How to Get Over Your Fear of Public Speaking

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Public speaking can be anxiety-producing if it isn't something you do on a regular basis. With a little practice you can grow out of that fear. But by following some tips, you will find that you feel more comfortable and at ease when you are in front of a group.

  • Be passionate about what you are speaking about. If you genuinely feel that the information you are conveying will help others, then you will feel more inclined to share. If you have the option of choosing your topic, pick something that you love to talk about.

  • Be an actor. This may sound funny but "playing a part" can actually help you when you don't feel very confident. You may feel weak in the knees but no one else has to know that. If you pretend that you are completely at ease, you will actually start to feel more at ease. If you pretend that you are happy about being upfront then others will feel more at ease. From the audience's perspective it is painful to watch someone who is nervous talk in front of a group. The audience begins to feel tense because they sympathize and want the person speaking to do well. But on the other hand, if you appear confident they will relax and enjoy what you have to say, which will make you feel good, and it snowballs from there.

  • Engage the audience. When you ask questions and get the audience involved in your presentation, you will feel more at ease because you will begin to have a conversation. In other words, you won't be the only one talking. Just having a moment to catch your breath while someone else is talking can make a huge difference.

  • Know your topic really really well. Know it inside and out. Know it so well that when you mentally freeze the answer will come right to you. If you don't know your topic well, you are asking for trouble.

  • Master the "I don't care what people think of me" attitude. Obsessing over what others think never helps. In fact, worrying about what others think can cripple your ability to do your presentation. If you just decide that it doesn't matter what others think, you will feel more confident and able to share your thoughts.

  • Smile and you will find others smiling back at you.

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