Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking by Dr Himanshu Talwar
Dr Himanshu Talwar
Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking by Dr Himanshu Talwar

Speaking in front of an audience can be as nerve-wracking as going to a job interview or taking a crucial test, yet it’s a talent that needs to be learned in order to raise one’s confidence and advance all facets of their career.

Be it at a social gathering or business conference, being able to speak publicly is an essential asset. Good public speaking sparks innovation and opportunities. It is one of the best strategies to start a change and inform and engage the general people. You have the power to change the world around you through public speaking.

At work or at home—whether it is making presentations at work or speaking up at a family event—we’re likely to face an audience at any given point in our lives. In order to communicate well in front of a large audience, here are some useful pointers one needs to know:

  1. Plan and organize your material; organizeyour thoughts and materials.

To make an impact on your audience, understand your audience first. Starting the speech with something interesting, such as storytelling, can be a powerful opener in public speaking. A strong public speech must be well-structured and executed with a powerful oration. Prepare thoroughly so as to feel confident enough.

  1. Practice and rehearse your speech.

Without proper practice, you cannot deliver a good speech. Practice is the key to ‘confidence’. The more thoroughly prepared you are, the less fear of failure you feel.

Record yourself delivering your speech and pay attention to the tone of your voice, facial expressions, body language and body stance. You could also deliver your speech to another person and ask them for genuine feedback and reflection on their response.

Make sure you put enough emphasis on important words and ensure your body language correlates with what you are trying to convey to your audience.

  1. Engage with the audience

Public Speaking can be termed a “two-way street” phenomenon. Your speech delivery and the audience’s response go hand-in-hand. Crowd engagement is incredibly essential. A good oration should not be one-sided. The audience should be able to respond to your speech and feel your power and presence.

Introduce pauses in your speech to not only slow yourself down and breathe but to give the audience a chance to think about what you have said. When an oration is delivered too fast, it incites confusion and obscurity. Record yourself and get used to your voice and speaking style, and feel more confident in yourself.

  1. Maintain a confident mindset

If you want to feel confident and completely eliminate fear and anxious thoughts, develop a positive, winning mindset. Often before being on stage, we envision something terrible happening, such as an awkward pause or forgetting what we were going to say. These thoughts give way to more anxiety and nervousness than we really should be, and hence, we should focus on yourselves instead and prepare confidently.

  1. Practice your breathing

Exercising proper breathing techniques can help you become more confident and allow you to articulate each word with precision and sound confidence, which is essential to give a great presentation. To avoid sounding shaky and nervous, do some deep breathing and stay hydrated before speaking.

  1. Slow down

Maintaining a steady pace while speaking is important. We tend to start talking too fast when we get anxious or excited. Consciously take your time to speak more slowly, pause to regulate your breathing, and give the audience time to process what you just said and experience its impact. To help you restore composure and feel less stressed, incorporate strategic pauses.

  1. Use effective body language

Sometimes body language can say much more about a person than words, especially while on stage. It’s important to use your body language to project confidence and encourage audience engagement.

Avoid moving around excessively because this could indicate nervousness and could draw the audience’s attention. Your remarks can be made more compelling and have an influence on the audience by using little hand gestures and facial expressions.

  1. Monitor Performances of other Good Speakers 

Watching and monitoring old speech performances from good speakers can be a great way to understand their strategies and ways of speaking and maintain confidence. It allows us to know how to make strategic pauses and garner more attention from the audience and make an impact.

Most of us fear speaking up publicly due to judgement and societal expectations. There will always be contrasting opinions on the same issue, but we must strive to develop our personal opinion and work confidently. Above mentioned public speaking tips help us feel more confident in our speech and hopefully encourage many to participate in future.

Recent Posts