Don’t let a fear of public speaking impede your business goals
Does the thought of speaking in front of a group make your heart pound and your palms sweat? If so, you are not alone. Glossophobia is one of the most common fears, and it unfortunately has prevented many business people from achieving their full potential. These tips can help you overcome your fear of public speaking so you can communicate with confidence and boost your business.
Enlist your friends and family to be your audience. Seeing familiar faces will put you at ease, and practicing is the best way to become more comfortable with speaking in front of a crowd. Ask them for feedback, apply it, then gradually build up to a larger group.
Knowing your speech word-for-word may improve your memory, but it won’t help with public speaking. Giving a speech is an art form, not an exercise in rote memorization. If you take that route, forgetting a line can really trip you up and feed your fear. Instead, focus on giving a great presentation by remembering key points and examples, then filling in the rest naturally.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
This tip is so important, it needed to be written out three times. Nothing will help you overcome a fear of public speaking like knowing your material inside and out. If you know what you are talking about, it is just as easy to speak in front of 20 people as it is 20,000.
Don’t Rely on PowerPoint
PowerPoint and other presentation tools are great for getting your key points across, giving a visual aid and presenting data clearly, but they should not be a crutch. Keep your material the main focus and only use these tools when you must.
Make a Friend
Before you take the stage, introduce yourself to some of the audience members in the front row. While speaking, make eye contact with these new friends to connect with the audience and ease your nerves.
Engage the Audience
A monologue presentation keeps the focus and pressure on you, and it is also quite boring. Engage your audience by making your speech a two-way interaction. Invite them to ask questions and participate to keep their interest while taking some of the pressure off you.