Are you afraid of public speaking? This article provides you with pointers that will help you to overcome your fears and be able to speak in public without nerves getting the better of you.
Understand your fears
What are you so afraid of when you speak in public? Are you scared people will not find you interesting, that you will fail to deliver or is there another reason you are not sure of yourself? Once you know what it is, you can start trying to rationalise these feelings.
The more you speak in public, the less scary it will become. Grab every opportunity you can to face these fears. It will be hard at first, but once you realise it is not as scary as you thought it would be, it will become easier.
Admit your fears
You will see that your worst case scenarios never come true. If you really can't shake the feelings of anxiety, open your speech or presentation with this fact. Everyone will be able to connect with the fact you are nervous, and if you laugh it off or crack a joke following this confession, it will break the ice. This make you more relaxed and the audience will feel engaged.
There are exercises you can do to help you calm down. When you are scared, you tend to breath with more difficulty, which creates a claustrophobic feeling.
Try and breath deeply from your stomach and feel the air go right down your midriff. It also helps to bend over forwards and totally relax your arms and head. Find the way to let go of the tension that works best for you.
People don't see nerves
What impression do you make?
You may think that your nerves are making you a laughing stock, but most people don't even see it when public speakers are nervous. People in the audience don't know how you feel, and even the best stage actors get scared just before they deliver a performance. Remember this and it will help you battle the nerves.
Also, if anyone does notice, they are likely to feel empathy. There are many people who do get a little bit nervous at the prospect of getting out there and addressing people from a stage.