overcoming fear of public speaking & public speaking tips

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

your belief system, the main cause for fear of public speaking

In the previous article what causes fear of public speaking i mentioned many of the causes that could result in fear of public speaking.

After knowing about these causes its time to learn how to get over the fear of public speaking. The Fear of public speaking is triggered by the subconscious mind because of some of the false beliefs that you hold in your mind.

In the following examples you will learn in detail how to fix the problems with your belief system. If you believed in these tips then they will go directly to subconscious mind and so your fears will become much less the next time you have to speak in public.

  • Afraid to forget what you know: If you are afraid that you forget something or mispronounce a word then know that perfectionism might be the root cause behind your fear of public speaking. "I must be perfect, I must not make mistakes else I will look bad" are examples of false beliefs that result from perfectionism and that can lead to fear of public speaking. If you didn’t make mistakes then you are a super human and if you made mistakes then you are a human!! Know that this is not a perfect world, making mistakes is natural and every public speaker makes small mistakes every now and then. Why fear it then?
  • All people make mistakes even famous ones: I want you to go to the best public speaker that you have ever knew and to concentrate on his words. I want your main goal to be finding his mistakes and you will get amazed to find that he makes many mistakes while speaking. do you know why you didn’t notice them before? Because when he used to make a mistake he acted normally, he didn’t panic, he just considered it normal and that's why you didn’t notice it. If he were to panic he would have drew your attention to his mistakes and so you would have noticed them
  • Fear of appearing less confident: sometimes fear of public speaking is caused by another false belief like
    "I am afraid that people will think that I am less confident or that I am not a good public speaker". This false belief is in turn caused by another belief which is "the performance of my public speaking is a reflection of my self confidence and my whole personality". Again, who said so? You are not what you do!! if you didn’t speak well then this doesn’t mean that you are not worthy, if you didn’t perform well in a presentation then this doesn’t mean that you are not confident. Simply because at the time of delivering the presentation you were not acting with your real personality but you were acting under the effect of fear and anxietye. That’s one main reason you may perform well when rehearsing alone (because you are good) but when fear appears your performance drops!!
  • Fear of rejection: sometimes underlying the fear of public speaking is a deep rooted fear of rejection. If you have a false belief like "if I did not perform well they may not like me" then certainly you will feel afraid. While that belief doesn't sound logical still it will make you afraid because the subconscious mind does not follow logic but instead it follows the beliefs it has learned throughout its life whether they were logical or not. You may have acquired this fear of rejection as a result of poor past experiences with rejection.
  • Do you know that: Finally do you know that most people imagine themselves in your place when you are speaking? Do you know that if you did not perform well people will never laugh at you but instead they will feel bad for you because they were visualizing themselves in your place?

quick tips that will reduce your fear of public speaking

Now after you have dealt with your belief system issues its time to focus on tips that could make public speaking easier. The following tips will make the fears of public speaking less intense if properly applied:

  • In the Solid Self confidence program i said that when you are under stress your memory doesn't work well and that’s why you must learn by heart what you are going to say. If you didn't do so you will suffer from additional amount of stress that will result from trying to remember what you learned
  • To reduce stress even more make sure that you are breathing properly. Most people don’t breath properly during public speaking. This lack of oxygen increases stress. Try to take a deep breath whenever you find that your anxiety level is going higher
  • If it’s a presentation then don’t just study hard the words you are going to say but understand them well too. Understanding the subject well will make it very easy for you to construct new phrases and words in case you forgot any of the ones you studied. Understanding what you study can double your confidence while talking
  • Wear the clothes that you like the most because if you wore something that you don't like part of your conscious mind will be busy analyzing people’s opinion about your looks, and if you already have self image problems then this part will be a big one. Don’t waste the resources of your conscious mind and do your best to preserve them
  • If you are afraid that people will notice your fears then know that they can never know how you feel if you used the proper body language. You may even be terrified yet make them think you were confident because of your positive body language signals
  • If you can find any way to smile or laugh by saying something funny then this will reduce your anxiety by more than half!!
  • know that the feeling of anxiety will gradually decrease as you continue speaking (that’s in case your performance was going smoothly)
  • Rehearse your speech loudly and while standing or while taking the same position you will be in the real situation
  • If you have the ability to go the same place you will speak at before the time of the speech then practicing there will make the real situation much easier since you have already got used to the surroundings and to everything else. In case you can’t do that try to arrive there early to get familiar with the place
  • visualize yourself many times performing very well before the time of the speech. This will program your subconscious mind to set these visual images as performance standards to follow

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