Tips to overcome public speaking anxiety

November 1, 2021

Public speaking is a teachable skill! 

Introverts and extroverts both struggle with a fear of public speaking. But if you’re a person who feels anxious when the teacher calls on you, we’ve gathered tips and tricks that can calm your nerves. You might even learn to enjoy public speaking.

Before we talk about getting past the anxiety, here’s a quick reminder about why it’s so important to be able to speak up with confidence. 

  • Feel better about yourself.
  • Improve your communication.
  • Simplify the complex.
  • Accelerate your career.

Throughout your life, speaking in groups will remain part of your life. High school classes, college presentations, job interviews, wedding toasts, neighborhood picnics, and on and on. 

The stage fright struggle is real.

Dr. Craig Sawchuk says with preparation and persistence, you can overcome the fear. He suggests that you focus on your material, not on your audience. 

People mainly pay attention to new information — not how it’s presented. They may not notice your nervousness. If audience members do notice that you’re nervous, they may root for you and want your presentation to be a success.

Practice these ideas when you have to stand up and talk in a group.

Arlin Cuncic reminds us that delivery is everything

Talk too fast and your audience will have a hard time understanding you. Talk too slowly and you risk putting them to sleep. When it comes to public speaking, talking at a conversational pace is your safest bet.

Indeed.com’s career development team talks about the structure of a presentation. 

Creating a structure for your presentation offers a guide you can follow even when you’re feeling very nervous. Create an outline of your presentation in the order in which you want to present each topic. If you lose your place in your speech and feel anxious, simply glance at your outline and continue where you left off.

And after you’ve got the structure down…

Unless someone has specifically told you not to, feel free to use notes to guide your presentation to stay on track. Use your notes as a visual cue so you can recover easily if you get stuck when you’re feeling anxious.

Just do it!

Mel Robbins reminds students that some people will always feel a bit nervous. It’s important to train your mind and body to persist.

Here’s how one app developer overcame his fear of public speaking!

In this talk, Danish Dhamani discusses how overcoming your fear of public speaking is key to leading a fulfilling life and unlocking your true potential.