Some researchers suggest that there are people who generally experience higher anxiety across different situations, and are therefore more prone to feel anxious about speaking in public as well. And, yes I was one of them who had feared to speak in front of the crowd. But at the age of 14, I finally overcame my fear by myself and because of it, teachers had offered me a lot of opportunities regarding debate competition or assembly speech or presentation. So, this blog is about how I overcame my fear of public speaking.
As I had mentioned above, that I was also one of them since I was very young. In school, we had to stand up in front of the students in the assembly to read aloud and I loathed it. I’ve always admired people who could talk in front of an audience, but for me, speaking to a group of people with confidence was truly petrifying. Today I talk to large groups of people every day, whether I’m speaking to my team or a presentation in front of a crowd or the theatre full of students. I still find it nervous but over a period of time and a lot of practice I’ve developed ways to calm those nerves down as well as enjoying public speaking.
I wasn’t massively a shy person but I had always avoided public speaking at every opportunity given by the teachers or can say I always back up in the school when It comes to public speaking and when I was forced to speak in the assembly my mind just went blank and I didn’t know what to say. I just froze. I couldn’t do it and I actually had to walk away.
I believe that you need to have something worth saying otherwise there isn’t much point in presenting anything at all. If you don’t trust or have faith in what you are saying, your audience won’t. I would like to share some tips through which you can overcome your fear.
1. A lot of practice and preparation in front of your family or the people you know or mirror.
Preparation isn’t necessarily about dotting the I’s and crossing the Ts, but you need to really know the story you want to tell. When I started presenting more regularly, I used written speeches and would read them word for word but over time I’ve stopped seeing written scripts and tried to speak without them. Over the years I have prepared myself and build that confidence.
2. Don't worry what the audience will react or say
I used to worry about what the audience will think about whether they will be impressed or bored. but over the years I’ve learned not to worry about what other people think. Most of the time, when you speak in public, people are there because they want to hear what you have to say. According to my personal experience telling a joke can work really well and it’s great when the audience will get a laugh and starts enjoying it. Sometimes you have to pause for a second to let the joke land before you get that response, so don’t panic if you don’t get immediate laughter. That being said I’ve sometimes told a joke that
just hasn’t landed. At that point, I say “well that was supposed to be funny,” and usually that will get a chuckle, even if the intended line doesn’t. Don’t think you always have to make the audience laugh. Straight facial expressions don't mean that your audience is bored – often it simply means they are concentrating.
3.Take your time
The moment I step up onto a stage I am still very nervous. But I take my time and talk as slowly as I can. Going slowly helps you to avoid mistakes. You might feel that you are talking so slowly it just becomes boring but actually, every word is being listened to by someone or somewhere in that room. And if you do make a mistake, that’s ok - you're a human too.
Take a deep breath or a sip of water and say 'yes, I can do it. I’ve always admired people who could talk in front of an audience, but I used to avoid public speaking at every opportunity.
Speaking to a group of people with confidence was truly petrifying. I still find it nervous, but I’ve learned to calm those nerves. Whether you’re presenting in front of a small group or a large crowd, I hope these few simple tips will help you to calm your nerves and overcome your fear of speaking as I have. So, just take your time, don’t worry about anyone else, and enjoy it!