FROM TERROR TO TRIUMPH – 20 tips to overcome the fear of public speaking
3. PUT IN WRITING HOW YOU WANT TO BE
Words have even more power than thoughts. To overcome the fear of public speaking, reframe negative or low-frequency thoughts and language to positive or high-frequency thoughts and language. Put your best possible visualization in writing. Start with “I am”, rather than “I want” or “I will”. Be as detailed as possible!
4. FEEL HOW YOU WANT TO BE
Be okay with being the center of attention. You have the right to speak because you exist. Think of your favorite speakers, and feel ‘at one’ with them. If they can speak, so can you. Allow the feeling of being a powerful presenter into your cells. Focus on how you want to feel. The feel of success attracts success. ‘Fake it ‘till you make it!’
5. PRACTICE SYSTEMATIC DESENSITIZATION
A Psychology Professor once took the course of my presentation, because she was afraid of speaking to her classes! All she had to do was systematic desensitization one time, and she was fine. Here is the formula.
- Put yourself in a very relaxed place (a bath with candles, lavender, and soft music).
- Close your eyes and relax your body and mind.
- Imagine you are in the room where you might be presenting. You’re just standing at the back of the room. Keep your mind-body relaxed.
- Imagine the room and all of the people in it. If you start to get anxious, go back to ‘3’. When you can stay relaxed, proceed to ‘5’.
- Imagine you are being introduced. If you feel anxious, go back to ‘4’. When you can stay relaxed, proceed to ‘6′.
- Imagine walking to the front of the room. If you feel anxious, go back to ‘5’. When you can stay relaxed, proceed to ‘7’.
- Imagine standing at the front of the room, facing your audience. If you feel anxious, go back to ‘6’. When you can stay relaxed, proceed to ‘8’.
- Imagine delivering your presentation. If you feel anxious, go back to ‘7’. When you can stay relaxed – congratulations!
When you are able to imagine your presentation from beginning to end, while maintaining a calm, peaceful state, you will be more able to create a calm and peaceful state in any situation.
6. BE PREPARED
Prepare your presentation, visual aids, hand-outs, etc. with organization, detail, and excellence. Prepare to the very best of your ability and resources; ask for help when possible. Practice your presentation at least seven times.
Karen Brunger, AICI CIP, is author of Present for Profit – 100+ Ways to Power Up Your Performance, and President of International Image Institute Inc.