How to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking – Instructing Those Afraid to Speak

How to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking - Instructing Those Afraid to SpeakSweaty palms, haunted gaze, trembling knees – these “symptoms” immediately give out in the speaker an amateur. In fairness, it should be noted that excitement is the norm for a novice speaker, and with experience it gives way to confidence in the voice and in oneself in general. If, of course, you are “in the material.”

How to get rid of the fear of public speaking, and where do the legs of this fear grow from?

We understand, analyze – and gain self-confidence.


The content of the article:

  1. Reasons – why am I so afraid to perform?
  2. Motivation and incentives
  3. The non-verbal part is how to present yourself correctly
  4. How to Deal with Anxiety and Fear – Preparation
  5. How to overcome fear during a performance – instructions

Fear of public speaking – why am I so afraid to speak?

First of all, you need to understand that fear of public speaking (peirophobia, glossophobia) is a natural phenomenon. But this fact, of course, will not console the speaker, whose state is always felt by his audience – which, in turn, cannot but affect the public assessment of the report / presentation.

Where do the legs of these fears come from?

Why am I afraid to perform?

Among the main reasons, experts identify:

  • Fear of condemnation, censure. Deep down, the orator is afraid that he will be laughed at, that he will not be taken seriously, that they will laugh, be indifferent, and so on.
  • Upbringing. Even in the early years, inner freedom is formed – or, conversely, a person’s constraint. The first “no” and “shame and disgrace” drives the child into a framework, beyond which he will then not be able to go independently. The first “branch of hell” for a child is performances at the blackboard and in the auditorium of the university. And with age, the fear does not go away. If you don’t fight it.
  • Poor preparation for the report… That is, the person has not studied the issue so thoroughly as to feel free in it.
  • Unknown audience. The fear of the unknown is one of the most common. You don’t know what to expect, so anxiety grows the more, the higher the unpredictability of the public reaction to the speaker’s report.
  • Fear of criticism… Excessive pride during his transition to a pathological morbid state of mind always causes a sharp reaction in a person to criticism. Even fair and constructive.
  • Problems with diction or appearance. Complexity due to flaws in appearance, stuttering or speech therapy problems, etc. will always cause fear of public speaking. 15 best books that develop speech and rhetoric
  • Common shyness… Too shy people want to hide in a shell at any public event – they feel uncomfortable even when the attention directed to them is extremely positive.

Video: Secrets of Public Speaking. Oratory

Why overcome fear of public speaking – motivation and incentives

Should you fight your fear of public speaking?

Definitely yes!

After all, having overcome fear, you …

  1. You will feel freer not only at public events, but also in your relationships with people.
  2. You will gain self-confidence, which will surely open up new horizons for you.
  3. Make new useful acquaintances (people are always drawn to strong and self-confident individuals).
  4. You will receive a lot of useful emotions from interacting with the audience / audience. As communicating vessels: everything that you give “to the people” returns to you with their response and emotional message.
  5. Get rid of fears and complexes, which will be replaced by interest and excitement.
  6. You will find love from your audience, and maybe your own fans.

How to overcome your fear of speaking in front of an audience

Think about the non-verbal part of your public speaking – how to present yourself correctly

It is difficult to overestimate the magic of the human voice.

Unfortunately, many speakers who have just embarked on the path of communicating with the audience often neglect this important tool, forgetting that it is necessary to improve not only their knowledge, but also the voice – its timbre, loudness, clarity of pronunciation, etc.

Even if you are happy with your voice, remember that other people hear it differently. And it is in your power to turn it from a monotonous and annoying “public’s ear” into a powerful instrument of influencing it.

Efficiency will help you to achieve …

  • Correct breathing technique (which at the same time will help to relax the nervous system as a whole).
  • Correct posture (we relax, straighten our back, arms and shoulders are free).
  • Correct speech tempo – about 100 words / min. By slowing down speech and lowering its volume, you instantly grab the audience’s attention.
  • Work on the tonality of phrases, voice pitch, timbre.
  • The ability to pause.

And, of course, do not forget about such effective tools as facial expressions, eye contact with the audience, gestures.

The appearance is also worth considering (from a female speaker, even an arrow on tights can steal more than half of her self-confidence).

How to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking - Instructing Those Afraid to Speak

How to Deal with Excitement and Fear of Performing – Preparation

The most important and most effective method of getting rid of this fear is constant practice! Only regular performances will help you say goodbye to anxiety forever.

In the meantime, you are gaining this experience, and grabbing for any opportunities for practice – use the following tools to combat fear before speaking:

  1. Rehearsal before the show. For example, performing in front of family or close friends. Find yourself an audience that will help you overcome your fear and help you find all the weak points of your report (and the speaker, of course), evaluate the presentation of the material, voice and diction, and place accents correctly.
  2. Correcting breathing. A trembling, too quiet, monotonous, barking, hoarse voice with terrible excitement is a bad instrument for an orator. Saturate your lungs with oxygen the day before, do breathing exercises, sing and relax.
  3. We are looking for grateful listeners. Any speaker in the audience has a particularly friendly audience. Work for her – by direct contact, eye contact, etc.
  4. Aim for results. It is unlikely that the listeners will come to you in order to shower you with rotten eggs and tomatoes – they will come to listen to you. So give them what they, in fact, will come for – high-quality and beautifully presented material. So that your audience leaves charmed by you with the thoughts of your talk and of you as an amazing speaker.
  5. Be positive! Nobody likes dull, withdrawn and uncommunicative people. More smiles, more optimism, more contact with the audience. It is not at all necessary to run between the rows and talk to people “for life”, but asking questions and, most importantly, answering them is welcome. Just do not overdo it with emotions – do not frighten your listener.
  6. Prepare your report CAREFULLY… Study the topic thoroughly so that your beautiful flight of thought and word is not interrupted by a sudden question to which you do not know the answer. However, you can get out of any situation. Forward the question to one of your colleagues or to the whole audience, for example, with the words: “But I myself would like to ask you this question – it would be interesting to hear the opinion … (of the public, a professional, etc.)”.
  7. Find out in advance – who are your listeners? Analyze your audience to understand who you will have to perform in front of. And think over (if possible) the answers to all possible questions from the audience.

Video: Fear of public speaking. How to overcome fear of public speaking?

How to overcome fear during a performance – take it easy and find support in the audience

Fear always binds you when you go on stage – even if you were confident and calm literally 10 minutes ago.

When starting your speech, keep the main things in mind:

  • Use the method of positive affirmations.
  • Embrace your fears. After all, you are not a robot – you have every right to be a little worried. If this is your first time performing, admitting that fear can help relieve tension and win over the audience.
  • Find listeners in the audience who support you and listen with their mouths open. Lean on them.
  • Agree with your friends – let them mix in the crowd and become your magic wands in a difficult situation, your support and support.

How to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking - Instructing Those Afraid to Speak

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