Among the most common fears or let’s say terrors is public speaking. Even the most accomplished entrepreneurs fear the thought of addressing a large group of people. I still remember the first time I was forced to go onto the stage in school with around two thousand pairs of eyes upon me. I was a tiny little girl in the third grade. I freaked out completely and I felt my knees go weak as my throat went dry. I opened my mouth but nothing except a hoarse croak escaped my lips. Next thing I know, I was taking the walk of shame back to the backstage as laughter abused my ears.
A couple of decades later here I am, able to address any number of people with a smile and with confidence radiating from me. What changed? Well, I learnt how to overcome my fear.
Know whom you are Addressing
Whether it is a presentation or anything else, you should know your audience. You should understand where they come from [they professional background and their experience], what they expect, and how knowledgeable they are. When you know your audience, you will know how to spin the perfect content for them. Knowing will also diminish your fear of facing them because you are going to say just what they want to hear.
You are the one that’s teaching
You don’t have to worry about going wrong somewhere, forgetting something, or skipping over something. You don’t have to worry about being judged. Why? It is because you are the expert. You are teaching. Your audience is here to learn from you and not rate your knowledge about the particular topic.
The more you prepare, the more confident you will be. You could try different ways of preparation such as recording your voice and listening to find out how to improve, speaking to the mirror, beckoning your family and friends to rehearse in front of them, and so on.
Also, make sure you make your presentation or speech interesting with visual aids and tools. Practice with those tools so that you use them with ease on the big day. When you are well prepared, your chances of not delivering properly are very thin if any.
Why are you taking it so seriously? Relax! Have some fun with it! It is completely okay to feel nervous but don’t fuel that nervousness with anxiety and seriousness. As long as you are prepared, you will be fine! So, take a chill pill.
The fear is only psychological. Hence, you should tackle it psychologically.
Public speaking skills are very important in the business world and if you can’t speak in public, you shouldn’t panic. You are not alone. Instead, address the issue and find ways to be confident. Prepare well and relax.