If you’re struggling with public speaking jitters, here are a few tips to help make it a bit more manageable and less nerve-wracking.
The first time I spoke in front a large group of people it was my Aunty’s wedding and I was 10 years old. I had the confidence of half drunk stand up comedian, I have no idea where this comes from, my parents aren’t big fans of attention or standing up in front of people and speaking by any stretch. One of the memories I had from this day was how many adults came to tell me how brave I was, how amazing it was that I could stand up and speak in front of so many people. On the day I wondered why? 10 year old Robine had no fear. At 13 though that all changed!
Public speaking is a common fear for many of us, and it can be a significant barrier to personal and professional growth. With some effort and practice, it’s possible to overcome this fear and become a confident public speaker. In this article, let’s explore some tips and techniques to help you overcome your fear of public speaking and deliver effective and engaging speeches.
Spend some time and identify the root cause of your fear
The first step in overcoming your fear of public speaking is to identify its root cause. Are you afraid of being judged or rejected by your audience? Maybe you, or someone close to you had a negative experience in the past that has left you feeling anxious about speaking in public. By understanding what’s driving your fear, you can start to address it and develop strategies to manage it.
Practice, practice, practice
One of the most effective ways to overcome your fear of public speaking is through practice. The more you speak in front of others, the more comfortable and confident you’ll become. Start by speaking in front of a small audience, such as your friends or family members, and gradually work your way up to larger groups. You can also practice in front of a mirror or record yourself speaking and watch the video to identify areas for improvement. There are Groups here at Umeco set up to help you practice your pitch, speaking in front of a group or in front of a camera or microphone.
Prepare, don’t wing it
Another key to overcoming your fear of public speaking is to prepare thoroughly. This includes researching your topic, organizing your ideas, and practicing your delivery. By being well-prepared, you’ll feel more confident and in control when you step up to the mic.
Visualization is a powerful tool for overcoming fear and building confidence. Before you give a speech, take a few moments to visualize yourself delivering a successful and engaging presentation. Imagine yourself speaking clearly and confidently, and receiving positive feedback from your audience. This positive visualization can help to calm your nerves and boost your confidence.
Focus on your audience
When you’re speaking in public, it’s easy to get caught up in your own thoughts and feelings. However, focusing on your audience can help you feel more connected and engaged. Make eye contact with your listeners, and try to engage them with your words and body language. By focusing on your audience, you’ll feel more connected and engaged, and your fear will start to dissipate.
Use relaxation techniques
If you’re feeling particularly anxious about speaking in public, relaxation techniques can help to calm your nerves. Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization exercises can all help to reduce your anxiety and promote a sense of calm. You can practice these techniques before your speech, during a break, or even during your presentation if you need to.
Finally, seeking feedback from others can be a helpful way to overcome your fear of public speaking. Ask someone you trust to listen to your speech and provide constructive feedback on your delivery and content. This feedback can help you identify areas for improvement and build your confidence for future speeches. We have Umeco groups set up for this purpose and circles of connection.
In conclusion, fear of public speaking is a common fear, but it doesn’t have to hold you back. By identifying the root cause of your fear, practising regularly, preparing thoroughly, visualising success, focusing on your audience, using relaxation techniques, and seeking feedback, you can become a confident and engaging public speaker. Here at Umeco, we would love to see you overcome any fears or concerns you may have so you can amplify and share your important ideas, views and expertise with the world.