If you’re on this page, you’re probably looking for the best way to overcome the fear of public speaking. We’ll wipe the perplexity!
The fear of public speaking, otherwise known as glossophobia, is a fact of life. It is not an imaginary bugaboo, it does occur and it is terrible when it happens to us as entrepreneurs.
The essentiality of public speaking to the life of entrepreneurs cannot be overlooked. Public speaking can help us advance our career and grow our business.
Paradoxically, public speaking could be a very difficult or simple task depending on how we learn to overcome the fear that’s attached to it.
Those who are great speakers today had once experienced glossophobia in one way or the other.
Lloyd George once confessed that “the first time I attempted to make a public talk, I tell you I was in a state of misery. It is no figure of speech, but literally true, that my tongue clove to the roof of my mouth; and at first, I could hardly get out a word”. Similarly, Charles Stewart Parnell, the great Irish leader, as revealed by Dale Carnegie, was so nervous at the outset of his speaking career.
It is normal when the thought of speaking in front of a group evokes fear, makes you sweat and gets your heart pounding.
However, it becomes uncustomary for entrepreneurs, who will need to grow their business, to remain glossophobic while they can actually conquer the fear of public speaking.
If you really want to conquer or overcome the fear of public speaking, this article is meant for you. In this article, a few actionable tactics to help you overcome the fear of public speaking are discussed.
The Five Hacks To Overcome The Fear Of Public Speaking
1. Develop A Strong Desire For Public Speaking
Have you ever assessed the importance of public speaking to the growth of your business or the advancement of your career? If truly public speaking is of importance to you, your business or your career, then you need to develop a strong and persistent desire for it.
Without a strong and persistent desire, the fear of public speaking subsists. To be a great public speaker, you need to develop a desire for it.
Do not forget the words of Napoleon Hills that say “the starting point of all achievement is desire”. So, the will to become a great speaker is a key that will unlock the door of personal excellence and help you conquer the fear of public speaking.
Brian Tracy once said that “the key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear”.
2. Endeavour To Know What You Are Going To Talk About
One of the easiest ways to overcome the fear of public speaking is to know what you are going to talk about. A public speaker who does not have a thorough knowledge of what he or she is about to discuss is tantamount to a blind who intends to lead the blinds.
Dale Carnegie argued that “unless a person has thought out and planned his talk and knows what he is going to say, he or she is likely to speak with lesser fear”.
It is believed that the more you know about what you are going to discuss, the less worried you will be about looking nervous. Also, if you know about your topic well in advance, it will make it less likely that you say something incorrect or go off track. This will even help you throw off embarrassment.
3. Confidence Is A Key
A knowledgeable one, who also has the desire to become a public speaker, may still remain glossophobic if he lacks adequate confidence.
Confidence is crucial to overcoming the fear of public speaking. Diane Van Furstenberg wrote that “confidence, if you have it, you can make anything look good”.
Truly your heart may be pounding while you are about to speak in public, but you need to act confidently to kill the fear. No matter how your heart may be pounding inside, stride forth bravely, stop, stand still, and not as if you loved it.
Always be courageous, draw yourself up to your full height, look your audience straight in the eyes and begin to talk as confidently as possible as you can.
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This will help you kill the fear of public speaking to a very large extent. As Marcus Garvey aptly puts it, “if you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life”. Therefore, do not let fear, in whatever form it takes, erodes your confidence.
4. Always Prepare
Preparation is indeed the most important thing you need to do to overcome the fear of public speaking. You cannot succeed as a public speaker when you fail to prepare or practice.
Although, practice or preparation does not make you perfect as there seems to be no perfect public speaker. However, you need to practice and prepare perfectly to make perfect speeches.
Allen Iverson once asked, “you think I can be the MVP without practising?” No matter how well or badly, practising is a way to make one a great public speaker. Rehearse several times before the big talk.
You are advised to do your presentation several times with friends, family members or anyone else you feel comfortable with. This will not only enable you to come up with a better presentation at the final stage but also help you to overcome the fear of public speaking.
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5. Always Ask For Help
Sometimes, the fear of public speaking cannot be conquered all alone. One might need the help of others to overcome the fear of public speaking. There exist several specialized professionals that can help overcome the fear of public speaking.
Consulting such specialized professionals for advice, guidelines and motivational talks may be another crucial way of overcoming the fear of public speaking.
Ahmed Yusuf Babatunde
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