For a long time, fear was considered the only salvation. It was he who included in us the instinct of self-preservation and forced us to move our feet with the greatest speed in order not to be eaten.
And despite the fact that those terrible times have long since come to pass, some still experience a real primitive fear with all the inherent characteristics, in the form of pallor, sweaty and cold palms, frequent palpitations and a desire to hide where you will not be looked at in one and at the same time so many eyes.
The ability to speak publicly is the most valuable skill of a modern business person. Representatives of many professions, by virtue of their duties, face the need to speak to the audience quite often: the top manager needs to motivate subordinates, the sales representative needs to convince the client to buy the goods of his company.
Communication- the basis of social relations, without speaking skills, it is very difficult to achieve a positive result for yourself in working with other people. Given the importance, the responsibility for the outcome also increases. This rightly explains the fear of public speaking, but according to many teachers of oratory, it can be overcome. In this article, you will find useful tips on how to overcome and overcome the fear of public speaking even to the most demanding audience.
The WikiHow project claims that the fear of public speaking ranks first on the list of phobias in North America. In psychology, even there are special terms that denote the fear of public speaking and the phobia of the scene – peyraphobia or glossophobia.
To fight fear, you need to understand its cause. The journalists would write: “The enemy needs to know in person,” and would be absolutely right. Genetic predisposition to fear of public speaking (temperament, accentuation, and neuroticism) actually plays a small role. Significantly greater impact on fear of speaking before the audience has a number of factors of social origin: upbringing, negative experience, and others.
Since childhood, many are taught not to shout, but to speak quietly, so as not to attract unnecessary attention. This setting is maintained and leads to discomfort when you have to speak to a numerical audience. Negative provokes attitude towards the performance in school. Think about how often Hollywood movies about education are full of scenes, wherein primary school children are protecting their home projects, speaking to the class.
Scientists have noticed that as a result of public appearances, some people are given the same amount of adrenaline as those who jump with a parachute. Such a surge of emotions is difficult to curb, especially when not in flight, but in front of other people who, in addition, tend to appreciate you. But here works a well-known principle – the first time is much more difficult than the subsequent ones. Proceeding from this, it can be argued that constant practice helps to reduce fear.
Methods of overcoming the fear of public speaking
Identify the source of fear. We are afraid not of speech, but of how the audience reacts to it. Scary uncertainty: what happens after you go on stage? Here a very important factor is the understanding that almost always the absolute majority of people hope to benefit from your speech, accordingly they are genuinely interested and wish that you succeed.
Do not deny your fear. If you are perfectly prepared to speak, you know the theme – you have nothing to fear. Fear is just a defense mechanism from a situation in which you may appear during a speech, but most likely you will never find yourself. Take it as an additional challenge and motivation.
People do not see your nervousness. Only a few in appearance can determine how much the other person is worried. It is a mistake to assume that the audience sees how much you are worried. This means that the reasons for fear are at least one less.
Improve in the oratory. There are many books and practical trainings that will help you learn how to prepare for the performance, attract the audience, keep in touch and, as a result, make the performance more comfortable.
Analyze your performances. Obtain a video with your speech and carefully analyze everything from stammering and parasites in the speech to facial expressions and gestures. You can do the same only before the performance: with the help of the camera of the laptop make a record and look from the side. As Seneca said: “Before you say anything to others, say it to yourself.”
The most important thing is preparation. Confidence arises when everything is under control. Be sure that you know the material, try to foresee the questions. Make a detailed speech plan and break it down into the main points for memorization. Make the speech boring, include a couple of jokes, quotes, stories.
Make yourself smile as soon as you step on the stage. Psychologists believe that a smile removes tension. Moreover, at a subconscious level, this will position a part of the audience towards you.
Relaxation. There are many techniques for relaxation, self-hypnosis, built on meditation or breathing exercises. As an example, you can use the following exercise. Concentrate all your attention on inhaling and exhaling. Breathe deeply, holding your breath for a few seconds. When exhaling, consider in your mind from 1 to 5. Focus for at least 5 minutes, this will relieve tension.
Some tips and tricks to overcome the fear of the stage
1. No falsehood. Insincerity is easy to guess.
2. During the speech, do not take anything personally (questions, comments, etc.)
3. Remember: every time you go on stage, you learn something new.
4. Try to avoid any physical barriers between you and the audience (chairs, tables, podiums), if this is not provided by the organization.
5. If you do not know the correct answer to the question asked, do not answer incorrectly. Use a formula of the type: “We will return to this issue later.”
6. You can also redirect this question to the audience. This will allow you to sort out the answer, and to strengthen interaction with listeners.
7. It is good if there are your friends or acquaintances in the hall. Make eye contact with them. This will give an opportunity to feel in the circle of close people and cope with the excitement.