October 20, 2015

How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

You feel nervous, your palms sweat, and you feel a little dizziness in your head. You don’t want to do it. You would rather do anything else than talk to someone. If you are to rank between the fear of public speaking and the fear of death right now? You are definitely going to choose the death first.

Is this you?1

Yes, the above definition describes about how an average person feel about public speaking. It’s also known as Glossophobia. It’s okay to feel fear. It’s your first couple of times. But what you should keep in mind is that this fear could be hurting your professional and personal life. This fear of public speaking may even lead people to choose a career that doesn’t even make sense for them, rather than the one they love doing.

fear-of-public-speaking-cartoonIn business, it is really important to get your point across. It is likely that all of us will one day have to speak in public. Speaking skills are essential to getting ahead in a professional setting. So let’s work on it.

First of all, let’s list what you do to control your fear of public speaking? Take few minutes and make a list.

  • Read it
  • Don’t look at audience
  • Rush through it
  • Skip portions of my talk
  • Tell myself it’ll be over soon

Okay now. We have listed few common answers. How many do you have in your list? And let me ask you. How do you think, this help you?2


Let us walk you through the general measures of reactions against the Glossophobia.

  • Hurrying – Rushing through a talk requires talking fast. Talking fast interferes with your breathing. Instead of breathing comfortably, you breathe in a short, shallow manner, or you might even hold your breath. This will end you up with running out of air and being unable to breathe.


  • Ignoring the audience – Avoiding eye contact with the audience prevents you from noticing any audience reaction. You won’t notice when people seem more interested, or have questions.


  • Fighting to hide your fear – Firstly this will create an additional fear within you which will make you panic. Secondly, even if your speech went well, you may take no pride in your success thinking, “If they knew how afraid I was, they’d think less of me.”


Getting past your fear is one point of the equation. There’s more to it. Once you work on your breathing and focus on your audience. Firstly you should organize yourself, what you are going to deliver. Eliminate the fear of rejection, audience is here to listen to you for a reason. So give them your best. Next thing as you develops upon your skills is that, focus on the patterns. When you speak try to get into a rhythm or a flow. Keep you sentences short and to the point and repeat key points. A short pause in between points can add anticipation to what you are going to say next.

Start recording yourself or try a mirror and review yourself. Adjust yourself according to what your self-judgement. Have pride in your work and recognize your success. And finally practise some more.

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