Top Ten Tips on how to beat fears around public speaking once and for all

July 15, 2019 | Published by
It’s clear that no one truly enjoys public speaking although for some it causes a lot more issues than others. In fact in a recent poll, public speaking was found to be the second most common fear, behind only a fear of snakes! For a lot of us, the nerves take over and suddenly you find yourself in a world of sweaty palms, shakiness, breathlessness and a racing heart. 
 
 
 
 
All of this can be changed with our Top Ten Tips to help you steady those nerves, to take back control and to deliver your best presentation yet:
 
 
1.  Take in your surroundings
 
If you can, then make sure you get to the venue early so you have plenty of time to settle in before your talk. The more you can adjust to the room, the more comfortable you’ll feel. Sit near the front close to where you’ll be delivering your talk so you get used to seeing a crowd of people so that when you stand up to talk it’s not such a shock to the system. Have a practice with the microphone and rehearse in the room if you can.  
 
 
2. Practice 
Practice your talk multiple times in many different places and to different people.  The more you mix up your position, setting and audience, the more comfortable you’ll feel with your talk. Record yourself talking through your speech and listen back to it so you’re able to listen out for problem areas.
3. Transform Nervous Energy In to Excitement. 
 
This is one of the most powerful tools but it often takes our clients some convincing! One of the biggest mistakes people make before delivering a talk is to try and calm down. Let’s look at what’s happening and how you’re feeling before a talk; increase in heartbeat, rapid breathing, sweating, trembling, nervousness.  To go from this state of mind and body to telling yourself to be calm is near impossible. This state of anxiety and the state of calm couldn’t be more polar opposite so it’s no wonder it’s so hard to switch from one to another. So, let’s look at those sensations again: increase in heartbeat, rapid breathing, sweating, trembling, nervousness.  They’re exactly the same sensations that you’d experience if you were excited! What we believe will determine how we feel so by telling yourself that you’re excited, you can’t wait to get to get up there and deliver your content, you’ll be convincing yourself that that’s why you’re feeling all those sensations. By reframing your mind in this way you will be changing the feelings of anxiety for excitement and enthusiasm.
4. Meet the audience. 
If possible, try to chat to members of the audience before your talk. The more you familiarize yourself with them the more relaxed you’ll feel as you recognise that they’re just normal people who are all on your side.
5. Visualization. 
You don’t need to be a master of Zen to visualize. There are plenty of studies that have proven the effectiveness of positive visualisation and using them in public speaking is incredibly powerful. When we imagine a positive outcome to a scenario in our mind, it’s more likely to play out the way we envision it.
 
Instead of thinking the worst is going to happen, imagine yourself delivering your talk confidently and the audience looking engaged, impressed and applauding you. Positive thoughts can be incredibly effective but what’s more, your mind can’t differentiate between reality and a very vivid visualization. So, visualization is also another form of rehearsal if you can include as many details as possible. The more realistic the visualization, the more your mind will think it’s a real event so that by the time you actually deliver your talk you won’t be half as nervous as your mind will think you’ve already done it once. To make it as realistic as possible you can do things like visualize the room you’ll be talking in, see yourself in the clothes you’re going to wear, think about what the room smells like, what the people may look like, what the lighting will be like – the more detail the better.
 
 
6. Breathe
Our body responds in a specific way when we get nervous. Our muscles tighten and you may even find you can’t get your words out and that you catch yourself holding your breath. By practicing deep breathing techniques you’ll be able to get oxygen in to your brain and your body and muscles start to release meaning you can talk much more fluidly.
7. Smile. 
 
 
Even if you don’t feel like it, smile. Smiling increases endorphins, and without you even trying, it will replace those nerves with calm feelings. Smiling also exhibits confidence and enthusiasm to the audience and they’re likely to smile back at you meaning you feel even more relaxed.
 
 
 
 
 
8. Drink Water. 
 
Dry mouth is a common result of nervousness so make sure you have a bottle of water with you and take sips throughout your talk if needed.
9. Don’t Fight the Fear. 
It’s ok to acknowledge that you’re anxious. If you accept your fear rather than trying to fight it you will suddenly feel a lot more at ease. Wondering if people will notice your nervousness will only intensify your anxiety. It’s ok to be nervous and as those sensations are so similar to being excited anyway, people won’t be able to differentiate between the two so embrace the feelings, smile, get excited and go for it!
10. Hypnotherapy
 
 
Our fears surrounding public speaking reside deep in our subconscious minds.
For many of us, we instinctively think the presentation will go badly or that we won’t remember our words, our voice will crack, we’ll mess up. Sure enough, you start to shake and you can’t catch your breath, you’ve made yourself believe that you’ll fail and when you believe something so strongly it of course affects your performance and only magnifies your anxiety.
 
What’s worse, the negative experience fuels your fears. Your irrational, self-sabotaging thoughts become embedded in your subconscious mind and they’re reinforced further. Any future public speaking experience is then seen through this vision that your mind has created.
By getting in to a state of hypnosis, you’re able to access the subconscious mind and you can then gain access to and control over those automatic thoughts and negative thinking patterns. Once you remove those negative thoughts,you will gain confidence in your abilities and the instinctive fight or flight feelings surrounding public speaking will no longer be present. Instead you will be flooded with positivity and an underlying sense of confidence and empowerment. Our MindTALKS are incredibly powerful and have helped so many employees already to perform at their optimum level. We have a longer MindTALK as well as a bite sized one for those who want a booster just before their talk.
If you want to change the way you think about public speaking once and for then get in touch and we’ll help you become that confident, powerful public speaker that you deserve to be.

 

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This post was written by Sophie Fox