Did you know the average person ranks the fear of public speaking higher than the fear of death? And yet overcoming this fear can be the key to a long and successful career.
In business, it’s essential to be able to get your point across. Whether you’re giving a formal presentation to a large audience or asking your boss for a promotion, speaking skills are essential to getting ahead in life.
Here are nine tips for overcoming your fear of public speaking:
1. Get organized:
When you organize all your thoughts and materials, it helps you to become much more relaxed and calm. When you have clear, organized thoughts, it can greatly reduce your speaking anxiety because you can better focus on the task at hand: giving a great speech.
2. Practice and prepare extensively
Nothing takes the place of practicing and preparing for your speech. Write out a script of your key points, but don’t speak from it word for word. Prepare for your speech so well that you could answer any possible question thrown at you.
3. Eliminate fear of rejection
“What if my audience hates my speech? What if they boo me off the stage?” Try to eliminate your fear of rejection. The audience has come to hear you speak for a reason.
4. Focus on patterns
When you speak, try to get into a rhythm or a flow. Keep you sentences short and to the point and repeat key points. A short pause between points can add anticipation to what you’re going to say next.
5. Watch yourself in the mirror
Practice your speech in front of the mirror as if you were speaking directly to someone. Pay attention to:
Your facial expressions
Your body movements
How welcoming you appear
If you have gentle expressions and a calm demeanor when you speak, you’ll be more welcoming to your audience.