You can overcome your fear of public speaking
Sweaty palms and knocking knees. Whirring thoughts and a mouth as dry as the Sahara desert. Ringing any bells? For some, a fear of public speaking can really hold them back in life. However afraid you are, you can get better. Much better. It is absolutely possible to move from feeling so anxious you’d turn down an opportunity, to feeling, well, just fine! Or even enjoying it!
I have seen people make a switch so many times. People who had been so afraid they had turned down promotions or been frozen to the spot. Just 3 to 4 sessions are often enough to make a significant and lasting difference.
What’s the secret? We are all individuals and so too is the base of any of our anxieties. If possible its always best to get professional help if you want speedy results. A professional will be able to see what needs changing and quickly identify how to enable you to do this. There are definitely a few things you can do to help yourself though;
Breathe in a relaxed manner
As soon as you allow yourself to breathe in a low relaxed manner your mind begins to calm and that has a positive effect on your physicality too.
Notice how you are talking to yourself
Saying negative or unhelpful things to yourself will encourage negative emotions and stress. Stop beating yourself up and focus on calm, practical and positive thoughts.
Get a good strategy together
If every time you think about it you push it aside and don’t do anything, this won’t help overcome your fear or prepare for a presentation. It would just result in being underprepared and continuing to be scared. Notice instead what you find is helpful to you. What happens when things work? Put these positive behaviours into action instead.
Remember, our voice is a physical thing that is affected by our thoughts and emotions, so we need to tackle it on a practical level as well as how we feel. A fear of standing up and speaking isn’t like a normal phobia, so it can’t be treated in that way. It isn’t irrational, it's perfectly normal! What we need to learn to do is channel all of that adrenalin into helpful thoughts and behaviours, undo out of date associations we have built up and find a freer, easier way of doing things. There are many ways you can help yourself: joining a group, attending a course or finding a trained voice coach. There are also lots of resources available online.
One thing I am certain of though, is that you can feel better than you do now. The first step is in deciding to do something about it and acting on it. Be brave, its far easier to tackle a fear of public speaking than it is to live with it!
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