Public speaking fear is the most common fear people have. So let us understand what is public speaking and what are the reasons of this fear.
Public speaking is simply speaking to the public that is your audience. Whenever you are talking to a bunch of people it is technically public speaking. But when we think of public speaking what comes to our mind is a person speaking in front of a large audience.
When it comes to speaking in front of people, most of us get panic and nervous. Even the biggest fear some people have is public speaking fear. This fear of speaking in public is more dangerous than death for some people. Even there’s a word for this fear, that is, Glossophobia or speech anxiety. The word glossophobia derives from the greek word glossa meaning tongue, and phobos, fear. Speech anxiety is the feeling of worry and physical reactions caused when speaking to others, especially to a larger group of people.
Public speaking fear is a common form of anxiety. It can range from slight nervousness to panic on stage.
Those who have never suffered from shyness have no idea how frustrating it can be!
Changing any habit is hard, and speaking is one of the most natural activities anyone can do. But for some people expressing themselves clearly is a very tedious task. Also, improving communication skills is very important to improve public speaking and overcoming public speaking fear.
How to speak better and clear to overcome public speaking fear :
1.Avoid skipping words:
Speak every word without giving it a second thought. Natural Speaking depends on the adjoining words to make it a complete sentence. If you skip some words, you will make more mistakes and it won’t look natural. Also, it shows you are confused and have public speaking fear.
2.Practice is the key :
If you want to speak better and clear, you need to practice a lot. Do you remember learning driving, how did you learn it. Did you just watched someone driving and became excellent in driving? Of course not. We learnt driving by practising a lot. No matter how many times we were close to hitting someone and got our heart into the mouth. You might be thinking why I am talking about this. Well! Public speaking is more or less similar to driving. You have to speak many times before you actually speak in front of an audience. Also, the first time you speak in public will not be the best one. You will become a skilled public speaker after speaking many times in front of an audience. You will master the art of public speaking and overcome public speaking fear.
3.Make sure you don’t miss small words:
Most people miss words like a, the, is which makes the sentence incomplete and doesn’t sound good.
4. Don’t forget to give pauses:
The tiny breaks between a sentence help distinguish one word from another. It shouldn’t sound you are just reading sentences. It should feel natural. It shouldn’t show your public speaking fear.
5.Don’t speak too rapidly:
You don’t have to speak slowly, but nowadays people are in a hurry and wanted to finish everything quickly or sometimes drop the task in between. Make sure you are not too fast and it should not feel you are in a hurry and have public speaking fear.
6.Maintain good posture:
Maintaining correct posture while you’re speaking is very important. It helps you to speak more clearly and you feel more confident also. While standing or sitting, keep your back straight and your chin up so that you’re looking straight making eye contact with your audience as it reduces your public speaking fear.
Bonus tip :
If your throat gets dry or scratchy, drink water. Avoid eating oily or sweet food before your speech or presentation.
Reasons for nervousness on stage:
For this there’s a famous saying that if we will think what others are thinking then what will they do. So stop thinking that.
The truth is that people really don’t care about you. They’re in the audience to get something out of your presentation, or speech. They want their time to be well spent. So, focus on how you can be better and overcome your public speaking fear.
- Self-consciousness: This is the most common reason for performance anxiety. To overcome that fear you need to forget the feeling of self-consciousness. You need to get involved in the topic so much that public speaking fear doesn’t come to your mind. Also, you can memorize a few starting lines so that there’s a flow in speaking and the rest of the words comes naturally. This will start boosting confidence in you and reduces fear. In the first few speeches, you will be nervous as hell but you need to keep going. Remember that the people in the audience are also humans like you. Concentrate on just talking to them and you’ll be at your best.
- Concern that others are judging you: The biggest fear people have is what others might be thinking of us. When it comes to speaking in front of people, most of us get panic and nervous. There’s always a thought in mind what people might be thinking of us.
- Past failures. Public speaking anxiety is a very common behaviour. But there might be some reason behind it that in the past either you have seen failure or there’s a thought of self-doubt from childhood. But if you what to speak and prepared for it then there’s no reason for things to go wrong. Plan to succeed and don’t think about failures and public speaking fear.
- Not prepared properly: If you haven’t prepared well and forgotten on the stage, then it’s your fault and you can blame nobody but yourself. Nothing undermines public speaking confidence like being unprepared. But nothing gives you as much confidence as being ready. Your choice. Practice many times and you will be confident on the stage and get rid of public speaking fear.
- Comparison with others: Don’t ever compare yourself with someone. Everyone is unique and different. You don’t have to be an excellent speaker but try to be interesting when you talk or discuss something. That’s it. Nobody in the entire world can speak like you. Yes! That’s true, nobody can’t speak like you and you can’t speak like someone else. Be what you are and you won’t feel public speaking fear.
This process of speaking better will help you in overcoming fear of public speaking. Speak more naturally and you will become a confident speaker. It is very important to master the art of public speaking and overcome your public speaking fear.