How to Overcome Public Speaking Fear

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Preparation

Choose a topic that you believe in, and are reasonably confident to speak on. Structure your speech based on your audience profile, and what they would like to learn from you. Always think of your audience’s interest by asking “WIIFM” (What’s in it for me?) form the audiences point of view.

Write your speech out, and remember to work on two powerful lines – to open and close your speech. Practice it in front of a mirror, or in from of well-wisher or two. Other than your opening and closing lines, do not study your speech verbatim. You should just be very familiar with the flow of your ideas.

Keep it short and simple

This point applies not just for the length of your speech. It is prudent to use short words and simple sentences. Trying to impress them with bombastic words, and convoluted, long-winded, hard-to-understand sentences is futile. Hope your got that? Use short words. Use simple sentences. You’ll be understood easily. Less is always more, in public speaking. Your script should be in active voice and you will be easier to understand.

Write for the ear

A good essay generally makes a terrible speech. This is because the essay style of writing is meant for the eye, or to be read.  The reader is always free to go back a line or a paragraph, if the message is not clear. However, during a speech, the listener does not have the luxury of going back and listening to you. So write for the ear. A conversational style is easy to listen to and understand.

Dare to share

Do get up to speak with the intention of sharing your valuable knowledge or interesting view with the audience. If you think that you will be judged or evaluated, you put un-necessary pressure on yourself. People are there to take some valuable information from you.

Posture and gait

How you stand, walk, sit… are all indication of your state of mind in general, and your confidence in particular. Right form the time your name is announced, people will be watching you, and creating an impression about you. Creating a good first impression helps you take off in style. Stand tall, and hold your head high, but not too high so that you come across as being a little arrogant. Practice in front of a mirror, and you will get an idea of how you would appear to your audience. Using a video recorder and checking the playback is as even better way to check out how exactly you come across as a speaker.

Friendly eye contact

Look at your audience as your friends. Make eye contact with the most friendly people in your audience. Later you can even connect with others. look at people in a friendly manner, and they will reciprocate your sincerity. After all, it is in their interest for you to do well.

Facial Expressions

Your facial expressions are how you convey your mood, or what you are trying to express. If you are speaking about something happy, you should have a happy expression. However, if you speak about something sad, your expression should match that. One area that your may want to work on is the brow area. This is an area which is very expressive, and should be used effectively to indicate the exact mood that you want to express.

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