Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking: 3 Essential Ways to Relax

April 16, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 137

Public speaking. Rarely do two words strike so much fear in the heart, mind, and throat of the person who is asked to stand up and speak in public. Be it making a presentation, generic public speaking anxiety, or having to look groups of people in the eye when stating what you have to say, this task can seem arduous, frightening, and complicated.

But overcoming the fear of public speaking is easier than you think. Especially when you discover that you already have what it takes to be an engaging, thoughtful, intelligent, and confident speaker.

The first step in overcoming this fear is proper preparation. If you are trying to wing it, you are overloading your brain to begin with, especially if you are nervous about public speaking.

Tip no 1 - Put in enough time to reduce your nerves

Only you know how much you need to prepare. People vary - and this comes out clearly on personality profiles - in how much they need to prepare in order to feel comfortable. So there's no rule except be honest with yourself, but if you want a rule of thumb, think 3:1. Three minutes of preparation for every one minute of talking. The performance is really the icing on the cake, the cake-making happens way in advance!

The vast majority of people that I come across underprepare because it takes time and effort. My answer is this: do the preparation really well each time you are doing a completely different talk, then hone and develop that talk so that you can do it more or less 'off the cuff'. I call this having a series of 'signature talks'. Once you have this you'll feel a lot less nervous in general and your preparation time is vastly reduced.

Tip no 2 -Imagine it going well

Did you know that the brain cannot distinguish between real events and imagined ones? That's why this technique works so powerfully. You can close your eyes, lie back and imagine your talk going well, and the brain will store it as a MEMORY. So if you want to achieve the muscle memory of success, you can do that by dreaming an activity almost as well as you can by doing it. My husband thinks about, dreams about, reads about, watches videos about golf every day....and since he started doing that he's got better on the course without any more practice or lessons.

Visualization will also help with fear. As you are visualizing yourself speaking, make sure you are relaxing at the same time, so you start to associate one with the other. Then under pressure your body has had practice at relaxing when it recognizes the stimulus of an audience.

Tip no 3 - Reduce stress responses in your body

It is your body that will be exhibiting signs of nerves and stress, and so it is your body that you need to relax before speaking, not just your mind.

Whenever you are preparing to speak you should do a vocal warm up to protect your voice, and allow you to project clearly and loudly. This is even more important if you are nervous, and a good vocal warm up will help relax your body generally.

Good breathing is the key to feeling (and sounding) relaxed when speaking. Breathe low into the diaphragm area (just below the curve of your ribs and above your abdomen) - as you breathe in, the diaphragm moves out and down, then as you breathe out, it moves up and in, to expel the air. This type of breathing supports the voice and also sends signals to the brain that all is well. When we are under attack, we are more likely to breathe in the chest, which you'll notice will happen if you get nervous. Every time this happens, just bring the breathing back down again.

It is very calming to breathe in this way, not least because you have to focus hard to get it right when you are not used to it, which takes your mind off your nerves!

Now take a deep breath, see it going well, and just go for it!

The SpeakingSuccess Coach

To practise your public speaking, sign up for Celia Delaney's Speakers' Academy:

About SpeakingSuccess I work with people on how to promote their business through speaking.

Speaking builds your profile, creates interest in your message, and above all, increases sales. Whether you are speaking externally in order to build your business or internally in engaging and inspiring your team, speaking will catapult you to another level. To show you how to do this, I created the iPresent Series - the 4 'pillars' on which you can build your platform of SpeakingSuccess.

iPresent is delivered through individual coaching, group trainings and audio & visual products for you to study at your leisure.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Public Speaking


Overcoming Fear


Generic Public Speaking


Public Speaking Anxiety

A speech is similar to an essay, except that a speech is meant to be spoken, while an essay is meant to be read. If you wish to write a great speech that will impress your audience till the end and

By: Denize Rodricks l Writing & Speaking > Writing l December 07, 2012 lViews: 254

The ability to writing great headlines hold the key to getting people to read your article or sales copy - whether you publish it online, send as email or even print it on a magazine. Learn how you

By: Prince John l Writing & Speaking > Creative Writing l July 10, 2012 lViews: 246

Unemployment rate in India has been one of the most terrible problems that it has been facing since its independence. Corruption and crime has increase manifold due to the unemployment factor.

By: Vaibhav P. Bhadange l Writing & Speaking > Creative Writing l July 10, 2012 lViews: 383

Four out of five adults say they have a book inside them. Only two percent actually write and publish their masterpiece. Talk is cheap. Just do it!

By: Ted Bowman l Writing & Speaking > Creative Writing l July 09, 2012 lViews: 217

You have wanted to see your book in print for years and now, thanks to self-publishing, you reached this goal. Now you must market your book, an uphill climb for any author, especially a new one.

By: Harriet Hodgson l Writing & Speaking > Book Marketing l July 08, 2012 lViews: 241

Choosing the right creative writing program could compensate for copywriting in businesses, although, it is a whole different course subject. By being successful in such a competitive industry you

By: Edward Joseph l Writing & Speaking > Creative Writing l July 06, 2012 lViews: 221

People are afraid of so many things, but of all the fears in the world, the fear of public speaking ranks right at the top of the list. It is normal for new students or shy ones to be unable to speak

By: Trevor Johnsonl Writing & Speaking > Public Speakingl April 26, 2012 lViews: 178

Many people contact me because they have a voice that is too high-pitched, too soft, too loud, too nasal, too wimpy, too weak, too shrill, too childlike. In fact, the list of descriptive adjectives

By: Nancy Danielsl Writing & Speaking > Public Speakingl April 24, 2012 lViews: 154

When you are asked, requested, or invited to speak, whether it is for your company, a business organization, a leads club, or some type of conference, how familiar are you with your audience and

By: Nancy Danielsl Writing & Speaking > Public Speakingl April 24, 2012 lViews: 140

This giving a speech thing is hard to do! Think of all of the various things that you need to do at the same time: remember the words that you want to say, keep eye contact with your audience, keep

By: Dr. Jim Andersonl Writing & Speaking > Public Speakingl April 24, 2012 lViews: 157

The other day I received an email from a young man who told me that he was getting a sore throat by speaking loudly at the clubs and wondered if my training dealt with volume. I had to smile when he

By: Nancy Danielsl Writing & Speaking > Public Speakingl April 23, 2012 lViews: 158

When it comes to image, most people believe that their visual image is the 'piece de resistance'. And, there is no doubt that it is very important both professionally and personally. Have you ever

By: Nancy Danielsl Writing & Speaking > Public Speakingl April 23, 2012 lViews: 170

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus