Here are some tips to help deal with the fear or extreme nervousness of public speaking:
If you’re prepared, tell yourself! Telling yourself that you’re going to do great or that you’re entirely capable of delivering a great speech is incredibly helpful. However, if you’re like me and can’t seem to convince yourself, having someone else tell you the same thing has an even greater effect. If you’re not presently with someone who can offer you some positive talk, call someone. Most people understand the nerves involved with public speaking and would be glad to let you know how great you’re going to do! If you’re, able turning your nerves into positive energy is often very useful. I tend to do this minutes before a speech. I somehow turn my negative thoughts into positive thoughts and tell myself, “OK. Show time. Let’s do this!”
Your Nerves are Hardly Noticeable
Even though you may feel like you’re dying inside, your audience doesn’t see it as much as you feel it. If you’re shaking uncontrollably or your voice is completely unstable, then they’ll think you’re a bit nervous. However, those are happenings of DRASTIC nerves and aren’t near as bad as you think they are while you’re speaking. I can’t count how many times I have finished with a speech, asked a peer how obvious my nerves were, and was shocked to find out they couldn’t even tell I was nervous when I felt like I was going to pass out from nerves.
This is different for everyone, but has some sort of effect on all speakers. I personally feel more comfortable when I look out and make direct eye contact with people in the crowd. It inspires me to deliver the speech well because people are actually listening! I know other people are weirded out by eye contact, though. If you’re one of those people, try looking over people’s heads. Finding a spot about the level of your audience’s heads in the back of the room makes your face visible to the audience without intimidating you as the speaker. Figure out which you prefer, and then exercise it next time you’re speaking in public.
The Feeling Afterword
For me, sometimes this is the best way to calm my nerves about a speech. I know that afterword, I will have a huge stressor lifted off of my chest. While preparing for a speech, I’m focusing on doing a good job, but mostly looking forward to the feeling of accomplishment and adrenaline high that comes directly after delivering the speech. Even if you feel like you are too tired to enjoy anything after the speech, enjoy the rest you’ve earned! The important thing is to have some sort of reward for yourself after the speech is delivered.
What are some of your own personal tips in handling public speaking? Comment below