If you feel nervous while giving presentations, keep wondering who is listening to you and who is not and take every chance to do the theoretical work, you have a fear of public speaking. However, just because you are experiencing public speaking anxiety right now doesn't mean you have experience it always.
Fear of public speaking can overcome your sense of reasons and practicality. You have made notes, rehearsed a hundred times, but still, when you go onto the stage you experience an unexplainable anxiety. This anxiety is a big hindrance between you and your dreams of achieving big in life.
You can only run so much from public speaking in college. Your semesters will be scattered with numerous assignments and presentations. Addressing this fear is important because sooner or later you are going to need to speak in front of an audience, even if it is just your batch mates.
Here, we give you some unique tips to overcome the fear of public speaking:
Select A Topic You Really Care About
If you have the luxury of choosing the topic you can speak on, let it be something you are really interested in or something you worry about. For example, if you worry about global warming, it won't make sense to talk about soccer. When you are interested in a topic, you get an automatic edge of knowing the details about it. This will make you less nervous as you will have the realization that you have a hold on the subject. This will also make your speech or presentation more natural and you will be able to carry it on in your own style.
Practice In Front Of A Person
Ask your friend or parent to sit in front of you while you practice speaking. Think about how the audience will comprise of people like this only and you can easily go about speaking in public. Ask the said person to give you honest feedback so that you can work on your mistakes and make amendments as required.
Notice The Pattern Of Mistakes
It goes without saying that you will have to practice your content again and again. While you practice, you will notice there are lines and topics you always stammer on. Notice this pattern and see how you can overcome it. Fear of speaking will considerably reduce when you have ironed out these chinks.
Act Like A Storyteller
Try not to plainly read out the text. Be involved with the audience and include as many personal stories as you can. Make sure when you are done speaking, people know a lot about the topic but a little about you too. Unless it is the primary requirement, ditch a PowerPoint presentation because it will only be distraction.
Don’t Stress About Audience Reactions
Don't stress about audience's reaction because you cannot change it anyway. Focus on what is in your control. You have full control on being confident and well prepared and you must do that. Also, there is a good chance that there will always be someone who is disinterested or tired. You do not know what kind of day they have had so do not take someone's reaction personally
Well Begun Is Half Done
A good beginning can go a long way in making a good impression on your audience. If the first five minutes of your presentation are boring, most people are going to get distracted and getting their attention back might prove to be a big task. So make your beginning interesting and you can do that by simply being yourself. We invite nervous energies by pretending to be someone we are not. Best way to capture someone's attention is by making them wonder or making them laugh. Hence, try to start your speech with a provocative question, an amazing fact or a joke.
Make Your Nervous Energy Work for You
Your nervous energies are more powerful than you realize and the good news is that you use them in your favour. Best way of getting rid of nervousness is embracing it. That way, you will be okay with the butterflies in your stomach but you won't completely freak out.
Know The Importance of Primacy And Recency
As discussed earlier, beginning of a speech is very important. Audience is said to form an opinion about the person within 15 seconds of his speech. Hence it would be advisable to not go for things everyone knows already. Similarly, the ending is also very important as it will be the freshest memory in the minds of the people. Try to place the most important information in these time slots.
It's All About The Room
It doesn't matter too much which group of people you are addressing. 18-year-old people at one place can be totally different from the ones at another. Try to understand this difference and get involved with your audience. This tip will be all the more important if you are not delivering a speech rehearsed word to word.
As we stated earlier, understand that there is no escape from this fear. So it is better that you address it and try to overcome it with continuous efforts. Things might not seem to work out initially, but once you get into the groove of it and start enjoying the experience, there will be no going back.