What is public speaking? Public speaking means having to talk about your views, delivering a speech, giving an extempore, having a debate or speaking of any kind in front of a huge or even a small crowd or group of people. Public speaking can be confusing or even scary for most people. Sweaty hands, beads of sweat, dizziness, lack of confidence, shivering knees and even nausea are all very reasonable if one has this fear. It can range from just nervousness or panic to even anxiety. People who have a fear of public speaking try to avoid it as much as they can. However, avoiding is not a solution.
Overcoming this fear is essential. It can help an individual grow. Confidence is a crucial factor which is a vital part of a person’s life. From school and competitions to career and jobs, public speaking is involved in almost every aspect of a person’s life. Instead of avoiding it, one should be rational and try to overcome it. Overcoming the fear of public speaking is not easy but isn’t too difficult either. It just needs a person’s dedication and practice. What ways can one try to get rid of this fear?
Well, there is no one way of doing this. Various points have to be kept in mind.
- o place yourself in stressful situations. Exposing yourself to situations that may be uneasy for you might be frightening, but it certainly helps in normalizing the particular position for you.
- Practising makes a man perfect. Practising is the best way to overcome any problems. Try it in front of a mirror; see if you can maintain eye contact.
- Give it a practice round. Before your big day, arrange a small gathering. It should consist of people you are comfortable with like your family. Speak in front of them. Deliver your speech. Practice it. Always ask for suggestions.
- Try to maintain eye contact. Many people forget what their speech is or can’t concentrate when they maintain eye contact. If that’s the problem, try not to look at strangers. Look at known people, your friends or family. Looking at known faces relaxes a person’s mind.
- If it’s a timed speech, have a friend or a colleague sit at the end and hold up fingers for how much time is left for the address to end. That way, you can keep track of how much is left. Knowing this avoids panic attacks and reduces nervousness.
However, there are various things which will make you even more nervous, and you should try to avoid them.
- Don’t think about all the faces looking at you. If you think about the crowd, it may make you nervous, and you may lose confidence.
- Try not to stammer. Leaving blank pauses is less awkward and doesn’t make the audience think that you’ve forgotten something.
- Try to focus less on the audience. Think about what you have to say. Think about your material.
- If you are nervous, don’t panic. Take a deep breath. Many people don’t know this, but breathing relaxes a person’s mind and body. It helps you focus.
So try not to panic and breathe.
- Never think that you have a fear of public speaking. You have to forget it. If you keep concentrating on your fear it will become difficult to speak. Ignoring it is of utmost importance.
- Don’t go very fast just because you’ll be able to complete your speech earlier. It will be difficult for the audience to understand. Moreover, it will make you feel breathless, and you might end up panicking. Always remember to slow down and be transparent.
The best place for a student to confront and resolve such fears can be schools. One of the best feature of the top schools in India is that they greatly emphasize on the extra-curricular activities that helps the students in overcoming the fear of public speaking. Debate competitions, extempore, elocution, etc. are conducted on a regular basis to help the students to overcome such fears and become confident in facing a crowd.
Overcoming the fear of public speaking is not very difficult, and everyone who is determined enough can overcome it. Taking a class for this may also prove very beneficial. However, practice is the most helpful and will always help you the most. If you feel that you are alone, you are not. The phobia of public speaking is the most common phobia found in people. It is not something incurable. Once you’ve overcome it, you won’t even understand why you had it in the first place!