"control your nerves"What are the best ways to control your nerves and become more relaxed during public speaking? In the previous post we’ve shown that overcoming nervousness in public speaking is not as difficult as it seems. This time we’ll talk about the best ways to deal with negative thoughts and get over your nerves. Nearly everyone experiences these feelings when teaching a class, giving a speech, or making a presentation. A little bit of worry will keep you motivated and focused.

Here are a few simple tips for controlling your nerves during public speaking:

Accept Your Feelings

Accept the inevitability of negative thoughts. Almost everyone worries before making a speech. Think about the good things in your life. Analyze the meaning of your fears and figure out what causes them. Make sure you know the difference between fear and nervousness. Fear stops you from achieving your goals and limits your abilities. Nerves give you the fuel you need to deliver a successful speech.

Structure Your Speech

Many people believe that memorizing their speech word-by-word will help them relax and feel less nervous. This is a huge mistake. If you memorize your speech and you miss a word or go blank, the whole presentation is thrown off. You should rather structure your speech so that you give yourself clues to what’s coming next. Use slides, note cards, videos, and pictures to emphasize your key points and make your speech easier to remember. You’ll also be able to time your speech and make adjustments.

Research the Topic Thoroughly

Whatever the topic of your speech may be, from health insurance to pet care and business strategies, you must research it thoroughly. The best thing you can do to control your nerves and overcome your fear is to over-prepare. The number one cause for nerves is feeling unprepared. Search for information about the topic that you’re going to discuss. Use as many resources as possible. Think about any possible questions that your audience may ask. If you don’t know your topic well, you will feel insecure.

Take care of yourself before making a speech. Get plenty of rest and exercise. Use the emotional connection between you and your audience to reduce the sensation of fear. Try to connect with them and treat them as if you were their friend. Think about your audience as a group of people who are friendly and want to hear what you have to say.

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