A fear of public speaking is very common amongst the population, and can even prevent people from fully realizing their goals. If your dreams require you to speak to others in order to raise funds for your venture, building up the confidence necessary it a key to your success.
If you are looking for ways to fight your fear of public speaking, consider the following tips and tricks that can be worth a try.
Acknowledge it is Okay to Not Be Perfect
A portion of your anxiety may be focused on the idea of a perfect presentation. Rarely is anyone perfect, even some of the most talented, and sought after speakers make mistakes. Give yourself permission to have a less than perfect performance, and see if you don’t relax a bit.
Plan, Prepare, Practice
The more familiar you are with the material, the easier it will be to present it. Make sure that your notes and slides, if you plan to use them, are organized and well labeled. Rehearse your speech multiple times. If you can go through the material with a test audience, take the opportunity to learn from their input, and use it to make the presentation better.
Practice Deep Breathing or Relaxation Techniques
For a few days before your presentation, make sure you take time to relax and rejuvenate. This can include making an extra effort to get enough sleep, as well as to participate in leisure activities. Work on various deep breathing exercises that you can bring with you when it is time to make your presentation. Use the techniques at regular intervals to help maintain a feeling of calm from beginning to end.
Don’t Focus on the Audience
While you can’t just look down at your notes, that does not mean you have to be overly aware of the audience. Instead of focusing on them, concentrate on the material you are covering. Instead of making direct eye contact with audience members to create a connection, choose a few key points throughout the room near audience members and use those points instead.
Consider a Program
There are numerous programs available online that are designed to help people boost their confidence. If you are considering a more in-depth program, check out the Hypnotica Collection of Confidence review as a starting point, and continue your search from there.
Join a Group
There are a variety of professional groups that help people work on their public speaking skills. Toastmasters is a notable one, and operates as a non-profit with local chapters throughout the country. Not only do they assist with speaking, they also focus some efforts on the development of leadership skills.
See a Professional
If you have taken the above steps and are still unable to participate in a public speaking activity, it may be best to seek the help of a mental health professional, such as a therapist that focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy. They may be able to help you explore the source of the issue more effectively, allowing you to work past in over time. Additionally, a medical doctor may be able to prescribe medications to help calm your nerves while you learn new techniques for managing your anxiety.
With time and dedication, you will likely be able to overcome your fear, and make sure that nothing holds you back from pursuing your dream.