Public speaking anxiety is very common due to a number of reasons. One factor is the fear of judgment and negative evaluation by others. Additionally, the fear of making a mistake, forgetting what to say, or feeling vulnerable in front of an audience can contribute to this anxiety. But, like any skill you can improve this with practice. Here are a couple of tips to get you started.
Prepare thoroughly: Knowing your material inside and out is essential. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel:
- Practice regularly: Rehearse your speech multiple times, I did this by recording myself, and in front of my dog, a willing audience with no feedback!
- Visualize success: Imagine yourself giving a successful presentation. This can boost your confidence and reduce anxiety
- Start small: Begin with less intimidating speaking opportunities, such as a few friends or family members, before tackling larger audiences.
- Join a public speaking group: Toastmasters provides a supportive environment for improving your speaking skills and confidence.
- Accept mistakes: We are all human, so don’t beat yourself up, audiences can be forgiving
- Positive self-talk: Listen to your inner dialogue don’t self-sabotage, and keep the language positive!
Remember that public speaking anxiety is common, with a consistent effort, most people improve and become more comfortable. I always remember my first time, it wasn’t great but I learned how to become a better speaker.
This skill can not only help with presentation skills it can also help you with interviews too!