By Pam Terry
Why is it that public speaking is the #1 fear of the majority of people? Fear and anxiety are caused when you focus on yourself with all of your self-worry and self-doubt. You may have good reason to doubt yourself or be worried – but it’s important to get the distinction about what’s causing it: YOUR FOCUS. Once you get that distinction, you are no longer victim to it – you can choose to knowingly focus on your self-worry and self-doubt or you can focus on taking action.
What’s the opposite of fear? Confidence. To gain confidence, you need to take action and act in the face of your fear. Acting in the face of fear, takes courage, faith and passion for a future that is calling you forth. Your passion for your topic and what it will do for people is a future that you are stepping into. By cultivating your passion, courage and faith will be your partners and carry you through while you build your confidence.
Here are 7 tips to virtually eliminate your anxiety and fear of public speaking:
TIP #1: Put your focus on the value that your information will provide for people. Focus on what they want and how the information that you have can make their life better in some way. Become passionate about that focus. The more you focus on your audience’s needs and how you can fulfill on those needs, the more rewarding for you both.
TIP #2: Use relaxation techniques to calm yourself. Get plenty of rest the day before and leading up to the talk. Drink lots of water. The day of the event, practice deep breathing, loud sighing (YES), and visualizing a successful event. Yoga (or any form of exercise) and meditation are great for calming nerves.
TIP #3: Schedule a hypnosis session the week of your event if you feel super anxious about speaking.
TIP #4: Can you look in the mirror and say “I Love You?” If not, do it. Loving yourself is a key step in building confidence.
TIP #5: Ask yourself: “What is the worst thing that could happen?” Whatever you can’t BE with has control over you. Conversely, whatever you CAN BE WITH, you will have a sense of mastery over. So what if you fail? Can you be with that? Thomas Edison failed 5,000 times in creating the light bulb. Every time you fail, you become more of an expert.
TIP #6: Look at any failure to see what you could do differently to be successful and commit to that particular failure never happening again!
TIP #7: To build confidence, use this framework for success: Passion, Power (Knowledge of your topic, audience and delivery styles), Preparation and Practice.
The best thing you can do is to improve your speaking skills. Eliminating anxiety and fear is all about building confidence. You can do it.
Pam Terry is a Speaker Coach and Trainer in Houston, Texas. She offers workshops, courses and private coaching on mastering public speaking.