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Public Speaking Anxiety Tips

01.18.2017
Posted by Pat Delorean

public speaking anxiety tips

Can’t remember a single moment when you weren’t nervous before addressing the audience? Is the fear of public speaking keeping you from reaching your full potential? Are you uncertain about what to say and how to say it?

Don’t worry! Just a few simple tips will help you calm your nerves, focus on your key messages and never again feel the butterflies when performing before other students or professors.

 1. Turn Anxiety into Energy

When you are nervous, your body generates a lot of energy. Your task is to spend that energy for performing well before the audience, not for fighting with the anxiety. Usually, people are too busy being afraid that they forget to direct the panic into enthusiasm.

The key is to use the energy you get to connect with the people and deliver your message with charisma and confidence.

2. Stop Seeing Your Presentation as a Performance

If you keep reminding yourself that you perform before a large audience, it will be difficult to concentrate on all the positives of your presentation. Instead, you need to treat it as a person-to-person talk. Imagine that you’re having a conversation with a good friend and you’ll see that it will be much easier for you to relax and stop worrying. Just shift your focus away and the result won’t make you wait.

3. Be Prepared

Surely, it is important to know how to calm down yourself when you’re speaking. However, if you don’t prepare for your speech, you’ll end up stressed and anxious. Make sure you know what you’re going to say. Practice until you are confident that you’ll be able to concentrate on your presentation and audience instead of yourself and your feelings.

4. Connect with Your Audience

The success of your speech depends on how well you can grab the attention of your audience. To be a great orator, you should make things personal. But how to make people listen to what you say? Try to include personal examples, stories from your life, fun cases while you’re delivering a speech. Also, don’t forget to be confident about what you say. In such a way, a public will trust your words and opinions.

5. Pause Frequently

When you feel anxious while presenting, you need to pause more often. It is known that a few strategic pauses have a calming effect. Pauses give you some time to think about your words and relax for a moment. You will feel less stressed and more concentrated after making a pause.

6. Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water before the speech. Also take a water bottle with you and drink from time to time while you’re speaking. The golden rule is: the more nervous you are, the more water you need. When you’re talking for a long time and feel anxious, your mouth goes dry and your lips become white. That real sign of anxiety will be obvious for your audience, so always try to avoid such situations.

7. Don’t Apologize

Many students start their presentation by apologizing for their poor public speaking skills. Don’t make this mistake. You need to be confident in yourself and your abilities. If you start apologizing, you’ll lower the audience’s expectations and they won’t feel like listen to the upcoming speech. Remember that engaged audience is happy audience.

8. Take Deep Breaths

To lower the anxiety, you need to take deep breaths. Slow and measured breathing shows that you are confident. That’s why if you feel that you need to calm down, make a short pause and take a breath. This way, you’ll be in control.

9. Forget about Failure

Never ask yourself what will happen if you deliver a bad speech. Don’t think about the failure! Try to live in the moment and don’t worry about mistakes or misunderstanding. If you speak positively, your presentation will run as smoothly as possible.

With practice, you’ll be able to deliver an effective speech and voice your opinion confidently. Use the techniques mentioned above and don’t let the anxiety stop you from speaking out!