Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking

Facing the task of overcoming fear of public speaking is a common problem. Most people simply do not have enough experience speaking in public to make them comfortable with the concept. Even if you do have the experience, public speaking can still be very intimidating. Nevertheless, overcoming fear of public speaking is not that difficult with a little work and a few tricks.

Start to overcome your fear of public speaking by practicing.
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. The more comfortable and familiar you are with your speech, the more relaxed you will feel about giving it. Practice in front of friends and family so that you feel comfortable. As your confidence levels go up, you will be more prepared to speak in front of strangers.

Think of it as teaching, not speaking.
When you're speaking in public, you're informing a group of people about a topic. The same goes when you are teaching. So think of your speech not as a public speaking but as simply teaching. This can help make your expectations more realistic and your mood more comfortable.

Know your subject.
Make sure you are comfortable and familiar with the subject you plan on giving your speech about. The less you have to worry about the actual subject matter, the more comfortable you'll feel. Knowing your subject well can also help in an emergency, such as losing your place in the speech or fielding unexpected questions. 

Imagine the audience in their underwear.
This is an old trick, but it still works. By imagining your audience sitting in their underwear, you take a scary situation and give it some levity. You remind yourself that your audience is made up of regular individuals just like you. This can help ease your tension and put you in the right mood to give a great speech.

Focus on the speech.
Make sure you focus on the speech while you're giving it. Do not focus on how you feel or what others will think. When you divide your attention, your speech will suffer. It's also much easier to have calm nerves when you're not focused on how nervous you really are.

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