How to Overcome Public Speaking Fears
Updated: Feb 7
Public Speaking is one of the most feared phobias in the world! But why? Many people fear that they will be embarrassed in front of their audience if they make a mistake; they also fear for their reputation and credibility when it comes to conveying their messages to the audience.
Some of the top professions and careers in the entire world require the valuable skill of public speaking. Without a doubt, public speaking and being able to communicate clearly is important; so what's stopping us?
Many people fear public speaking; not only is it nerve-racking to put themselves in front of an audience, but it's easy to fear how the audience reacts. Along with this, many also are scared of messing up: whether that's forgetting what to say, freezing in the moment, or stumbling and stuttering throughout the speech.
So what are some of the ways we can overcome this fear?
1. Identify Why Public Speaking is Scary for You
It's easy to identify your fear as "public speaking," but what exactly about public speaking is scary to you? Is it being in front of so many people? Or maybe that you will mess up and forget what you are talking about?
Once you are able to identify what it is about public speaking that you are afraid of, you can specifically combat it by simply doing more of it. By learning how to be uncomfortable in public speaking situations, you'll be able to get more used to it, and even confident.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice!
Although this may sound cliche, this is one of the most important factors when it comes to getting rid of your public speaking fears. Oftentimes, our fears of public speaking are exaggerated.
When you practice, you are actively giving a public speech! By simulating what a public speech would look like realistically, you can continue to practice delivery and body language. By preparing more, the real speech will be increasingly similar and familiar to you, but completely new to your audience.
3. Relax Before You Speak
Many times, nervousness and anxiety can stop you from giving an awesome speech. It's super important to be able to relax before you give a speech. Now, many speakers have different ways to calm their nerves before a public speech. For example, some drink warm water to soothe their throat, and others take deep breaths and meditate.
This will take some experimentation, but once you are able to figure out what calms you down the best, it'll benefit you significantly.
4. Visualize Yourself Giving an Amazing Speech!
When you think about giving a public speech, there may be negative feelings and anxiety associated. A lot of times, many will say to simply don't think about it; however, that is easier said than done. Rather than trying to forget about your nervousness and fear completely, try replacing it with positive feelings and visualizations.
This can motivate you to try practicing and rehearsing your speech, and it can also give you confidence and the ability to believe in yourself. When you are able to have positive visualizations, this will make you more driven, enthusiastic, and confident to give a speech.
5. Take a Public Speaking Class
It's hard to go through public speaking fears without any guidance. That's why taking a public speaking class can greatly help you progress! Many of these classes take fears and anxieties into account, and they are able to help you get over them and teach you the ingredients and techniques that all world-class speakers have.
We at SPEAK offer free public speaking classes for grades 3-8, to be able to instill confidence and communication skills to students all over the world.
Have fears in public speaking? Want to get better at communication skills? If this sounds like you or anyone you know, be sure to sign up!