How to Overcome Your Public Speaking Fear and Anxiety
Public speaking is something that you either feel confident in or it brings you a high sense of public speaking fear or anxiety. Some people that can go on the stage in front of others and give a fabulously moving speech where they look calm, cool, and collected. They can give a business presentation that exudes confidence in whatever it is that they are trying to do or improve or sell.
On the other hand, you have others, which have ranged from minor to severe anxiety with public speaking. They literally can work themselves to being sick or getting to the point that they just don’t do it. They walk out. Many have been there. The anxiety was too much and sometimes they will literally leave before presenting.
People get to that point, they are sweating and uncomfortable, but is there a way to overcome it? Is there a way to help yourself to stop the anxiety in its tracks or at least reduce it to the point of being able to function?
Many that suffer from anxiety with public speaking are those in the higher ranks of business and entrepreneurs and such because they are driven to perfection, to ensuring that everything goes right without any hitches. These are people who are leaders in their fields, but yet they fear something that some should think come easy but it doesn’t. They know how important their presentations are and that causes much of the anxiety (which could have been an underlying issue) because they worry about how they look to the other partners.
There are some strategies that people can take to manage their public speaking, especially when it comes to business presentations. When you are in the corporate arena you have to present yourself in a manner that shows you are confident in your product or services, and with yourself, especially when it comes to going for a promotion potentially.
Do What Scares you the Most
Seriously, though, this is the hardest and most beneficial to helping you get over the fear. It is something that behavioral therapists recommend highly. The reasoning behind this is that when you have the anxiety, it’s mostly about the fear of failure or the assumption of what others are going to think of you. However, that’s all it is, an assumption, and unless you go and ask them afterward what they thought, you’ll most likely find that it was highly productive. It’s also kind of like going to an AA meeting, where the first thing you do is state your name and admit that you have a problem. It’s the same thing with facing your fears.
Maybe take a few times and practice at home in front of your family or friends, and then next you do the presentation at work. Go in there not assuming anything about what the others think and just do it. The more you do, the better you will get at it. Not speaking in public and challenging your fear, creates more of a problem because you are allowing it to harbor inside instead of facing it. The more you face it, the more you will overcome it.
Know Your Stuff
The better you know your material, the more confident you will feel when you go to give a business presentation. Imagine that you are there in the front of the conference room, and someone asks a question, one that wasn’t in the presentation. If you know the material you will be able to answer it or find it readily in your notes, but if you have no clue what they are talking about that will instantly increase your nervousness, you’ll stumble, thereby increasing your anxiety. But if you know the information and are confident in your knowledge, you’ll feel more comfortable to answer whatever it is that they throw at you. This step is definitely one key to getting over the public speaking anxiety you feel when going into the room to present your information.
Relax Before the Presentation
So you know your stuff, you’ve memorized your information, have your notes, and you are ready. Regardless of the question you are prepared. But you are still nervous about speaking in public so take a few moments and relax, deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and power posing. Now, the first two you may know about, but power posing is something interesting. It’s where you sit in your office (or find a private, comfortable place) and pose like you would image an influential person would, like a CEO. Sit back in a chair with your feet on the desk, hands behind the head, stand up tall with your feet spread hands on the hip like superman or superwoman would stand. It’s about the feeling. It gives you a sense of power and can help to transfer into the board room.
Getting over your fear of public speaking is a difficult task, one that many people never overcome. But with a little bit of help and perseverance, you’ll be able to get in there and be confident in your speech, your interview, your presentation. Whatever the case may be, you have the ability to be great at it, just remember your assumptions are just that, your assumptions, and you might fail, but it’s okay, everyone does.
Public speaking fear and presentation anxiety are incredibly normal. It happens to a lot of people. To find out what the outcome is going to be, you’ll have to go through with it, and you need to take steps to get over it. So get out there, and give that presentation, you’ll do great.
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