How to Overcome your Fear of Public Speaking

Jokes aside, let’s face it, Public Speaking is very, very difficult. For most of us it is an experience likened to the fear of snakes, spiders and even death itself.

The above belief tends to influence our physiology and our ability to deliver properly as a speaker. The “speakers nerves,” anxiety, or the fear of public speaking lead to many limitations in our ability to deliver our message properly and effectively.

One key area this belief system affects, is our voice. When we get nervous we tend to breathe in short bursts, short shallow breath, quick in-and-out bursts. This hinders our ability to deliver our speech or message with the proper vocal variety. For this problem, I have two simple techniques that you can use to work on it below.

Don’t forget to breathe

It is an important technique to change our volume and pitch frequently to achieve engagement; we call this ‘vocal variety’. One of the things that happen when we get nervous is that we tend to breathe in short quick bursts. This can quickly reduce our ability to deliver our speech with the power of vocal variety. 

I suggest breathing in for 2 seconds and breathing out for 4 seconds through our mouth. This rule, at the very least to slow down your breath and allow you to again be able to deliver with consistent vocal variety. Think of this deep breathing as energising up your voice to deliver effectively.

If counting distracts you too much, simply focus on slowing down your breath and breathing through your mouth. Whichever way works best for you. Use this technique when you work on your speeches and it will become second nature during your final delivery.

Use Images 

Visualisation is a powerful tool to defeat the anxiety that we may face when we walk up to the lectern. We can actually visualise ourselves in the desired state of mind and thus – we can change our current psychosomatic state. This can be a physical place such as a relaxing location (where we might meditate or unwind) or even just in the company of those who we care about.

These are but two of the examples of the power of this practice. Visualisation is a scientific proven way of reducing the fear of Public Speaking. It is a very used technique in the world of professional sports where it is used to help athletes achieve peak performance by aligning the internal world (our mind) to our positive goals and desired outcomes. Using it along the deep breathing discussed above, helps you remain calm, liberated from fear and concentrate on delivering your speech.

Defeating the Fear of Public Speaking

Truth be told, we shouldn’t fear Public Speaking. It is mostly our bad habits that keep connected to these negative beliefs. More important than changing our behavior is changing our habits. So remember, breath deeply and visualise – you’ll notice the difference. You’ll feel confident, centered and deliver effectively. Give it a try!

We can help you with fear of Public Speaking as well as delivering a speech in a professional, effective and engaging way. Register yourself into a course today!

Gus German is a Certified Professional Public Speaker and Senior Trainer at FEARLESS SPEAKERS, a Sydney- based, a public speaking training organization. As a seasoned public speaking trainer & professional speaker he enjoys helping other succeed in this worthy and rewarding craft. Gus is also a Certified Project Manager and has a background in Electronics Engineering. He also worked as a Counsellor over many years and specialises in Exposure Therapy
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