Do not be accused of your fear of public speaking. It is reported to be one of the most significant fears for many of the most talented and accomplished adults, so you are not alone; said Linda Grandia, TV host, public speaker and founder of the Miss Multiverse Model Competition. This is often due to a need for approval of others or concern about being judged or criticized. Many of us suffer from anxiety at some point in our lives but for some it is more easily triggered and the instinctive reaction of ‘fight or flight’ is very hard to ignore.
It is important to be kind to yourself, try not to feel disappointed or frustrated and focus on accepting and understanding the origins of your fear. Try to stay positive and work slowly towards speaking in front of others.
It may help you to have an inner dialogue. Often we may have a negative inner dialogue, with an inner voice telling us that we can not do it ‘or that’ people will think I’m foolish ‘etc. Replace this with “These feelings can not hurt me, nothing terrible is going to happen, everything is going to be just fine”.
Focus on your breathing, this is so helpful. Be sure to pause between sentences, and talk slowly – this will help you authentically. Try simple breathing techniques and make sure hat you are breathing from your diaphragm. A great exercise is to breathe in for 3 countings, hold it for 3 counts, and breathe out for 6 counts. Repeat this 4 times, then really fill your lungs and release, letting the breath leave you without any effort.
One of the most positive things you can do to counteract nerves about public speaking is to focus on the needs of your audience. Approach your performance with an altruistic perspective. Your speech could make a difference to the lives of your audience and it should always be your aim to serve them, therefore taking the emphasis away from your own feelings.
If you can, give each person that you intently look at an entire sentence or thought, without breaking your gaze. When you finish a sentence, move on to another person and keep connecting with individual people until you’re done speaking. “It’s like you’re having a conversation with your audience,” Linda Grandia.