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December 20th, 2009 · 7 Comments · Habits

This post is the next part of How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking (Part I), with another 6 effective tips to conquer your fear of public speaking once and for all.

But, first of all, I recommend you to read or refresh the original post.

And here is the continuation of the list of How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking:

1. Free yourself from the anxiety caused by the fear of failure

The fear of failure is probably the main cause of your anxiety when trying to speak in public. You don’t want to seem stupid in front of all these people; you don’t want to screw it up in front of your boss or your teacher; you don’t want to disappoint your audience; and so on. What you really want is to be perfect; you want people to respect you, to love you for your speaking skills and unique knowledge. Let me say you something, perfection is just impossible, above all if you are not an expert on what you do and you have not mastered your speech. So, don’t worry if your early speeches are not going exactly as you dreamed. Don’t worry to make some mistakes when you speak in public. Mistakes are normal and even desirable because we always can learn something valuable from them. Things don’t always happen as planned. The only way to overcome a fear is facing it with courage. Don’t worry too much about the result of your speech. Relax and keep your own mind as clear as possible focusing on the main points of the speech. Be confident and try your best.

2. Relax yourself before the speech

How to control nerves before the speech? Here some tips to relax and avoid nerves.

Ask yourself: What’s the worst that could happen?

Imagine the worst scenario possible. It’s not so bad. Then, once you’ve imagined the worst scenario possible you have to think what you would do to deal with the consequence. What? You get fired? Well, I don’t think you can get fired because your speech, but if you get fired for it you always can get another job, don’t you? Maybe you can find a better one. Or even better, you can start your own business. Is your audience laughing at you? I don’t think your audience do that, but if someone does don’t worry, relax, make a pause of 5 seconds and concentrate to deliver your main message as much clear as possible.

Be positive. visualize yourself giving the speech and doing it great. Optimistic thoughts will help you to boost your confidence. So, develop a positive mental attitude before your speeches and you will feel better.

Relax your body doing some exercises before the speech: stretch your muscles: legs, arms and mouth.

Take deep breaths, close your eyes and try to calm down. The breath can do wonders. Breathing exercises are an ideal way to relieve stress.

3. Avoid those situations that make you feel nervous

Don’t be late to deliver the speech. Why? Because being late and feeling rushed will make you feel nervous.

Test your equipment and be prepared to any unexpected event.

Please, don’t apologize when you make a mistake or when you feel nervous. People don’t want to hear any excuses, they just want to learn from you. So, instead of giving apologies try to focus on your message and deliver it as clear as possible.

4. Avoid negative thoughts

They lead to negative emotions and with a negative mood you are more likely to get nervous and screw it up.

5. Act as you’d like to feel

Act confidently and the audience will think that you are confident. Besides, if you act confidently you will eventually become more confident.

6. Be yourself

People love transparency and those who are genuine and authentic. If you seem artificial and unnatural your audience will feel tricked.

Always do what you are afraid to do. Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Written by: David Cantone

My Twitter: @DavidCantone

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Now, I’m looking to you for some wisdom:

Use the comments section of this post as a forum to post your own experiences, opinions and thoughts on this subject.

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • Robin DickinsonNo Gravatar

    Nice build, David.

    I would only add…


    Any chance you get to share your ideas and opinions with a group of people is an opportunity to inspire and motivate them. So do your best to enjoy the process.

    Suck up the moment and have a great time. Ask yourself, “what would make this more enjoyable?” – and do it.

    Don’t take it all too seriously. In time, you’ll look forward to presenting – it’s one of the most fun things you can do. 🙂

    .-= Robin Dickinson´s last blog ..5 steps to a super-strong business or brand name =-.

  • JohnluffaNo Gravatar

    Great tips David,
    I always dread public speaking. The hardest thing is trying to stay relax.
    Wished I read this post before doing my wedding speech a few months back… I did alright though 🙂

    I also agree with Robin – Enjoying the moment takes a huge weight off your shoulders.
    .-= Johnluffa´s last blog ..[Review] Beyond Blogging =-.

  • Blaine BullmanNo Gravatar

    Be Positive, Relax and Take a Deep Breath!!

    I love those three points you gave. Relaxing is a key area for me. Body language is the most dominanant factor in communicating so we should focus on that more because we can all imagine a speaker saying everything right but if he doesn’t have good confident body language, then his communication will only go so far.
    .-= Blaine Bullman´s last blog ..The Twitter King Is Crowned =-.

  • Ben LumleyNo Gravatar

    What a great pair of articles David.

    My 9-5 day job is essential public speaking. I deliver seminars to large groups of students on a wide range of topics. Before I started this job I’d never stood up in front of people and had always been quiet and nervy around large groups. But over time and with a lot of patience I’ve really settled into my stride. And trust me, kids are a tough crowd.

    All of your points, over both articles, absolutely spot on. The big ones for me are; practicing your content, being yourself, and arriving on time because I know if I don’t manage to do those things then whatever I’m delivering will be poor.

    An important point for me is also to take your time. Don’t rush your speach, however much you want it to be over. By slowing down, you’ll actually come across more confident and more in control.
    .-= Ben Lumley´s last blog ..Merry Christmas Everyone! =-.

  • Isaac | GoBloggerNo Gravatar

    One more thing: gain experience. With more experience of public speaking, we will be better in doing it.

    I’m quite confident in public speaking because I have nice experience in the past, from college class presentations, discussions, student organizations, and also playing band. Yeah, I was a guitarist, so I am not nervous when everyone is looking at me when I’m on stage. In fact, I kinda like it. All right m/

  • Keith DavisNo Gravatar

    Some great practical help and information here.
    I agree with all your advice but for me… deep breathing, tense and relax and make sure I have a drink of water before I step onto the stage.
    I always get a dry mouth.
    Still get nervous, but it works for me.
    .-= Keith Davis´s last blog ..Practice, practice, practice… =-.

  • MichaelNo Gravatar

    Thanks for the advice David. I think your points are right on. The only thing I would suggest is to read your blog and correct any spelling errors and incorrect use of grammer before posting. That adds to the readability. Otherwise, very good message!

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