Public Speaking Tips – 5 Fool-Proof Steps In Overcoming Your Fears of Public Speaking

Undeniably, speaking in front of an audience can be a daunting task. And the truth is – almost everyone has this fear and the desire to overcome their fear in public speaking.

Thus, if you think it is only you, think again!

Being fearful of public speaking is actually nothing unusual. Even President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher admitted that they too had stage fright.

“The better qualified a person is to speak, the more the person fears the difficulty of speaking.” – Cicero, Roman orator some 2000 years ago

Public speakers, conference presenters, panel speakers and even Master of Ceremonies. Everyone has butterflies in the stomach just before one begins to speak. But what truly separates the experienced speaker from the novice is one who is able to make those butterflies fly in formation.

Nervousness, speech anxiety, stage fright, platform panic, and blackout; they are lurking about all the time. But these problems can be overcome or, at least, reduced.

Follow the 5 easy steps below to start reducing your gigantic fear to the size of a midget and fling it out of the window right before your speaking engagement…

5 Fool-Proof Steps In Overcoming Your Fears of Public Speaking

1. Prepare

Preparation is the key to success. Speakers and entertainers always prepare and rehearse their scripts many, many times and usually weeks in advance. Nobody wants to take a risk. As the saying goes, “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”

2. Practise

Practise, practise and practise. There is no short cut to success except practise. The best way to do it is to speak out loudly and simulate the conditions of your speaking environment. Do it in front of a mirror, friends, family members and colleagues.

3. Make a note

Keep note cards in your pockets. This is to ensure that if your mind goes blank, you have your notes to fall back on. These cards are an insurance against forgetting your points.

4. Bring along a few jokes

Just in case you need the jokes to cheer up the audience when there is an electrical failure or something happens suddenly.

5. Using breathing and relaxing methods

When you are nervous, your mouth and lips become dry and your throat and jaw tightens up. A tight throat can disrupt air flow and cause shallow breathing. You need to do some exercises to relax and loosen the muscles. Some of the common ways are:

  • Do push up
  • Push against the wall lunging yourself forward
  • Use your breath only, (no sound) exhale on the syllable “PAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH.”

The aim is to make sustained breath. Keep the mouth, throat and jaw relaxed.

And there you’ve it, the 5 easy steps to overcoming your fears of public speaking.

At first look, these steps may seem common sense and overly simple. But hey… who says overcoming fears of public speaking need to be rocket science?

Like all other tasks, effective presentations is a skill that can be learnt. You just need to give yourself the permission to learn and others to provide you with the feedbacks on how you can better improve your public speaking skills.