If you are one of the many thousands of people who experience Glossophobia -- or, in its everyday term, fear in public speaking -- don't panic, you are not alone. A vast proportion of people find it difficult or even impossible to stand up and speak in front of others.
It doesn't have to be this way. This fear, along with so many others in life, can be overcome with the help of a few simple techniques and just a little bit of effort on your part.
Start by making speeches to yourself, in front of a mirror-this means that you can see your body posture, gestures and facial expression and you can adapt them to ensure that you feel comfortable and relaxed.
Could you really die from public speaking?
A great step towards overcoming your fear in public speaking is realising that nothing dreadful is going to happen to you when you stand up and speak in front of others. Many people have a terrible, irrational fear that they will be laughed off the stage; or that the people in the audience will get bored and wander off; or that they themselves will forget everything they had to say and will stand there dumbly. If any of these things does happen, realise that it is not the end of the world -- every defeat will contain valuable lessons for next time. Learn from your mistakes and you will find that the experience gets easier.
Just do it!
Another good way to overcome your public speaking fears is to go out and face them! Start by making speeches to your family and friends; offer to make a speech at a friend's wedding; join a local debate group and get up to make your point. These experiences, where you are speaking in a safe and friendly atmosphere, will get you well on the way to speaking in public in front of strangers.
When enough is enough
When preparing yourself for a speech or ceremony, it is important to make sure that you are prepared -- but not too much. If you work and rework your speeches, you may find that they come out sounding forced and wooden, and you will have worked yourself up so much that you will not enjoy a single moment. Take time to prepare, but also time to relax.
Remember that your audience is not out to get you. If you are nervous, tell them. They will appreciate your honesty, and will feel more sympathetic towards you. Get them on your side with a joke or two -- nothing outrageous or rude -- but a little chuckle will relax them and you. And of course a little self deprecating humour always goes a long way!
Props can be your best friend
Props can be very useful to overcome public speaking fears. Use note cards to keep yourself on track; bring in visual aids to give the audience something to focus on -- this will ensure that you don't feel so pressured.
Finally, remember that you are just as good as anyone else, and you can overcome your fear in public speaking without having to resort to extreme measures. Now that's something to be proud of.
For over 20 years, Ernest Chen has devoted a big part of his life to helping people from all walks of life in overcoming their public speaking fears and in perfecting their speeches. From training school children to leaders and CEOs of big corporations, Ernest's presentation skills training programs have inspired and helped tens of thousands around the world in mastering the art of public speaking as well as the science behind writing powerful and impactful speeches. Regardless if you're embarking on a journey to overcome your fears of public speaking or to seek to become an awesome public speaker, you can be sure that Ernest Chen will be there to guide you along. Learn more about his public speaking courses at http://www.EarnestlySpeaking.com.© 2013 Ernest Chen
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