Being able to communicate your ideas clearly in public is an important element of success across many areas of life.
Mastering the art of public speaking has proven to be beneficial in career advancements, business growth and networking. However, to be good at public speaking, you must be comfortable in delivering ideas or messages in front of an audience. While public speaking may come naturally to some, there are those who fear it.
If you are one of them, don’t worry, the fear of speaking publicly is fairly common. Nearly 75% of the world’s population experience a fear of speaking in public spaces. It could be anything from slight nervousness to a crippling fear.
While the fear of public speaking may not be your biggest fear, even a slight uneasiness can impact your personal growth. As Warren Buffet said, “If you can’t communicate and talk to other people, and get across your ideas, you’re giving up your potential.”
Nonetheless, every problem has a solution. Some of the entertainment industry's most prominent figures, such as Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford and Samuel L. Jackson, have suffered from crippling nerves but have since successfully overcome them. This proves that with some preparation and persistence, you too can overcome your stage fright.
Here are a few tips and tricks on how to overcome your fear of speaking in front of an audience:
Like riding a bicycle or playing the piano, public speaking is a skill that requires a great amount of practice. Even for those that consider themselves naturally good speakers, there is always room for improvement.
Practice your speech or presentation several times. Continuous practice allows you to improve your presentation skills and ability to speak in front of a crowd. You could practice in front of a mirror, or in front of a group of people you're comfortable with and get them to assess your performance. In essence, an increase in competence results in an increase of confidence.
It is always helpful to prepare for your speeches or presentations ahead of time. First, plan out the information you want to present. Then, create a framework and identify the topic, purpose, central idea, and the main points for your speech. Furthermore, be sure to prepare any props, audio or visual aids prior to the event, because the more prepared you are, the less nervous you will be.
In addition to that, you could write your main points on flash cards to ensure that you stay on track throughout your speech or presentation. If permitted, visit the location that you will be speaking at and get acquainted with the surroundings. In the words of John C. Maxwell, “It is better to prepare than to repair.”
Similar to how athletes watch tapes of their gameplay to check for areas for improvement, you can overcome your fear of public speaking by doing the same.
To get started, you would need to set up your phone and start recording. Record yourself delivering the speech or presentation from start to finish. While you may be tempted to stop recording when you make a mistake or forget a line, just keep going. When you are done, watch the recording of yourself. This will allow you to identify your mistakes and areas for improvement.
If you want to improve your public speaking skills in English, you can enrol in English classes. It is important to have a basic proficiency in the language when delivering a speech or presentation in a public setting. With English lessons, you can become acquainted with proper grammar and pronunciation, and increase your vocabulary. In turn, allowing you to be more fluent when conveying your message or idea to your audience.
SOLS 24/7 provides English training for education and business purposes for individuals with zero or basic proficiency of the language. With their free online courses, you can improve your proficiency in the English Language. You can check out the courses they offer at www.sols247.org/skills-hub.
Taking public speaking classes is one of the best ways to put your fear of public speaking behind you.
Public speaking classes can help you overcome your stage fright by identifying the reason of your anxiety and teach you how to develop positive coping statements. These classes help you hone your public speaking skills by emphasising the use of body language and breathing during a speech or presentation.
Public speaking classes also provide a supportive learning environment because you will be surrounded by people who are overcoming similar fears. In short, whether you take them at a university level or online in your free time, public speaking classes equip you with necessary knowledge and skills for building a powerful stage presence and overcoming your fear.
SOLS 24/7 offers free courses such as Confidence in Speaking and Introduction to Public Speaking, which can help you overcome your fear of public speaking. With these online courses, you can improve your public speaking skills and enhance your personal development. Click here to find out more.