A common form of anxiety is fear of public speaking. It can either be slight nervousness or paralyzing fear and panic. Most people affected by this fear suffer through public speaking with a quavering voice and shaking hands or avoid it altogether. However, you can overcome your fear through preparation and persistence. Here are some tips that can help you overcome anxiety while speaking in public.
1. Get Organized
Plan out the information you want to present carefully and ahead of time. This might include any audio, visual aids, or props. The more organized you are, the lower your chances of being nervous. Visit where you are supposed to be speaking and check out the available equipment before the presentation.
2. Visualize Your Success
Positive thoughts might help lower some of your negativity about your social performance, and this might relieve your anxiety. You have to imagine your presentation going as planned.
3. Know Your Topic
Familiarise yourself with the topic you will talk about. The better your understanding of the topic is, the more you care about what you’re talking about, and the less likely you will get off track or make a mistake. In an instance you veer off-topic, you will be able to recover swiftly. Consider what questions the audience could ask and have your responses ready. They might not ask similar questions, but it will give you an idea of how to tackle possible questions.
4. Challenge Specific Worries
When it comes to something you are afraid of, you might overestimate the possibility of bad things happening. Have a list of what you’re worried about specifically. Challenge them directly by identifying probable and alternative results and any objective evidence that supports each worry or the possibility that your anticipated outcomes will happen.
5. Practice! Practice!
Go over your presentation several times. You can ask people you are comfortable with to be your audience and let them give you their feedback. However, it is much more helpful if you practice with a few people you need to become more familiar with since your real audience will not be people you know. You can make a video of your presentation to watch later and see areas you need improvement.
6. Focus On Your Material and Not Your Audience
Pay attention to what you’re talking about, and avoid thinking about the audience. People tend to focus on new information and how it’s presented rather than who is giving it. They might not even notice your nervousness. If they are interested in what you are saying, they might root for you and your presentation to be a success.
7. Do Not Fear A Moment Of Silence
You might lose track of what you are saying for a second, or your mind might go blank if you are too nervous. It might seem like you’ve been silent for too long, but in reality, it might just be a few seconds. Your audience will be okay with a pause to internalize what you’ve been talking about. Just take a few deep breaths to calm yourself and then resume.
8. Get Support
There are support groups for people with difficulties in public speaking. If you cannot overcome your fear through practice, consider seeking professional help. Your doctor will decide between cognitive behavioral therapy or a prescription medication that you can take before public speaking.