10 Ways to Get Over a Fear of Public Speaking

There are those who were born for the world to look at them. They get up on a stage, in front of the class, and give a presentation with such ease that the rest of us envy them. Then there are others who cower at the idea of getting up in front of anyone. For those like me, here are 10 tips to help with public speaking.  

  1. 1. Practice Your Presentation

    Give the presentation to a close family or friend that you are comfortable around. Afterward, ask for any way to improve.

  2. 2. Practice in Front of a Mirror

    Act like you are talking to an audience. The key is to watch HOW you talk. What does your body language say? How are you standing? What are your hands doing as you talk? Is your expression confident or aggressive? Make sure you come across as calm and welcoming to those in the audience.

  3. 3. Patterns

    Find a rhythm in your speech. Avoid long, drawn out sentences and always repeat the key points of the topic. Remember to pause momentarily to give yourself a moment to prepare mentally for the next point.

  4. 4. Breathe

    Breathing helps you to remain in the pattern that you establish early on. This also keeps the mind clear and doesn’t allow the fear, stress, and adrenaline of public speaking to take over. Just stay relaxed.

  5. 5. Not Too Slow, but Not Too Fast

    The speed of how you talk can have a profound affect. Talking too fast causes a shortness of breath and from there can cause you to panic. Best thing to do is practice on slowing down in case the situation arises.

  6. 6. Make it Your Topic

    If possible, choose a topic that you are passionate about. Be excited to share with others the interests you have and they will appreciate what you put into the presentation. Even if you don’t like the topic, find an aspect that you find thought-provoking to make it easier to share.

  7. 7. Do Some Light Exercise Beforehand

    Getting a little blood pumping helps oxygen go to your brain which therefore can help relax you. Do a couple stretches, jumping jacks, and you’ll be good to go!

  8. 8. PowerPoint

    The trick with PowerPoint is to have it as reference. Don’t read straight from the slide, but use it a way to stay on track if you lose your train of thought. Keep the slides open with short bullet points so it’s not overwhelming.

  9. 9. The Audience

    Some parts of people’s presentations make the audience participate, but most of the time they sit there listening. Focus on the work you want to share and prepare for the questions they may have afterward.

  10. 10. Research and Organization

    Of course, you need to know the assignment and the topic you are presenting. Knowing the material backwards and forwards lowers the chance of making a mistake. Make sure everything is organized and flows easily as to not sound forced.

There are always more ways to help get over a fear of public speaking. No matter what, be prepared and be confident in yourself when you get up in front of the class. Below is a site that offers a some more ideas on how to help, and I wish the best of luck on your presentations!