Fear of Public Speaking
The fear of public speaking is one of the oldest hang-ups there is in society. Many of us can recite anecdote after anecdote to our friends. However, if we’re asked to tell those same stories in front of all our friends combined, most of us would be less than enthused by the idea. What is it that makes us so reticent to taking centre stage? Why is it that confidence doesn’t transition seamlessly from one-on-one situations to a group dynamic? The fear of public speaking is an irrational phobia. But overcoming it still proves to be stretch too far for many to bridge.
How to Overcome It
Don’t Overawe Yourself
You don’t need to speak in front of hundreds of people all at once. The best way to build your confidence is to start small. Try going to open mic night that allows poems and short stories.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
When you have an official engagement, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. When asked why they’re able to give such natural and confident addresses, good speakers always say the same thing. It’s preparation.
Reduce Stress Beforehand
Eliminating stress is much easier said than done, but it will pay huge dividends if you’re able to hit on a pre-speech routine that puts you more at ease. Rituals have been a big part of professional sport for a long time, and incorporating some stress relief in the form of self-care before your big event is must to avoid stumbling over your carefully crafted speech.
Speak to One Person in the Audience
The primary fear from public speaking comes for the scale you’re operating on, but it’s really all a question about perspective. There could be a hundred or a thousand people present, but you can try and zero in on one person in the audience and speak only to them.
Don’t Be too Rigid with Your Delivery
As much as it’s important to know your material, you don’t want to be held captive by it. You’re not playing an orchestral score that needs to be flawless in execution. You’re giving a speech. Notes are great, but you’re never going to recite everything word for word. It needs to be natural. The more you try and stick to a set script, the more you’re trip over your words.
Watch Yourself in the Mirror
This requires a bit of energy. But it will allow you to see how you’re conveying your message. You’ll be able to pick up on body language that might not sit with the overall tone of your speech and alter it to give a more authentic and engaging interpretation of your core points.
Record Yourself Speaking
One of the things that catches people off guard is hearing they voice through a loud PA system. Most people don’t know what they sound like. And when they hear their voice, they don’t like what they hear, and they wilt before they’ve even begun. Recording some or all of your speech is a great way to get over the fear of hearing yourself and also to tweak your deliver style in certain passages for a more dynamic talk.
When you’re struggling with a fear of public speaking, our therapists can offer you tailored treatment that matches your needs.
We understand that a fear of public speaking can have implications on other areas of your life. From limiting your potential within your professional work to affecting how comfortable you are in social situations, a fear of public speaking can leave you feeling restricted. It can also have knock on effects, such as harming your self-confidence and belief in yourself, leaving you feeling more vulnerable and at a loss of how to address the issues.
Our highly trained and experienced professionals will work with you from the outset. Starting with an assessment, we’ll identify the key areas where you could benefit from additional support, providing a tailored treatment plan for you. With a wide range of methods at their disposal, including cognitive behavioural therapy, hypnotherapy, and mindfulness, our team is well placed to not only analyse your issues but to provide effective treatment options that consider your personal goals, ambitions, and demands too.
On some occasions, a fear of public speaking is linked to other issues. Where this is the case, we are able to provide a holistic treatment plan that considers both your fear of public speaking and the underlying reasons behind it. Together with your therapist, you can create techniques, thought processes, and more that suit you and your situation. We take an adaptable approach, reviewing how you’re progressing and allowing adjustments to be made where necessary, resulting in a process that works.
How Can I Get Help?
Psychology Today. (27th Nov 2017) Why are We So Scared of Public Speaking. Retrieved on 11th December, 2019 from, Link
Mayo Clinic. (17th May 2017) Fear of Public Speaking: How Can I Overcome it? Retrieved on 11th December, 2019 from, Link
Psycom. (2018) Glossophobia (Fear of Public Speaking): Are You Glossophobic? Retrieved on 11th December, 2019 from, Link
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