Glossophobia or phobia of speaking in public is common. It is an anxiety that occurs before you are about to speak in public. Hence, it can affect your decisions and how you act. It might bring intense fear or panic. Also, people with this fear tend to avoid instances where they may be requested to speak in public.
There are lots of possible causes of this fear. Therefore, being shamed in public may cause it. Others might have experiences public speaking, but they weren’t able to do it well. Still, there is hope for people with the fear of speaking in public. Here are ways on how to overcome it.
1. Know Why
Before thinking of your topic and how you will speak, remind yourself why you must do it. Therefore, think of how it will benefit your audience and yourself.
2. Know Your Topic
Mastering your topic starts with studying it. Also, if you are sure about what you are going to say, you’ll be more confident to speak of it. Study it well. If something’s not clear, search for it or get help from other people. Above all, know why your topic makes sense and why your audience needs to hear it.
3. Think of Your Audience
After or while learning about your topic, think of who you are sharing it with. See how it can relate to them. What is their age? Why are they going to listen to you? Think of their needs and how your message can reach them.
4. Plant Out
After knowing your purpose, audience, and topic, plan how you are going to do it. Hence, if you think that you might forget what you’ll say, write an outline. Also, think of what you can use to engage the listeners. Will you need props? Will pictures or videos help you in presenting?
To master what and how you are going to speak, you must practice. Likewise, do not hesitate to practice speaking in front of the mirror. If you have peers or colleagues around you, you may ask them to listen to you. After, ask them for feedback on how you’ll improve. Additionally, getting familiar with how you’ll speak will lessen your fear of speaking in public.
Moreover, if you have a chance, go to the place where you’ll speak in public. You may also want to arrive earlier. By doing so, you’ll have the chance to go through the props or equipment that you might need.
6. Face Your Worries
You might still be worried about your speech or yourself. You might be overthinking about the bad things that might happen. It is good to face your worries. Also, start a to do so, list it down. After listing down your worries, try to challenge them by laying down proofs. Follow it up with the question, “Why? Do I have the evidence that it is sure to happen?”
7. Lean-to Positivity
Instead of sulking and overthinking about what may happen, try to imagine that you did well. By doing so, you reduce the time of your public speaking anxiety.
Furthermore, you might find yourself panicking and worrying too much. If that happens, take a deep breath. Taking deep breaths will calm you from your public speaking anxiety. Therefore, breathe through your nose and exhale as if your belly is losing air. Do this exercise 3 to 10 times.
9. Take that Moment of Silence
Just because you are the speaker does not mean that you must talk every second. If you lose track of what you’re about to say, take a pause. It is okay to keep silent for a moment. Silence is where your audience may take time to look at you and think of your topic. If possible, they may help you to get back on track. You might think that the time is too long but not for your audience.
10. Pat Yourself on the Back
If you’ve finished your presentation, smile and pat yourself on the back. Standing there and looking at the eyes of the people is already a leap of faith. You did it.
11. Seek Help
Find people who can help you and give a critique on your speech. You can search for training about speaking. Love critiques. Their purpose is not to push you down but to improve what you have.
No one is perfect. Even the professionals or those who look confident still have something to improve. As we live, we have something to develop. Win over glossophobia by learning to accept mistakes and failures. After, learn how you can improve them.