Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking – Tips 14-20
FROM TERROR TO TRIUMPH – How to overcome the fear of public speaking
14. GET THE AUDIENCE TO MOVE
To energize and engage, have your audience do an exercise or physical movement. The book Brain Gym has many great exercises. Simple ideas are walking, marching, or stretching. A popular exercise is to have the audience stand in a circle facing each other’s backs, and then massage the shoulders of the person in front. Depending on the space available, there are also many complex options.
15. GET THE AUDIENCE TO HUG, IF IT’S APPROPRIATE
This type of rapport-building activity can substantially raise energy. Some workshops will instruct participants to hug a particular number of people before going on a break. This works well with personal development experiential workshops. There are other exercises which could also inspire participants to hug.
16. PLAY MUSIC
The use of appropriate music to begin and end each segment, and for specific exercises, can be very powerful, and can help anchor the lesson experience.
17. USE PERIPHERAL VISION RATHER THAN TUNNEL
Practice this technique:
- Stand looking straight ahead with your arms straight out at your sides so that you look like the letter T.
- Position your arms so that even though you’re looking straight ahead, you can see your fingers wiggling.
- Now imagine a speaking situation that would create anxiety.
- While in an anxious state, watch your fingers wiggle. You can’t do both at the same time!
An anxious or fear state uses tunnel vision, and arouses the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). A calm or peaceful state uses peripheral vision, and arouses the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS).
Breathe through your nose, rather than your mouth. Nose-breathing uses the PNS, allowing you to be controlled and calm. Mouth-breathing uses the SNS, allowing you to be anxious and stressed. Breathe deeply from the diaphragm.
19. DRINK WATER
When you’re under stress, your mouth will get dry. Drinking water can help you maintain control while public speaking.
You’ve prepared to the highest degree possible. Now let the presentation happen. Have faith that you will speak your Truth in the right way for this particular audience and situation. Your presentation will be a co-creation between you and your audience, as a result of your combined energy. When you are in a state of heightened awareness, the presentation will flow effortlessly with inspired synchronicity, achieving outcomes beyond what was imagined.
So there you have my 20 tips to overcome the fear o public speaking. I invite you to experiment with them – you might prefer some over others. I believe that any person can become the speaker that she or he really wants to be.
Karen Brunger, AICI CIP, is President of International Image Institute Inc.