Public Speaking: It’s not that scary

It is often said that people fear public speaking more than they fear death, and honestly who can blame them? Fear of public speaking is real and its technical term is Glossophobia.

I am lucky. Public speaking has never scared me, or made me nervous, and I hope it never will. This could be credited to years of theater as a child, or just sheer luck.

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I know multiple people who are terrified to speak in front of an audience, no matter how small, and picturing the crowd in their underwear doesn’t seem to help.Everyone has tips and tricks that work best for them when public speaking. Here are a few tips I find helpful:

  1.     Be confident:

Regardless of how terrified you are to get up and speak, confidence will outshine any fear that you have. Think the audience is going to notice you’re nervous? They’ll notice your confidence and knowledge of the topic first and nerves won’t even cross their minds.

  1.     Tell yourself that everything is going to be fine:

This is similar to confidence. Tell yourself that you are knowledgeable about the topic at hand. If you tell yourself that you are going to give a great speech or presentation, you will.

  1.     Just start:

Starting is the hardest part. In theater I would sit backstage with my stomach in knots before going onstage, but as soon as the bright theater lights hit me in the face, every bit of nerves would leave my body. Once you start speaking, it’s hard to concentrate on nerves as the task at hand should require all of your energy.

For more suggestions, Forbes has a great list of tips that, although unconventional, are super effective in overcoming fears of public speaking.

There are endless amounts of articles online with tricks to help with public speaking. Public speaking can be very rewarding and once you’ve mustered up the courage, you’ll be proud that you did it!

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by Juliet Reingold, editor and assistant account executive

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