race, your mouth might feel dry and you could even feel sick. Sometimes it can get so bad that it becomes a phobia (Glossophobia) and this is when you would tell yourself that you would never do any form of public speaking!
But life often means that we do need to speak in public. Sometimes you just can't avoid it anymore.
Here are my 10 'P' tips for helping anyone with a fear of public speaking.
Know why you are going to speak in public. Is it to sell something? Is it to give people information? Or is it for some other purpose. Consider how it could help you if you carry out this task. You need to know what your goal is.
You need time to work out what you need to say. What are your objectives? How are you going to structure your speech? Will you use props or visual aids? Are you going to talk for 10 minutes or 45 minutes? Think what you have to prepare. You will need to prepare yourself mentally and physically as well as preparing the content of your speech. You will also need to prepare the room that you are presenting in if you can.
As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Practice your voice projection. Practice getting the structure right. Practice speaking without notes if you can. Practice deep breathing as calming your breathing will help you to relax. Practice feeling good not practising feeling awful!
4. Pay attention to your audience
Who are you going to speak to? If its a group of children your speech and language will be different to a formal work presentation. What you do audience like? What do they need from you? How will be the best way to deliver your message to them?
5. Positive thinking
If you hate public speaking this might seem difficult but just keep telling yourself that you can do it. Every time a negative thought comes into your mind change it to a more positive thought. For example, If you keep hearing yourself say 'I can't do it' change it to 'I couldn't do it before but I'm going to learn how to do it now.'
Consider how you will stand, or sit. Think about open body posture. Smile. Relax and look like you want to speak. Slow down and if appropriate move across the stage.
7. Personalise your message
Whatever you are talking about make it relevant to the audience. Sometimes telling stories from your life experiences helps people to understand more and get a real feel for the subject. Personalising your message also makes speeches more interesting.
If you can talk about something that you are passionate about do.
9. Paint a picture
Help your audience to imagine what you are saying. Maybe you can use words that can help them to feel you story. This can work for any speech. At work it might mean helping staff to imagine the benefits of a product or organisational change.
Seek out resources to help you. Maybe you need to ask for funds if its a work presentation so you can rent a room. Keep going, but if you really feel scared then get some help. You don't need to do this on your own. Get help from work if its available. Go to speaking groups. Talk to a counsellor or get the right mindset with hypnotherapy. You can do it!
If you want someone who speaks in public every month, has many years experience, and uses proven tools to help you succeed then contact me at Awaken the Change. Focusing minds for positive results.
Face to face help in Bournemouth and for some people online help via Skype.