Learn How to Speak Publicly Without Fear
You hear those familiar dreaded words from your boss “I need you to give a presentation on…” and all of a sudden you feel that familiar tingling rise up from the pit of your stomach, your palms start to sweat and your heart starts to pound.
Well don’t worry you are not the only one!
I remember in my office out of around 40 people you didn’t even need one hand to count the number of people who were comfortable doing this. But thankfully I overcame my fear and now feel happy speaking in public even to an audience of 100+. Now I hear you say “how did you overcome those fears? You must be a natural”. This is the case now but certainly was not, when I was first asked to give a presentation to 40+ people. I remember the night before not being able to sleep for the fear of what I was about to do. But through sheer determination and following some simple steps and advice I was able to overcome the fear. I would actually say that a lot of it comes down to confidence, confidence in yourself and confidence in the subject matter, and then of course the fear!
Confidence is something that grows with time and practice, if you know your subject in and out and I mean you feel confident that you could answer any question on the subject without hesitation then that is subject confidence. This, then will eat away at some of the fear getting rid of the doubts such as not knowing the answer to a question. Second comes personal confidence, if you are normally the one that will put their two penneth in at the team meeting without thought then public speaking may come a little bit easier to you. But if you are the type of person who sits and waits to contribute to the meeting whilst the tingling in the stomach is increasing then public speaking may be a little more daunting for you.
If you put yourself in the latter category then here are some tips to start to increase your confidence.
First of all I would recommend you to learn how to control your breathing. When we are in a nervous or panicked state our breathing not only increases but we breath in small, quick bursts. Practice breathing in through your nose and exhaling through your mouth in long controlled breaths. This will not only relax you but will also revitalise you and steady that wobbly feeling in your stomach.
Once you have mastered this you are ready to go.
Know your subject in, out and upside down, most of the fear comes from lack of preparation and knowledge so ensure that before you start you know all your facts. Be brave and ask those questions or give your opinions in the meeting before the tingling starts. Offer to teach a couple of people in your office about something that you excel in and start off with a small presentation (you can choose an audience of 2 to start). This will not only improve your ability to prepare and explain something in confidence but will also show your boss and colleagues that you feel confident in your abilities. Do this a few times if possible.
Once you are confident doing small presentations to a couple of people offer to teach something in your team meeting. This will naturally be a small presentation due to time restrictions in a weekly meeting so it will give you the opportunity to practice without having to prepare a large speech or presentation.
OK now if you feel comfortable with the above then that’s great and you are ready to move forward but if you are like me and need something a little more to help you out then maybe a public speaking course is for you. This type of course will help you form the basics which will be the grounding for all your public speaking in the future. These courses also teach you how to form engaging content so your audience does not get bored or confused. I personally took a course and have since progressed from someone who used to shake and fill every pause with the word emmm to someone who can speak confidently and keep an audience of 100+ engaged and interested. Learning how to become confident in speaking publicly has definitely changed my life and it will change yours too.
SkillsStudio.co.uk is well known and highly recommended by many for their beginners public speaking course which you can do either online, one to one or in groups. SkillsStudio offers solutions for both businesses and professionals to overcome their fear and lack of training in the public speaking field. With over 10 years in the business and a well established name across the U.K and Europe, SkillsStudio has something to offer all, with courses ranging from beginners to advanced levels.