Public Speaking Expert
Public speaking anxiety can be controlled through practice and experience. It is estimated that over 74 percent of people suffer from glassophobia, which is another name for speech anxiety. More than three million Americans have a fear of crowded or public places. Five million suffer from social phobia. The fear of public speaking is extremely common among both college students and the general population. However, most people are able to overcome it.
Public Speaking Anxiety: Understanding the Problem
The first step to overcoming public speaking anxiety is to understand its cause. In general, this fear is due to lack of experience. Most speakers believe that they have to be brilliant or perfect to succeed. Others are afraid of being judged or criticized. Too much or too little preparation can lead to public speaking anxiety. You might also be afraid that something bad will happen, or believe that the audience doesn’t want you to succeed. Bad experiences with public speaking can contribute to this problem as well.
A common mistake is to fight the fear by refusing to give into it. The truth is that almost everyone can experience public speaking anxiety at some point. You have to understand and accept your fear instead of trying to resist it. These negative feelings may actually be beneficial as they allow you to focus better and reach peak performance. You can still speak and express your thoughts when feeling anxious.
Public Speaking Anxiety: Ways to Overcome Your Fear
Practice can help you conquer public speaking anxiety and gain confidence. If you’re having a hard time speaking in front of an audience, consider taking public speaking classes. A friendly, relaxed atmosphere is a good place to start. Your peers can provide constructive feedback to help improve your skills. Most people find that their anxiety begins to decrease as their speech progresses.
Public speaking gives you a chance to express your ideas and share your knowledge. Take advantage of this opportunity and try to impress the audience. Remember that your nervousness is not obvious to the audience. Do some deep breathing and practice your speech several times. Think about what questions people may ask and have your responses ready. Warm up your body before speaking – do a few exercises and imagine presenting the speech beautifully. Don’t let public speaking fear stay in your way. Treat your audience as a friend and use a relaxed tone. Over time, you’ll become more confident and learn to overcome anxiety.