8 public speaking survival tips to help overcome and conquer your fear of public
It's so easy to fear public speaking. Dry mouth, fast heart, sweaty palms, blank mind and the
crippling nervousness when standing in front of a crowd of people - yeah I've been there and I'm sure you're the
same too if you hated and fear speaking in public.
However, I’ve since learnt to deal and conquer my fear of public speaking by finding ways to
calm down and applying simple techniques and strategies to help me start speaking to a crowd like a pro.
When I'd learned to relax (more of that later) I learned and applied the following four
Reassure your audience - they need to know you know your stuff and you are human!
Hook them by being interesting and relevant. Tell them why what you are saying is
relevant to them.
Inspire them by giving them information and ways of seeing that are new and
Leave them on a high by telling a story that encapsulates your central message.
How do you become confident enough to apply the four steps?
Here are 8 practical tips that will help you to reduce your speech anxiety and conquer your fear
of public speaking to become a more confident and effective public speaker.
1. Breath Your Way To Calm
When you breath out you relax that's why people sigh when they're stressed.
Breathing in without breathing out causes hyperventilation and worsens anxiety. Just before your
speech take five minutes breathing in to the count of seven and out to the count of eleven (quick count-not
seconds!). On the out breath hold it a second before breathing in again. This will produce quick and lasting calm.
Remember extending the out breath calms you down.
2. Make Public Speaking A Team Effort
You have a responsibility as the presenter but relax you don't carry all the responsibility.
Presenting is a team effort. Audiences are responsible for politeness, extending their attention and attempting to
Ask lots of questions and remember to use open ended questions to engage your audiences. It's
not all you-it's a meeting of two halves. Never mind how they judge you. How do you judge them?
3. Use Metaphor And Stories
We all experience life metaphorically. The most technical logical person spends at least two
hours a night dreaming! Talk detail if necessary but present patterns with metaphors. Folk from 4 to 104 love
stories. Use them.
4. Engage Your Audience
Captivate attention by using words that evoke all the senses. Describe how things look, sound,
feel, smell and taste. Paint pictures and sensations in their minds with your words.
Vary your voice tonality and speed of delivery. Keep them alert and engaged. Convey energy when
need be and slow down when you need to 'draw them in close.' You are the conductor to their orchestra. And pepper
your talk with humour. Your willingness to be funny shows personal confidence and confidence is contagious.
5. Focus on the Value of the Speech
What is it that you think that crowd came to see? They came to hear your speech. In other words,
tell them what they are going to get, what they are currently getting and then what they have got from you. Focus
on what they came to hear, sell your sizzle, and stop worrying about what they may think of you personally.
6. Practice Makes Perfect
It sounds cliché, but the old age saying of “practice makes perfect” is especially true when it
comes to speaking in public.
Before speaking in front of a large audience, start by practicing in front of a mirror. Once the
initially “silliness” is overcome, try practicing in front of your best friend or a small group of close friends
Having a friendly crowd who are supportive of the speaker will definitely help in boosting self
7. Copy From The Best
Watch and learn from other great speakers who inspires you. I like to use Warren Buffet, Oprah
Winfrey and Tony Robbins as examples because of their energy, humor and humility when speaking in public.
Whenever I tried this technique, I always feel inspired and motivated that I can conquer any
fear in public speaking and become a more confident and effective public speaker.
Watch how Warren Buffet speak in public by focusing on what the audiences came to hear, asks questions and uses
stories to make it fun.
8.Visualize And Use Self-Hypnotic
Rehearse positively. You need to rehearse how your going to feel as well as what you are going
to present. Don't think about your forthcoming presentation whilst feeling nervous as this creates an instinctive
association between fear and presenting. This natural negative self-hypnosis is very common with nervous
Hypnotically rehearse your speech whilst feeling relaxed. Picture and visualize yourself giving
that successful speech like “I will make a great speech that will influence and better the lives of my listeners”.
This produces the right 'blueprint' in your mind. In fact when you do this enough times it actually becomes hard to
All great speakers know how to use great self-hypnotic rehearsal. Hypnosis changes attitudes and
can bring emotion under control. I used hypnosis, to change my instincts around public speaking. Now I just can't
get nervous whether it's 50 or 500 people. The world needs great communicators. Go for it!
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