I had this fear of public speaking years ago when I was in college. A few years ago, I attended a meditation course (not to address this issue) from a health perspective and was amazed by my ability to speak in front of a big crowd effortlessly when asked to give my impressions about the course.
It is the relaxation that you feel by meditating that makes you tide over the fear of public speaking or any fear for that matter. Relaxation of the mind helps you shed any reservations that you may have and find it easier to communicate better with everyone around.
I personally feel that meditation helps an individual in several ways and I am happy that I overcame my fear of public speaking through meditation though I had not had a clue about this indirect benefit that I got along with a lot of health improvement.
You are not alone, Shil. The fear of public speaking ranks right up there with the fear of snakes and/or dentists. I wrote a hub that might help you. Take a look ... "Conquer Your Deep-Seated Fear of Public Speaking."
I havent had to speak publicly since college and let me tell you. It was a dreaded experience. I suddenly forgot to how to speak with any inflection or personality. I was completely locked up and trembling. I remember feeling my palms and forehead sweating and my voice had even cracked at one point. I was reading a paper I had written and my nervousness caused a complete mental block. I lost my place while reading several times and suddenly had no memory of writing the words in front of me. Since that time I've heard a couple of tips that might help you.
First off, pretend you are an actor on a stage. Escape yourself. Have fun with it.
Secondly, Picture the audience is naked. Break them down to their simplest human form. It is supposed to allow you to abandon the concept that you are being judged. I never got the chance to try these techniques, but it sounds fun. Good luck on your speaking.
A lot of self practice. Starting with those you are comfortable with. Most people are unaware that your fear is not really in front of those that don't know you. Fear normally takes place in front of those who you know the best. Why? They will be your best and worse critics.
The other thing to try is walking around some when you do speak, not to much to disturb your audience where their heads are shuffling from side to side. Just enough to calm your nerves. Find a focal point in your auidence in different locations, it can be the clock on the back wall, a different wall just the middle of it. This way, you will not be looking directly at the audience. However, it will appear as if you are.
From time to time, do an overlook over the audience, not enough to scare yourself, just enough to make you look as if you are engage in what you are speaking about. One of the best things that ever happened to me, was I was thrown in front of new employees to train them on products and services. As scared as I was, it turned out to be the best thing for me professionally and personally. It help bring out more of my personality.
If need be, find community events, such as old folks homes, day care centers, small college classes to speak on topics that you know about. This way, you can gradually become comfortable in your skin in front of any crowd. Best of luck.
Oh, and use your sense of humor. Everyone likes to laugh. Even in the most serious settings. It shows you are human.
Michelle W. Fordham
I think there are a few tricks that help me out.
1: Be confident in your topic. If you have confidence and passion in what you're talking about, it instantly makes speaking about it much easier.
2: If someone asks you to make a presentation or public speaking, that means the hardest part is over. Someone has already basically said, "I believe in you and I am confident that you can present this message." For some, that just adds pressure. If you think about it as a compliment, then you know you already have at least one supporter in the room.
3: Accept that you're not going to make everyone happy. Rejection is a part of public speaking. I like to think this: if only one person in the crowd hears what I'm saying and it affects them in a positive way, then my presentation (sermons usually in my case) was a success. This helps because it changes the mental perception from trying to get a room of people to accept what is being presented and simply believing that someone will get it.
Now, this is not to mean that your presentation should only try to appeal to one person. There are multiple people in the room and you have to speak to as broad an audience as you can. But it is a fact of life: some people will understand what your bring to the table and some won't.
I hope this helps. I have spoken to groups as small as three and as large as over two hundred and these are things that help me.
Make sure the topic you plan on speaking about is one you know a lot about and you are comfortable with answering any questions that may come up. As long you know your topic, you are more likely to feel more confident the more you speak. Also, of course, the more you speak in front of a crowd, the better you will become.
As I was experiencing the same terror I joined a club called "toastmasters"Their aim is to help people practice public speaking in a safe and fun way.A few key things I learned and have found helpful are 1. Some fear is ok.Public speaking is one of the worlds greatest fears-so you are in good company. It means you respect your audience. 2.Learn techniques to control your nerves. Slow deep breathing before you begin and good deep breaths as you speak helps.3.Prepare -keep your presentation as short as possible and keep it interesting.The positive audience reaction will help to quell the nerves.4.Use visual aids if possible-they will provide a practical activity and a distraction for you to concentrate on.5.Rehearse-Say it out loud- preferably in front of a friend.It is very different from reading silently.
Start to speak publically in situations where you don't have to.Practice really does help!!
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