What are some ways to overcome a fear of public speaking?


Quick Answer

Some ways to overcome a fear of public speaking include preparing well and making a personal connection with the audience. Improve confidence while speaking by looking for friendly faces and realizing that mistakes are common.

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Full Answer

To prepare for a speech, practice it in front of a small group of supportive people who are encouraging when you make mistakes. Pay special attention to preparing for and rehearsing the introduction. This is often the hardest part, but speakers become more confident as they go further into the talk.

On the day of the talk, take some time to unwind and become familiar with the venue. Do a relaxing activity, and have a light snack before arriving. Get there early, and explore the room by walking around and sitting in the seats. Do any sound tests to avoid embarrassing audio malfunctions, and walk around the stage to see which spot feels the most comfortable. Make small talk with people who arrive early.

As the speech begins, look for a friendly or sympathetic face in the crowd. If you feel yourself losing confidence, look at that person to feel reassured. Realize that many public speakers make mistakes and audiences are aware of this. Many people don't notice small flubs like omitting a word, a brief stammer or filler words like "um" or "uh."

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