Sooner or later, everybody face the fear of public speaking. People generally feel comfortable with their close friends and with family members.
However, when they are brought to speak in front of a different group, they get nervous. They feel increased heartbeat, sweating, shaking fingers, trembling voice during their speech.
The feeling of being nervous and discomfort before and during public speaking is a kind of social anxiety disorder. In medical terms, fear of public speaking is called ‘Glossophobia’.
This disorder can be treated by medications, however it is always recommended to first try psychotherapy.
In psychotherapy, root causes of anxiety & discomfort are identified and then treated suitably.
Here we will talk about the ways on how to overcome the fear of public speaking. It is an art and anybody can learn it by these simple techniques.
Let’s assume, you have been asked to prepare and present a powerpoint presentation on some topic you are not well versed, in front of learned audience. Definitely you will feel uncomfortable. But by adopting certain techniques as mentioned below, you can conquer the show.
Ways for overcoming fear of public speaking
1. Be confident
Confidence plays a major role in public speaking. It poses good impression over the audience and they align themselves to listen you. If you are confident, you have nothing to worry about. Public speaking is an art and with this you can fascinate the public with your confidence.
2. Get the complete knowledge about your presentation
Have you ever thought why you have a fear of public speaking? The answer is either you have no knowledge or you are not confident about the knowledge you have.
So, you must gather sufficient knowledge about the topic of your presentation. Practice your complete presentation as much as possible. You may also present it in front of your colleagues. Get feedback from them and improve where you are lacking.
3. Welcome your audience by introducing yourself
As soon as you take over the floor, you first greet your audience with a cheerful smile. Introduce them about yourself by telling your name, your position, why you are here and what you are about to present.
You must tell your audience what they are about to gain with this presentation.
4. Make people aware about the flow of presentation
Structuring the presentation is very important. You can show the audience a summary of topics in a single slide. You can explain the flow of presentation from first topic to last in that slide.
This will make people aware about the gist of your presentation. It develops the curiosity in audience and it binds them to listen you carefully during entire presentation.
5. Explain each topic in your own words
This is the main area of concern where people have a fear of public speaking. They lose the patience and tempo while delivering the presentation. This is because they try to over emphasise the language, grammar, selection of good words while speaking for their presentation.
Powerpoint presentation shouldn’t be exhaustive. Rather it must be divided into topics with clear and concise headings. Inculcate the habit of explaining each topics by using your own words.
When you explain the contents of your topics in your own words, your subconscious mind forgets about the fear of public speaking. Thus, you fluently speak in front of audience.
6. Ensure to make eye contact with listeners
Eye contact plays a vital role to make a conversation live. When you speak with an eye contact with your audience, they feel connected with you.
If you make an eye contact with someone, there are more likely chances for him / her to pay more attention on what you are saying. This keeps away the fear of public speaking from the presenter.
7. Throw questions to the public to take a pause
People generally afraid of public speaking because they think they will be criticised on poor presentation, poor subject knowledge, lack in fluency etc.
I strongly advise them to forget all these self created assumptions. Speak publicly with a confidence. While delivering the presentation, whenever a feeling of low in tempo, low confidence, and lack in subject knowledge appears, throw questions to the audience.
Asking questions with the audience will allow you to take a pause to think. It will also make them attentive for entire presentation. Instead of you feeling low, this will shift the fear of public speaking to the audience.
This is the best technique to overcome the fear of public speaking by shifting it to audience for being questioned any time during the session.