The fear of public speaking prevents many people from achieving their potential and expressing themselves. Some are afraid of being judged negatively by their audience, while others have low self esteem and feel insecure. Being confident about yourself is not the same as being confident in different situations. Speaking in front of a crowd can be overwhelming even for the most confident people.
Here are six reasons why people fear public speaking:
The Fear of Failure
Many people are afraid that they will come across as boring or “dry up” during the speech. Everybody makes mistakes. As long as you learn from your mistakes, you will continue to get better and better. Stop telling yourself that you’re not good enough.
The Fear of Criticism
Are you afraid that you’ll be judged by others? No matter how good you are, people will judge you. You can’t please everyone. When you’re having a speech, do your best and stop thinking about what others will think of you.
The Fear of Embarrassment
The fear of embarrassment stops you from trying new things and taking stand different from the norm. It’s the natural result of believing that others will see you as a fool. Making mistakes is part of life. It’s also a path to security and self-confidence. If you want to overcome this fear, learn to laugh at yourself and relax.
The Fear of Not Being Perfect
No matter how good you are, your speech is never going to be complete and perfect. People have different opinions. Some will enjoy your speech, while others will find flaws. No one expects you to be perfect. You should rather focus on delivering a vibrant speech that tells your story and conveys your message.
Lack of Preparation
Some people are afraid that they don’t have the skills or experience required for public speaking. Prepare yourself ahead. Practice your speech in private. Use a confident voice. Be loud and clear. Every time you practice your speech, you will see dramatic improvements. This will boost your self confidence and help you overcome the fear of public speaking.
Stress is one of the most common reasons why people are afraid of public speaking. Standing in front of a crowd and speaking loudly is not easy. Before delivering your speech, breathe deeply and warm up your body. Picture yourself succeeding and having fun. If you get stuck, look at your notes and get back on track. Keep in mind that the audience wants you to succeed.
Image credit: Stuart Miles