How to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

  • Productivity

Public speaking is an important skill for an entrepreneur, a leader, an entertainer, a teacher, a sales guru, and even for an average person, who has to give best man speech or the maid of honor wedding toast. Did you know that Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking affects about three-quarters of the world population? For a glossophobic person, a series of physical and emotional reactions come into play as soon as the idea of speaking in public surfaces. Some people are natural orators, but anyone can develop the skill set, all you need is to train yourself for it, and a lot of practice. If the condition is too severe, you can also go for various professional courses and workshops to speed up the process.

No matter where you appear on the line of authority at work, on the day when a situation that calls for public speaking arises, you should be ready to grab that opportunity. Not acting now, thinking that you might never have to give a presentation at work might just jeopardize your chances of climbing the corporate ladder. Before jumping into tips to develop presentation skills, you should know that if you take it seriously, put in honest efforts, are prepared to go that extra mile, you would be able to deliver a world-class presentation. It is also important to keep in mind that nobody is perfect and one mistake almost never ruins the whole presentation. Here are a few things that you need to learn to become an expert orator:

  • Content is the King: An incompetently researched script would reflect poorly on your ethics and seriousness about the cause of your presentation. You should be devoting about 70% of the time at your hands on conducting detailed research, developing a stellar script, and putting together relevant visuals to emphasize on the central idea of the presentation.

  • Less is More: You might have a ton of things that you wish to add to your speech but you should focus on the central message of your presentation and pick subtopics that help in communicating it in the best possible way. Too much information might cause overload and confuse the audience, taking them away from the main motive of the presentation. When you are ready with the first draft, weed out the sub-topics the fit the aforementioned description of information overload.

  • Practice A Lot: Now that the research and writing are done, practicing your script is the next big thing. Read it out loud, try doing it in front of a mirror or a video camera, and try to deliver the presentation without continuously looking at the script.

  • Be Confident: If you sound unsure of yourself, there is a good chance that you are not taken seriously by the audience. You might be inviting then to challenge your knowledge on the subject of your presentation or simply not impressing them at all. If you deliver your presentation confidently with passion and enthusiasm, you have a better chance at engaging the audience.
  • Check out this infographic from Malcolm Andrews to learn how to deliver a world-class presentation. Also, check out various things you need to keep in mind while delivering a presentation.