Public Speaking Tips: Fear, Familiarisation, Focus, Feedback
Fear of public speaking is one of the top three fears people have.
For many it can be more fearful than death. Overcoming your fear can take several steps.
The first step is understanding what is causing your fear. Is it fear of the unknown – not knowing what to expect when you get up to speak. Is it fear of what your peers will say? Is it fear of forgetting your words? When you understand, then you can work to overcome that fear. Let’s look at the fear of the unknown.
Familiarisation is the way to overcome that fear of the unknown. Take 60 seconds of insane courage, say yes to speaking. The more you grab those opportunities the more you stretch your comfort zone, the more you become familiar and comfortable with speaking. You are taking away that unknown. You know what to expect when you get up to speak, what to expect when you are in front of an audience.
Focus on the outcome, on your message, on how it can help those listening not on you. When you focus on your audience and how you can help them you realise it is not about you. You can take control and give yourself the space to be you, share your message and how that will change the people listening. It’s not about you, it’s about the people you can help, who need to hear your message.
Feedback on your speaking, on your presentations, how you present, what you say will help to enhance your speaking skills. Getting constructive, positive feedback is invaluable. It will give you the confidence to get up and speak. It allows you to understand that people do want to listen to you, that you do have a message to share. Cultivate that group who will support you, those mentors, coaches who will help you grow. You will realise that your peers do want to hear you speak, that they are there to support you not tear you down. Surrounding yourself with people who want to support you will help you to believe in yourself and your message. When you believe in yourself, you become confident in you, your message and yours peaking.
Accept feedback in the spirit given – think about what will work for you and then enhance your skills.
Next time you are asked to speak and you are faced with that fear threatening to stop you from taking that opportunity. Stop, breathe, think about what is causing that fear, think about becoming familiar with speaking, focus on your audience, your client not on you and remember the feedback that you have been given.
Your challenge is to take 60 seconds of insane courage, breathe and say yes.