FROM TERROR TO TRIUMPH – 20 Tips to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking
Have you ever declined an opportunity to speak because of anxiety? Or experienced a less-than-stellar presentation because of nerves? Regardless of your level of comfort, you can transform immediately into a confident, powerful, engaging and effective presenter.
Here are some of the tips I have used for myself and for the people I coach to overcome the fear of public speaking. Many of these tips will work at the physical level to lower stress-related chemicals such as adrenaline, and increase euphoric chemicals, such as endorphins.
1. HAVE AN OVERWHELMING DESIRE
You must have a reason and a desire to speak in public. Define your motivation, and write your answers to the following questions. What will you lose, or how will you sabotage yourself by not being able to speak in public? What will you gain, or how will you benefit by being able to speak in public?
Here are some of what can be sabotaged or improved based on your public speaking skills:
Ability to make a difference
The stronger your desire to be a powerful presenter, the easier it is to attain. Your audience loses if you don’t speak! This is an amazing opportunity to deliver your message.
2. HAVE A CLEAR MENTAL PICTURE OF HOW YOU WANT TO BE
How do you REALLY WANT to be as a speaker? I once had a client respond to this question with, “I don’t want to be nervous.” When pressed, she had no idea how she wanted to be – she only knew how she did not want to be.
Create the greatest, clearest fantasy that you can. The best time to do this is just before you fall asleep, as you are in a relaxed state. Imagine everything in great detail – the room, how you look and sound, your confidence, the ease, the audience’s standing ovation…. Whatever you can create in your mind, you can create in your reality. Your non-conscious mind will store your visualization as a memory. What you have done before, you can do again.
Once I had led my client through the creative visualization process, we were able to proceed quickly to her becoming a confident speaker.
Repeat this process every night, or as often as you can. When I did my first professional presentation, I had “been there, done that” so often in my mind, that the presentation was very comfortable and it went even beyond what I was able to imagine.
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Karen Brunger, AICI CIP is author of Present for Profit – 100+ Ways to Power Up Your Performance, and President if International Image Institute Inc.