If the very thought of speaking in front of a big audience is giving you the shivers, then you are one of many who experiences such anxiety. At least 75% of adults fear public speaking. These concerns are not uncommon, and it is through changing the way you perceive them that you can overcome them.
Conquering the fears is easier said than done. However, some people need extra help in that regard to work out a positive approach and achieve success. Often, it is with the aid of public speaking courses that any problems can be overcome. Getting the right help in such classes presents all the tools necessary to combat the negative emotions and turn the tide in your favour. Here are few proven methods that work:
Getting the audience to laugh
One foolproof way to get the audience engaged is to crack a joke right from the start. That always gets the speech steered in the right direction, as long as it’s something reasonable. Lightening the mood that way can instantly make you more relaxed because you will see smiling faces and not stern looks. The effect is even more emphasised when you get the audience to laugh at a story about you. Laughter is the best tool for eliminating the wall between the speaker and the audience, which sets them apart as two vastly different sides.
Seeking the nodding part of the public
The feeling that what you are saying doesn’t reach your audience can be disturbing. Signs of disinterest in your listeners can make you feel bad and demotivated, which affects negatively on your performance. In that case, you can look for nodding people. Focus on those, and you will immediately feel much more confident. It will win the interest of other individuals.
If your best efforts to clear the pressure don’t quite work out, there is an alternative. What you can do is hide the tensions instead of trying to stop them. The way this works is by playing up the positive emotions by really focusing on the excitement of the story you are telling. This is something you can hear from many public speaking experts, who suggest that it is far more desirable to mask one emotion with another, rather than to suppress it.
There is a common belief that you are either good enough at speaking or you are not. However, it is possible to invest time and effort and become better at public speaking. Make a video of every speech you give and review it to identify what part of your performance you can improve. Practice makes perfect, keep in mind.
Preparing for mistakes
That is something even professionals know – everyone makes mistakes. It is not bad because it makes you more human. However, it does make you more uncomfortable, and this reflects on the audience as well. Have a joke prepared in case of a slip up to use whenever you make a mistake.
These are only a few of the methods taught in public speaking courses. Adopt them now, and you will see just how effective they are.