6 Steps to Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking
Do you ever feel a sense of dread when you have an important presentationcoming up?
Over the years, as I’ve coached executives on their public speakingskills, I’ve discovered that many successful business leaders harbor a well
-keptsecret: They routinely tremble
though usually unnoticed by their audience
during the first five minutes of a public presentation. Even after their fearsubsides, the notion of it can linger in the back of their minds as a niggling worrythat dampens the delivery of their entire address.Sound familiar?
Take comfort in that you’re not alone
ut don’t stop there.
There are six things you can do to conquer your fear:
Step 1: Be prepared.
Think you’re too busy? Think again. If you haven’t prepared for your presentation,you should be nervous. Some executives believe they can “wing it,” andsometimes they can. But unless you’re a skilled improviser, you’ll tend to ramble
and veer off course
—and waste your audience’s time.
Step 2: Visualize success.
Borrow from successful athletes who have visualized their way to victory. Getclear on what needs to happen during the presentation. Next, imagine how youlook, feel and sound when the presentation is going well. And think positively.Whatever you focus on expands, so focus on what you want to happen.
Step 3: Warm-up
.Actors, dancers and athletes do this before any performance. They know awarmed-
up body will be at its peak when required. Just as you wouldn’t think of
running a race right after you got out of bed, do some simple vocal exercises, gofor a quick walk, and/or practice your speech aloud. Loosen up and get your bodymoving. A presentation is a mental, emotional and physical activity.
Remember: It’s not about you.
gs may mean you’re thinking too much about yourself and whether
the audience likes you. Instead, put your focus on meeting the needs of youraudience. What do you want to convey to them? How does your message helpthem? What do you want to make sure they remember? When you think about