How to Overcome The Fear of Public Speaking (Glossophobia)

Phobias are common; everyone has one. Some people, luckily, have phobias of things they can avoid. A phobia for snakes or heights is fine so long as you can avoid them. Your quality of living is not likely to be affected by your refusal to ride a rollercoaster or your avoidance of grassy areas. However, if you have a phobia of something a little more serious such as speaking in public, it is safe to say that you have quite a problem on your hands.

A Little More About Glossophobia

The fear of public speaking is also called Glossophobia. It is the fear or anxiety is the fear of public speaking. Fun fact: Research has proven that up to 75% of people have this phobia. You are not the weird minority. You are just the normal majority. If you seem to be surrounded by people who do not seem to have this fear remember that Glossophobia is curable and that it is likely that those people have worked on it.

Believe it or not, there are ways to train yourself to the point where you can confidently take the stage at public events without losing your voice or getting shaky knees. There are ways to outgrow the fear and anxiety of public speaking while managing to remain the very best you can be. What’s more? You can even look natural while doing it. Remember, the aim is to get your information across to people. It is a challenge; one you are equal to.

Overcoming glossophobia is possible. To totally eradicate the fear of speaking in public, here are some things you need to do.

Practical Steps For Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking

Realize Glossophobia is common. 75 people out of 100 have this phobia. It is perfectly normal to have it. Realize that as you stand on that stage, 75% of the people in the crowd are realizing that you are doing what they cannot.

Detect The Cause

Now the problem is known. You know that you absolutely dread speaking in public. You know that your eyes tear up, your voice goes from shaky to nonexistent, your palms become sweaty and your knees get weak. You know all these. We can refer to these as the problem. Next, you need to find the root of the problem. What this means is that people have glossophobia for different reasons. When I took on the task to defeat my glossophobia, I studied the problem intently. I found out that at times, I was able to have it under control if I did certain things. I also realized that my glossophobia stemmed mainly from self-confidence as well as temperament issues. Once I understood that, it was easy to deal with.

However, note that is possible that there is no such cause and that you are simply that way. Realizing that is also a step forward.

Prepare To The Littlest Detail

Often at times, people who are afraid of public speaking do not know that it is their brain’s subconscious reaction to lack of planning. Have every bit of your speech planned out. This includes your gesticulations, pauses, breaks, etc. This is something else that can help you out. Practice in front of a mirror and then have a friend hear you out. Once your speech is perfected, you can now bother about being able to present it.

Be Confident

Realize that there is no room for glossophobia if lack of confidence is not present. Discover measures to improve your self-confidence such as dressing is great clothes, preparing a great speech, and familiarizing yourself with the topic.

Have a Familiar Face in The Crowd

Having a familiar face in the audience may seem like a distraction, but the truth is they help us stay focused while doubts and fear start to creep in when presenting your speech. To have them cheer you up when you give a valid point, and help you keep a straight face may come very handy during those tension pumping moments. If this is done frequently, you will get used to it without even needing a crowd-buddy.

Try Not To Speak Too Fast

Realize that it is normal for someone to be on their phone or smile at a friend while you are delivering your speech. Don’t try to read too much into the reactions you are getting from some of your audience as evidence that you are doing a bad job at trying to deliver a good speech. Often at times the smiles and giggles are just what they are and not a mockery of your delivery.

Be Mindful of Your Speed

There’s no faster route to failure than trying to rush your speech. The moment you start to say too many words without your necessary pauses and breathe management you turn your perfect delivery into a modern day rap battle, but in this case rather than getting the shouts and the applause you leave your audience wondering if they came for the right presentation.

Have A Familiar Face In The Audience

Having a familiar face In the audience may seem like a distraction, but the truth is they help us stay focused while doubts and fear start to creep in when presenting your speech. To have them cheer you up when you give a valid point, and help you keep a straight face may come very handy during those tension pumping moments.

Try not to overthink audience reactions

Realize that it is normal for someone to be on their phone or smile at a friend while you are delivering your speech. Don’t try to read too much into the reactions you are getting from some of your audience as evidence that you are doing a bad job at trying to deliver a good speech. Often at times the smiles and giggles are just what they are and not a mockery of your delivery.

Be mindful of not speaking too fast

There’s nothing more pressure rising than trying to rush your speech. The moment you start too say too many words without your necessary pauses and breathe management you turn your perfect delivery into a modern day rap battle, but in this case rather than getting the shouts and the applause you leave your audience wondering if they came for the right presentation

Ask For Help

Don’t be shy to join a group for people who are also afraid of speaking publicly. You’ll be able to share helpful tips and ideas with yourselves to aid your battle against glossophobia.

Record And Listen To Yourself While Practicing

Most people don’t feel comfortable with listening to the sound of their own voice on tape, so it is necessary to get used to the sound of your voice before going to give a speech. Make a short video or voice record of yourself giving the speech from start to finish, and then play/listen to it over and over again while taking notes of things you didn’t say or do well so as to improve on them before your actual presentation. During this, kill two birds with a stone by pointing out things you see yourself doing that you would like gone. Practice, record, and replay.

Let Someone Else Go Through Your Speech

During your preparation stage, let someone else go through your speech, or find someone who you can present your speech to. It could be a friend or a significant other who is willing to listen. Also, make sure to explain to them not to be biased in their criticism and thoughts as regards your presentation. Afterward, they can give you their honest opinions. This will help you to feel more relaxed when delivering your speech. Take notes of the questions they ask as those may also be the likely questions to be asked by your proposed audience as well.

Cancel The Fear Of Rejection

“I may get sent off the stage.” “What if they don’t like my presentation?” Understand that your audience is there to listen to you for a reason and you alone control the way they would react. If you present a good performance you would most certainly get the desired outcome. Realize that it is in your power to give a good presentation.

Work On Your Breathing

Ensure to engage in daily breathe control exercises so you familiarize yourself with the technique of catching your breath should in case you lose it. Breathing exercises will help you keep calm and get into the perfect rhythm for your speech, proper breath control is also necessary in all-round daily affairs.

Speak In A Way Comfortable For You

People often make the mistake of imitating people to the point that they lose themselves. They try to adopt a person’s style of speaking and forget that everyone is created with their own individual style. Imitation is limitation. If you keep forcing yourself to act like someone else you are limiting yourself to how great they are. The sad thing is that you can never be exactly like someone else. Discover what is comfortable for you and work on it till you create a masterpiece.

Yup, come back to share a testimony when you have put these to practice. We’d be happy to hear from you.

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