I am talking today about public speaking anxiety which is also known as Glossophobia and also achieving effective speaking skills because at sometime in your life you may have to speak publicly to a work or community group and you want to be able to do that without stressing out. Giving a speech or presenting before a group, whether the group is a thousand or just ten, qualifies as one of people’s biggest fears. It is not uncommon to find a person who is terrified at the prospect of having to speak to a roomful of people.
But why do we fear speaking in front of others so very much? Psychologists believe that it is not really public speaking that make people experience so much STRESS but the fear of making a mistake in front of others. In my personal experience that is true, but also when you talk publicly people actually look at you and to me I feel they are judging how I look as well as how I speak. Being glossophobic can however be conquered with the right attitude, knowledge and commitment.
Here are some points that can start you in your path towards achieving effective speaking skills:
Speak about what you know
Talking about something that you have a passion for and know about will not only lessen the anxiety that you may experience but will also make you appear fervent and enthusiastic about the project. If you want to develop effective speaking skills then this would be the what I would do first.
What’s the best way to impress an audience? To make them feel connected to you. And how do you exactly do that? Use humor. Open your speech with a joke or a funny observation. Everyone loves to laugh. This can also help you relax. It’s also a good strategy for covering up errors when they happen.
When you practice, the chance of making a mistake decreases. The biggest benefit though will be that it will make you feel more self confident, knowing that you have prepared for the speech and that you have done your best to present it. I am the kind of person who likes to be prepared so this tip is something I would do anyway. So, prepare your speech then practice it and you will find yourself less stressed and less glossophobic.
Involve The Audience
The best way to appear competent before an audience is to actually acknowledge their existence. Say hello to them and you could even ask them a question. Also when you do this it makes the speech less formal and more comfortable for everyone. A less formal approach can excuse the speaker from some blunders. Hey and I will made them over the years.
My secret and main coping technique in regard to public speaking anxiety is to think of the audience as children. Children are accepting and not critical aren’t they. Find what works for you though as we all react differently to stress. I have heard people say that they image the audience naked, but hey, that just doesn’t work for me at all. Maybe all you need is to listen to is some RELAXATION MUSIC beforehand and that is what I do as it brings my stress levels down quite dramatically.
So the bottom line is don’t stress the next time you have to speak to a group, follow my tips and you will be fine and well prepared.
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