Everyone has phobias and fears but one that is pretty common even amongst people who don’t suffer with anxiety is public speaking stress. Speaking in front of a mass of people is nerve-wrecking and many people can unravel in front of an auditorium or a boardroom at the drop of a hat.
People working in positions that require public speaking addresses to large and small groups have to eventually learn to stress management techniques in order to deal with stress responses that crop up when addressing a room full of people. Here are a few tips to keep your head above water and the words flowing off your tongue:
Tips to Alleviate Public Speaking Stress
Be yourself: Don’t try to be someone you’re not. It’s easy enough to try and emulate speakers you have seen in action but it’s a pointless exercise. Many confident speakers are themselves on stage this is why their public speaking stress is either nonexistent or does not show. Try to remember that. One way to allay the fear is to just be you.
Accept your apprehension: So many people are comfortable with speakers that are more relaxed and admit their fear of speaking publicly. There is nothing wrong with making a bit of a joke at your own expense to settle your nerves and relax the audience. This is one way of toning down your internal public speaking stress. There is no need for it to overtake you.
Time allocation: This will often get to you if you have too much material and not enough time in which to present it. Tone down your anxiety level and cut down your material if you need to. Another point to remember is that your audience can only take in so much and too much material may go unheeded. Use only what is pertinent to the topic.
What is benefit: Remember the benefit of your public presentation. You want to motivate your audience to partake in your presentation and stress will only be compounded if you find you’re saying too much but actually not saying anything. The people who are attending your presentation need to benefit from it.
Humility: People who struggle with public speaking are naturally humble in their approach in their approach because they fear they’re going to fumble over themselves. Humility goes a long way in your audience partaking in your presentation.
Practice: Always practice your speech before you go out. Public speaking comes naturally for some but most of us need to practice because our vocabulary often deserts us in our greatest time of need. Avoid public speaking stress and keep practising. You want the topic to be second nature when you walk centre stage.
Vida Denning is a freelance writer who is terrified of public speaking. She did a few public addresses when she worked at serviced offices Singapore and serviced offices Australia.