How to *finally* overcome that fear of public speaking
Public speaking: Essential part of success or vomit-inducing, can-I-pretty-pretty-please-never-have-to-do-this-again nightmare? A little bit of both! Whether for a class presentation, at a party, at a job interview, or even on a date, learning to speak in front of people on the spot can send chills down your spine. But through these tips, you can grow to become more confident and self-assured in your capabilities to speak from the heart and the mind.
Make a game plan
Before you even begin to think about speaking in public, write down everything you want to say on paper. Some people like to create a full script, others feel more comfortable with bullet points on index cards—think about what'll make you most comfortable, and start there. Writing down the words will make you feel more organized when you do start to practice.
Practice by yourself at first
Record yourself presenting so you can listen back and get a feel for how you sound. After listening back, write down three compliments for yourself and three areas where you can improve. Odds are that you'll be your own worst critic, so remember to treat yourself nicely!
Practice with trusted friends
Once you feel comfortable with your solo practicing, ask a few friends or family members to listen, too. Create a semi-formal setting for this—you can be standing in your living room while they all sit, for instance—to really simulate your actual presentation. At the end, ask them to be honest about how you did. Every public-speaking experience is a chance to learn and grow!
Wear something that makes you feel confident!
Whether it's your favorite yellow cardigan, a cherished pearl bracelet, or a pair of Wonder Woman socks that no one else will see, wearing a special article of clothing can help deepen your confidence and security in any situation. You can look at that item and know that you are capable of nailing this.
Shake it out!
Stretching and moving around right before the big presentation can help you improve your focus. It also initially distracts you away from the situation and increases your adrenaline and energy. These exercises can range anywhere from rolling your neck or pushing back your shoulders, to even a full-on dance routine...depending on where you are, that is.
Have you ever had to speak in pubic? How'd it go? Let us know in the comments!