What if you find yourself behind a microphone in front of a vast crowd awaits you to deliver your presentation or speech? Will you have a fluttering heart, a brooding mind, trembling knees, and sweaty hands? If so, then you, like many others, have glossophobia or the fear of public speaking. However, the decision is in your hand whether to let this fear control your life, relationships, and career or to combat it with a brave heart. The good news is that you are only one step away from being a charming speaker. Just follow these steps and dazzle the whole world with your performance!
Do Not Underestimate Yourself
It is all about the power of your subconscious as your actions are an evident reflection of what you mumble to yourself. Do not allow any self-sabotaging thoughts, such as “They will poke fun at me” or “I will lose my train of thought as I am the worst speaker” to sneak into your mind. Indeed, catastrophizing things is part of our human nature that you have to curb by reprogramming your mind with more positive, proactive, and favorable ideas regarding your public speaking capacities. Say it loud, “I am going to astonish them.”, which will dramatically boost your self-confidence and reinforce your performance.
Enrich Your Knowledge of the Topic
One of the reasons that increase the dose of fear tingling in your heart revolves around being in front of people of higher status in addition to the unpredictable questions you will receive. However, being abreast of all the topics’ aspects that you will talk about by doing extensive research is the most effective antidote to your fear as it will build up your confidence and make you think on your feet. In other words, it will make you speak with a confident smile reflecting that you are fully aware of the topic and ready to answer any questions.
Fortify Yourself with Preparedness
“Practice makes perfect.” This is one of the proverbs you should keep in mind as long as accomplishing professionalism in public speaking is your goal. Nothing makes you master any topic like practicing and putting yourself in a similar situation. For example, you will study many traffic signs to pass a driving test, but nothing will prepare you for the real test like sitting behind the wheel and getting on the road. The same thing is applied to public speaking. Rehearsing your speech or doing a dummy presentation in front of a mirror, a friend, or your family and getting feedback will give you hints regarding your audience’s reactions, feelings, and questions. Therefore, when the day of the big show comes, you will be well-prepared for it, and not as a caveman suddenly appeared in broad daylight, not knowing what to do.
Create a Minimalistic Slideshow
Being surrounded by dozens of eyes staring at you will make you cower in fear and want to escape immediately, but there is no need to do so while the solution is in your hand, simply make an impressive slideshow. With this, you can be assured that half of the eyes will not be on you but on the fancy slides you create, which will diminish your stress and anxiety. Furthermore, the slide show is an effective way to which you can refer back to remember the key points avoiding reading word-for-word from your notes. However, there is a wrong belief that the more complicated your presentation’s design, the fancier it will be, while in reality, it distracts your audience’s attention and make them feel extremely weary. Therefore, adopting a minimalistic approach in doing your design by using little shapes, pictures, colors, and types of fonts will enhance the clarity and boost the professionalism of your slideshow.
Put Yourself in Your Audience’s Shoes
The way you see your audience controls your fear. In other words, considering them as harsh judges who only want to poke holes in your presentation will complicate things. Instead, imagine public speaking as a conversation you have with your friends to inspire them, enrich their knowledge of a particular topic, and add value to them. Therefore, it will be better if your step into the shoes of your audience as they must be your driving focus while crafting your speech to fulfill their needs and requirements.
Hook Your Audience from the Beginning
To ensure a memorable presentation, intrigue your audience with the first words you will say in the beginning. For example, starting your speech with a touching story or an inspirational quote will spice things up and increase your audience concentration. Also, admitting that you are a little bit nervous will induce the audience’s sympathy for you and lower their expectations, which will mitigate the burdens on your shoulders and help you surprise them with a super fantastic performance. In addition, your body language is as powerful as your words, as it will reflect your inner state. Even if you cringe, pretend that you are more than confident by keeping your head up, standing straight, smiling, and looking in their eyes; adopting such posture will make you and your audience believe that you are professional, confident, and worth of respect.
Standing behind that microphone will open many doors and countless opportunities that you may lose due to the fear barrier you put between you and your audience. It is time to break that ice and to be the aspiring speaker whose words are unforgettable!