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How to overcome a fear of public speaking

November 1, 2016

Public speaking remains the number one phobia of today’s generation in America, higher than the fear of death, according to a poll conducted by Chapman University. Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking, affects every three in four people.

Many students must speak publicly throughout their years of schooling, from answering a question for the whole class to hear to presenting a powerpoint. Students fear and dread this for many reasons including the feeling of self-consciousness and fear of judgement from others.

Despite the staggering statistics, conquering the intimidating consternation of public speaking is possible.

First prepare for the speech. A lucrative man known as Steve Jobs gave numerous presentations throughout his career, mastered the art of public speaking by preparing all of his upcoming speeches at least two days in advance. Practicing in the mirror increases the chances of a more successful performance according to Brian Tracy, a professional public speaker.

Confidence is key.  Eliminating the thought idea that spectators may not enjoy the speech maintains crucial self-assurance throughout the talk. Fake it until you make it; the audience can only see how you present yourself, not how you feel. Even when terrified on the inside, smile. The brain releases neurotransmitters that fight anxiety when anyone flashes their pearly whites.

Victory relies on preparation, but also remember these tips during the actual lecture. Keeping an amiable demeanor amid the speech results in a more attentive audience. Do not let the audience’s reactions affect you; regardless of the quality of your speech, people in the crowd may appear bored, uninterested or unhappy. Keep going.

Drinking warm or room-temperature liquids beforehand can help hydrate the throat. A steady voice delivers the best message. Preserving a steady breathing pattern produces a speech that exudes more passion within the speaker’s tone.Talking too fast disrupts breathing patterns,revealing the speaker’s anxiety to the crowd.

Staying relaxed also loosens the presenter’s body, giving a less tense aura physically and mentally. Take advantage of the adrenaline from the anxiety and utilize it as positive energy to deliver a profound message.  

After following all of these tips, the speaker should take pride in what they have accomplished because they have just overcome their biggest fear. You should also record how it went and how they can improve, ensuring growth.

Almost every person will have to approach a time where they must speak in front of a crowd at one point in their life, ranging from a simple presentation in history class to a speech before thousands. Exceptional speakers have the opportunity to get paid over $7,000 per speech. Public speaking not only leads to success in one’s future but also enhances an individual’s self-confidence.

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