Does your mouth go dry or your voice goes shaky while you are on stage? Do you hear your heart pounding right in your ears during public speaking? Do your hands tremble and your palms get sweaty?
If yes, you have a phobia and are in need of the public speaking tips and strategies in this post.
Don’t freak out, because this is the most common phobia that every 9/10 people have.
It is pretty much of a natural thing to have stage fright, but it all depends on you to either let it stay natural and get over it as soon as you’re on stage, or exaggerate it to a height where you might end up puking or even fainting right in front of the audience.
Following are simple techniques and public speaking tips to not let stage fright take hold of you and overcoming it eventually:
Public Speaking Tips to Help You Prepare
The scariest thing you could do is to go on stage without knowing what you are going to talk about.
You could end up babbling or falling completely silent and blank. To avoid such a situation you need practice. Prepare the content in advance and read it out loud.
You do not only need to practice the material but prepare your movements and the hand gestures in advance too by standing in front of the mirror and formulating how you would control your body language.
One way to practice is to create a make-believe stage. This will help you prepare for public speaking by simulating the experience.
To create a make-believe stage, you will need to find a Lectern. This will be your podium where you will stand while delivering your presentation. Once you have everything set up, you can start practicing.
Start by imagining your audience. Then, visualize them sitting before you paying attention to every word you say. This will help you to focus on your delivery and not on your nerves.
Keep yourself positive and believe in yourself.
Instead of thinking about all the possibilities of what might go wrong, think of the audience as your friends and tell yourself that they are no better than you and they all go through the same feeling as you do.
Build a tempting image in your mind where you succeed due to an amazing presentation that you just gave. And accept your fear as natural and do not fret over it too much. It goes away as soon as you are on stage and in your happy bubble.
Don’t get impatient for your turn to come up, that will only make you panic even more. Just try to stay calm and patient, talk to the members in the audience just to distract your attention and when they are going to share the mutual feelings, you might start feeling better.
Moreover, listen to the others speaking on stage and notice the possible mistakes that they are making so that you can avoid those when it is your turn.
4. Preceding day’s to-do list.
When a speech or a presentation is a long time ahead, instead of letting your thoughts go wild and scary, and your panic go out of control, you need to make a to-do list and keep yourself from fretting over it.
Following are the few things you should do before the big day:
- Relax your body and mind by meditation, yoga, deep breathing and other relaxation exercises.
- Eat healthy, avoid caffeine and sugar as much as you can.
- Talk to a friend who is a pro at public speaking, and you might learn tips and feel comforted after she tells you that she being all confident and a pro gets stage fright too which is natural.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
5. Performance time.
When it is the big day, you need to keep your nerves calm and it is the time that decides how your speech is going to turn out. You cannot just be reluctant about it in any way.
Here are a few public speaking tips that will make you end up descending from the stage with a huge smile and a heart filled with a feeling of accomplishment:
- Look yourself in the mirror the moment you wake up and give a huge smile and tell yourself that you can and you will do it.
- Distract yourself from fretting too much or overthinking about it. Watch a comedy show to laugh your worries off or maybe listen to some inspirational songs that give you a boost.
- Reach the place as early as possible so that you do not end up being called on stage while you have not even adjusted in the environment yet.
- When on stage, instead of being conscious of every move you make, try to stay natural and act as confident as you can and don’t let people know that you are nervous in any way.
- Choose a few people who you would want to look at while speaking instead of letting your gaze wander around and leaving you baffled.
- And lastly, just BE YOURSELF! It is OKAY to make mistakes because nobody is perfect.
Public Speaking Tips for Handling The Audience
Talking in front of people is as difficult and sometimes as challenging as it is, but things can feel a whole lot worse when the audience isn’t on your side.
Perhaps you’re trying to give a presentation in a business setting, and everyone is bored and irritable and quickly becomes your enemy.
However, while it may seem pointless trying to get everyone on board with what you’re saying, especially if you’ve got an important message to send, there are plenty of things you can do in order to handle this difficult audience. Today, we’re going to explore five of them.
6. Connect with the Positive People
In any audience, there are going to be positive people who are engaged in what you’re saying, so it’s important that you connect with them. Positivity is infectious, and everybody would rather be happy than stressed out and angry.
Throughout the presentation, you should start to be able to pull people around when they see everyone else engaging.
7. Use Engaging Media
If you’re just talking to your audience, they can quickly lose interest if they’re not engaged with what you’re saying. However, perhaps the best way to counteract this is to use other forms of media. This includes a presentation or slideshow.
This is so you can easier convey the message and information you’re trying to send, which helps to keep everyone informed and stops them misunderstanding and ultimately losing interest. Using online services is the smartest way to make a presentation.
8. Address Negativity
Have the confidence to address any negativity in the room. Letting it go and trying to ignore it will only make people join the negativity and notice it more.
Address it where possible, and you’ll be able to nip it in the bud.
If you have someone making insults or negative remarks, simply get up and address the audience by standing next to them. This is a power play, and the confidence it takes to do this will impress your audience and help to pull them onto your side.
9. Use Humor
This is a risky piece of advice because it could backfire, but if you’re a funny person or you think humor could lighten the mood, this can be an extremely effective way to pull the audience round, but it has to be done well.
Make sure the humor you’re using is relatable to your audience, and they understand it. Use it sparingly and don’t overdo it. Otherwise, your audience could backfire and go the other way.
10. Save Five Minutes at the End
The majority of meetings should end with a Q&A at the end in order to take audience questions, but make sure you’re ending the meeting yourself by leaving five minutes at the end.
You don’t want to end on an audience question that could ruin the entire meeting.
As you can see, there are lots of ways you can address and deal with a potentially hostile audience. The most important thing to remember is not to let it get to you and to push on strongly and with purpose.
Your turn now. How do you deal with stage fright and what other public speaking tips have you heard?
About The Author
This is a guest post by Beth Martel, a mother of two, a medical professional and a humanitarian. She blogs at Healthy Recharge.