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How to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking Anxiety in 6 Courageous Steps

Stepping into a crowd of more than 10 people is intimidating to everyone, no matter how practiced they are. In order to overcome your fear of public speaking, you must be dedicated to becoming a better speaker and work at it.

Eliminate Your Fear of Public Speaking Forever

Fear of public speaking is a crippling anxiety to have that shouldn't run our lives. Public speaking is a required part of school any many jobs that leads to being successful. If you have a fear of public speaking, first address the root causes of why it scares you and come up with solutions. Find out how to speak your mind confidently and be less scared of what people think about you.

mic in front crowd

Did you know that public speaking is one of the top three most feared things to do for most Americans? If you have a fear of public speaking, learn from others who have overcome their fear. Speaking in front of large audiences won't kill you. There is no reason to be intimidated by something that won't cause you harm. The worst that can happen is if people don't agree with what you are saying. But that is their problem, not yours.

Don't Let Your Fear of Public Speaking Hold You Back. You Have Many Ideas that You Want to Share with the World. So Show Courage and Let Your Voice be Heard

Speak confidently without fear is the way to truly live our lives. Our fear of public speaking will not run our lives anymore after applying a few of these easy tricks.

1. Don't Rush

Many people have the tendency to speed up their talking when speaking in front of an audience. Don't try to just "get through" the experience, but enjoy it. Not everyone likes spotlight on them all the time, but you should savor your moments. A large number of people are gathered in one place to hear you talk for 5-20 minutes. Combined, that is a lot of their time you are using! Don't think of it as pressure to perform well. Think of it as a blessing that you should not take for granted.

Mistakes are Normal

Take your time and realize that once you get in a speaking rhythm, you will enjoy the process better. So deal with it and make yourself as comfortable as possible at the beginning. Understand that mistakes are a part of the process and your fear for making them is unnecessary.

Hiding Your Fear

I'll just be honest when I say that, yes, people are judging you. Not so much on what you're saying but how you're saying it. Your timing and delivery need to project confidence. The key on how to project confidence is to persuade yourself that you are a good speaker and that your words deserve to be heard. Confidence isn't as simple as picturing the audience in their underwear. You must be excited for your speech and live up to the moment.

2. Try and Try Again

It's not the actual act of practicing that makes perfect, but the repetition that does. Each and every time you have a public speech, you must prepare yourself adequately. That means setting aside thirty minutes every day to keep your speech fresh in your mind. The key to get over a fear of public speaking is doing it many times. You should find opportunities to speak in front of large audiences and volunteer every chance you get. Each speech will teach you new lessons and techniques to use for next time.

Visualize Your Speech

Instead of reciting words you have memorized, you should be actively thinking of what you are saying while you are saying it. It helps if the topic you are speaking about is one of your interests. This way, you can stray away from the paper you are carrying and make room to improvise. It will make your speech sound more natural. You will also be able to focus on the reactions of your audience instead of completely ignoring them.

3. Use Silence to Your Advantage

Silence isn't always necessarily a bad thing. We are afraid of silence so we often like to fill awkward silences with fillers like "uh" when it would just be better to allow your words to soak it. Pause after each sentence, and really make a point to emphasize the significance of your last statement with a long silence afterward. Silence is a delivery technique that boosts the positive perception of your speech. The importance of timing and delivery in public speaking cannot be denied.

4. Have a Positive Outlook

Picture yourself speaking in public compared to speaking with your friends. It's not so much difference, when you eliminate the negative stigma in your head that strangers are scary people. If you smile and see the world in a positive light, it's not so intimidating to speak in front of people you don't know well.

Display Your Wide Grin

Overcome your fear of public speaking by never being caught without a smile on your face. This is the easiest and most effective way to project confidence during your speech. Even if you said nothing of value and nothing from your speech was retained, you can be self-assured that your audience will still like you better seeing that you are a friendly person.

5. Get a Support Group

Anyone interested in public speaking needs support to rally behind them during their speeches; ask any politician. It's far less intimidating to speak in front of a large group when you know that one of your friends or family members is in the crowd. Even one person that believes in you can make all the difference. This way you can visualize impressing someone rather than visualizing making a mistake.

6. Get the Audience Involved

If you have the attention of the crowd, the speech is a lot more enjoyable for everyone involved. Start off your speech with a bang by asking everyone or an individual a question. Crack some jokes or think about some way to make sure they are paying attention. This way will ensure there will be positive energy in the room and your speech will go by a lot quicker than you think. You must be in control of your crowd and not let your fear of public speaking be in control of you.

By Kacia Nall

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