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Breaking the Ice-10 Tips on Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

Winston Churchill

 

Public speaking has both personal and professional advantages, and in many industries, it is required. But, before speaking in front of a gathering, have you experienced your digestive system slowing down, your mouth gets dry, you feel butterflies in your stomach, hunger fades, your pulse and heart rate accelerate and your breathing becomes shallower, lose hearing, or have tunnel vision in serious circumstances. Often, you may not be aware of such individual physical reactions, but you could say you are uncomfortable whenever you get up in front of a crowd. In addition, you could find yourself intensely worried with your proposals or your execution being criticized.

The good news is that you can follow 10 easy steps to make public speaking more enjoyable and appear confident in front of your audience. Such tips are useful for managing stage fear and other physical elements of public speaking. There are 10 tips in total, divided into either prior to the talk or during the talk.

 

 

Things To Do Before Your Speech

 

1. Know your topic and audience

First step in creating a speech is to decide what to talk about and the audience being addressed. The world is full of probable speech topics. Your challenge is to choose the best one for you and your audience Beginner speakers sometimes find this hard. Although, it does not take special skills or long study hours to find a subject. Ultimately, you will find circumstances where you would say, "That would make a good speech topic," when you become a more seasoned speaker. Write down and file these thoughts to relate to them later on. Make sure you speak for a few minutes, and use that time to completely build a single facet of the greater subject. Make sure the subject is prompt and important to your audience and ascertain the argument to be made until you know your subject well.

2. Frequent practice is the most important thing you can do to conquer your nervousness

“Practicing" means giving your whole speech standing up, out loud and in the tone of voice that you would use with a timer in front of people. It is awkward at first to practice out loud at home, but it gets better instantly. Do this in front of a mirror, then for a mate, colleague or to your better half. In addition to helping, you iron out your nerves, engage with wider and more important audiences. This is a fantastic way to get input and build confidence on your talk resonating with people.

 

3. Arrive 30 minutes before to the venue you will be delivering the speech at

When you walk up, knowing what the room looks like and how it is set out, it gives less to digest and care about. For the last out-loud training, being able to imagine yourself onstage really helps. If possible, do a rehearsal with a mic and a slide setup. Then, during the final show, you would not be surprised to hear yourself amplified, confused by the device for progressing slides or be baffled in front of others. Plus, you will have some muscle memory to draw on from, once again. For most conventions, big presenters have an opportunity to rehearse. People do not usually get this chance in breakout spaces, but you can visit the room in advance of your speech.  

 

4. Breathe

The only autonomic body system you can regulate is breathing and this can consciously have a soothing effect. But, about five minutes before going onstage, or between those waves of adrenaline, work on calming yourself for about a minute. You will learn that this benefits the entire body. Try it a minute later, or as appropriate, again.

 

5. Eat and drink - a little - in advance

Adrenaline inhibits your appetite. But eat a little bit, or you could get jittery from malnutrition. It is also important to be vigilant about caffeine, as it will feed your adrenaline reflex, and make you visit the washroom more frequently. Do not drink more coffee, tea, or soda than you would usually do. Adrenaline leaves your mouth dry, therefore you will be tempted to drink a lot. However, you might want to cut down the intake of fluids, as it can make you conscious. Since you do not want to get dehydrated, sipping water is fine, making sure not to overdrink the entire time you are onstage.

 

 

During Your Talk

 

6. Speak with confidence

Sometimes, speakers are aware that the listener understands they are anxious. So, they do this to accept what everyone sees clearly and nobody knows how you feel if you do not say it. In comparison, members of the crowd are there to gain more about you (selfishly), and they secretly cheer for you (generously). They want you to do well, as it will serve them and allow their perceptual biases to see you as optimistic. In your throat or dry mouth, they cannot sense or see the butterflies. So, they appreciate you being onstage. By throwing out the internal story of your nerves, tackle them where they are.

 

7. Take time and speak at a normal pace

Not only does adrenaline make you rush or speak too fast, it makes it impossible for the crowd to understand you, and will throw you off your game. To make things worse, as a speaker, you live on a different time scale than your audience: the sluggish pace and excruciatingly long delays you sense will feel perfectly natural to everyone else. But you have to focus on your pace. Finally, you should have a sense of where you should be three slides in or after five minutes depending on if you worked with a timer. You know it is time to slow down if you are running ahead of schedule.

 

8. Stance

During a talk, you will often stand still as you speak, usually during your opening and closing words or when you make a significant point, and you assuming this position shows your level of comfort and trust. But your audience assumes you are timid and frail if you slouch your shoulders and lock your eyes with the floor. You look anxious and nervous if you adjust your weight constantly from one foot to another, and your audience can be confused by your movement. But if you stand upright, feet slightly apart with your weight equally spread on each foot, and look at your audience directly, you express confidence and poise.

 

9. Maintain good eye contact with your audience

Eye communication plays a significant role in how individuals view each other, and as a speaker you should particularly pay attention to it. Your audience will think you are genuine, trustworthy, polite, and truthful if you make eye contact with them. Such emotions have a huge influence on the message and the listeners' willingness to take it.

Eye contact encourages you to build a connection with your audience. You demand their attention by staring at them and they would have trouble ignoring you. Look at the individuals directly in the room while you speak. Refrain from only looking around the room, look at one individual directly before finishing a thought, then move on to another individual. Randomly make eye contact in the room instead of oscillating your head from side to side. Look at the people in the back of the audience as well as the people in front. Be careful not to stare at anyone for too long. You might make the person nervous.

 

10. At the end, leave a take home message, not an apology

In conclusion, the ultimate opportunity to express the message and important ideas in a way that will make the listener recall them is to validate your thoughts and leave a lasting impact on listeners. You may finish by providing the audience with a description of the ideas discussed in the body of the expression. If you convinced or inspired the crowd to take some initiative, you might say that listeners could take a course of action. A final comment, such as a challenge, question, anecdote, or quote, may then be inferred.

Occasionally, you might recall what you forgot to mention earlier when the conclusion was delivered. It may confuse the viewer to add fresh material in the closing so try to avoid the desire to talk about it. Do not apologise during the discussion for something you may or may not have done or said. Finish forcibly and comfortably.

 

~The art of communication is the language of leadership~

 

 

References: https://www.toastmasters.org/

 


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