If we know we could talk for hours on our specialist subject, why are we often crippled with an anxious, gut-wrenching doubt in ourselves beforehand?
Standing and speaking in front of a group of 5 or 5,000 people is essentially a performance, and with that, comes Stage Fright. No matter how many books you read and how much you prepare mentally for the content, your brain may feel apprehensive at the performative aspect, bringing with it, speech anxiety.
There can be many elements that contribute to your fear of public speaking, the intimidation, the risk of sounding incompetent or not interesting, the list can go on.
So how do we overcome it? There are hundreds of research articles and reasons giving their opinions how, but here are a few we have found useful:
Understand why you feel nervous. What are you fearing? Are they justified? How are these fears hurting you? Fear is in the mind, you need to understand it to control it.
What if I were excited instead of nervous? What’s the worst that could happen? What would happen if the worst happened? How else could I view the situation?
Whether it is in front of a mirror, your partner, your family or close work colleagues; practice standing in front of others and build up your self-belief and confidence.
Quick tips before your presentation:
Get enough sleep
Stay away from caffeinated drinks or sugary foods the evening before. Your adrenaline may try and keep you awake so make sure you have no caffeine in your system to give it extra power.
Psyche yourself up
Visualize the event going smoothly and imagine the positive outcomes from your presentation, this type of mental rehearsal can help give you a greater sense of confidence.
Whether you’re in the car or making breakfast, putting some music on and having a bit of a dance and sing along before will not only take your mind off it, but it will give you some positive adrenaline, warm up your vocals, and help you feel pumped and energised.
Focus on what you can control
Avoid the idea of trying to be perfect, breathe, stay positive and think, ‘I can do this’, ‘This is fun’.