How to Get Over Your Fear of Public Speaking


Authored by Stephanie Mojica in Self Improvement
Published on 03-08-2009

Some studies prove that a number of people fear public speaking as much as death. However, there are many occasions in life where it will be necessary to learn how to get over your fear of public speaking. Many careers require at least some ability to talk in public, and it is almost impossible to go through high school or college without giving a public speech. Fortunately, the fear of public speaking can be treated with largely free and basic psychological measures.

There are many basic ways to use when deciding how to get over your fear of public speaking. It is first important to try to reprogram your mind as much as possible. Giving a speech may feel deeply stressful, but it really is not. In addition, most people do not expect absolute perfection from a public speaker even if they paid thousands of dollars for the talk. Since you are likely giving a public speech on a much smaller scale, the stakes are not that high. You are human, and can only speak as a human. You do not have to be a super figure when up at the podium.

Often people fear public speaking because they feel they have to teach everything about their subject or passion in just a few minutes. When learning how to get over your fear of public speaking, it is critically important to remember that less is more. This does not mean to give a couple of sentences, but to focus on two to three points for your audience. People are happy to walk away with even one new fact or tip, and if you’re doing a public speech for school it is an honest reality that most people (except the instructor) are just going through the motions of listening to your talk.

Another problem when trying to understand how to get over your fear of public speaking is that people want to think they must become a great orator. This is not necessary. Being humble and funny can go a long way in what feels like a frightening situation.

Preparing your voice is important before any speech. Drink plenty of water. If you are having stomach problems, don’t hesitate to pop a couple of Tums or take a swig of Maalox before you start public speaking. Losing one’s voice or experiencing painful gastrointestinal problems before a speech is actually common among even more seasoned orators.

When you speak, try to act like you already know how to get over your fear of public speaking and just talk naturally. You may want to avoid slang depending on the forum in which you are speaking, but slang might be appropriate if you are expected to amuse and entertain people. In an informational speech or sales presentation this would not be considered acceptable.

Do not be afraid to use some notecards, but try not to read from them. The best way to learn how to get over your fear of public speaking is to just relax and be yourself.


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