How to overcome the fear of public speaking (for students)
You become nervous. You try to drink a glass of water but decide against it. You also try to remember the words that you have prepared, but to your anxiety you forget most of the words.
This is the typical scenario students who are preparing for public speaking encounter. The fear of public speaking is one that even makes us underestimate our worth sometimes. This blog is an attempt to delve into this anxiety and provide steps so that you can overcome it appreciably.
Why we fear public speaking?
Before going through points to overcome this fear, let us first understand why it is caused. We all are preoccupied with perfection. This drive towards perfection is so strong that we sometimes don’t even start a work thinking that we will fail. And even the slightest criticism will lower our spirits. And with regard to public speaking, we will think in the angle of the audience’s criticism. For most of us, especially students, speaking in front of a huge audience is a mammoth task. The atmosphere will seem intimidating to us, and we begin to lack confidence. Sometimes even after starting to speak, we stop midway which will only aggravate our misery. There are also times when we say to the coordinator that it we will speak only in front of them. Why is this anxiety? Let’s see how we can overcome them.
Prepare your topic thoroughly
A strong preparation is half battle won. Don’t select the topic randomly but the one you really care about. Prepare for your topic so well that you are able to grasp the content well and talk fluently in the stage. Now there are several resources available in the Internet too, and you can collect materials from that. Once you understand the topic thoroughly, you will be able to quickly bounce back to normalcy once you make any mistake.
Practice a lot
Well, we have all heard this golden rule, “Practice makes perfect”. The fear of speaking before the audience is so dominating that we tend to underestimate the importance of practicing. We may even think, “Oh God! How I am going to deliver my message in front of the audience clearly?” But once we start practicing and become proficient in our subject, the size of the audience won’t be daunting. You can practice before your family or close friends. Just try this and see and you will get good results.
Don’t think too much about yourself
This is the problem with most of us. As said earlier, we become too sensitive when we get negative criticism. But in reality, audience are not so harsh when it comes to response to public speaking. We are in an open-minded world, and everyone understands the struggles we face because they also have problems. It is only in movies where we see the audience giggling with sarcasm when the speaker makes some mistakes. And one important point is that everyone is mainly concerned only about their growth and look at your achievements or flaws only superficially. Your family and some good friends will be your best critics, and take their words gracefully.
Regarding where to look while speaking in the public
This is the major problem that most of us face. But when we dive into deeply, it is not a concern at all. Once you are well-prepared in your topic, you will just look straight without looking at a particular person. When you look at a specific person only you will get distracted. But one thing I would suggest is that don’t close your eyes while speaking in the public. You just be your authentic self and carry on with your speech.
Pause while you speak
It is not necessary that you should pour out all your content in one breath. By doing so, you are only adding to your stress. Relax, pause, and carry out your speaking. If you have practiced your content well, you will be definitely able to manage the pause.
Don’t be intimidated by tough times
You may wonder why I am bringing this point. This is also interrelated with your fear of public speaking. The tough times that we are facing now present a picture of despondence, and we are threatened by that. You only see the big picture and how you can improve your skills, the one in context being public speaking.
I know the fear of public speaking can be daunting sometimes. But don’t worry. Your skills are something to be cherished and not for giving up. All the best!