As smart as a person is, he can sometimes stand in front of a crowd and cringe. Finding ways to express yourself even with an audience is an important tool that we must have in our lives. Many jobs and ministries require public speaking as part of what is expected of you.

11 ways to overcome your fear of public speaking

The fear of public speaking is not uncommon. To overcome your fear of public speaking , there are a few things you can do. Putting these steps into practice will help you gain the confidence you need to stand up and speak. It is possible to face your fears and conquer them too.

1. Get a large mirror

Buy a large full-length mirror to see yourself while you practice. Practice talking to yourself out loud each morning and evening in front of the mirror. Observe your position while standing, your posture and general appearance.

2. Use the help of your trusted friends

Gather a small group of your trusted friends and practice speaking in front of them. Stand in the front of the room and give a short presentation. Ask them to give you two positive constructive criticisms of your speech. The more you talk about it, the more you will face your fear of public speaking.

3. Join a local book club

Find a local book club that you can join. Observe the speakers and take note of what works and doesn’t work for them. Take a turn speaking to this small group. It’s casual, so expectations aren’t that high. Openly share your opinions about the books you are reading together. Learning to share ideas in a small group will help you overcome your fear of public speaking.

4. Use cue cards

Buy some cards and write a summary of your speech on them. They will help you stay focused when your mind wanders while you speak. If your main fear of public speaking is forgetting what you are saying, this will alleviate it.

5. Study

Before your speech, study what you are presenting. Know the information to the point where you feel comfortable with it. Don’t talk about a topic that you don’t understand.

6. Show something

Look for the opportunity to volunteer to teach. Speaking in front of a class on a topic that you understand will give you confidence . You will learn different ways to help others understand your lessons. The fear of public speaking can be overcome by teaching others.

7. Choose a comfortable dress

Choosing the right clothes to wear will make all the difference in your public speaking. You must be comfortable all the time. You don’t need to worry about something that makes you uncomfortable or feels weird. Wear your clothes before the speech for a practice. Try climbing stairs, sitting down, and standing for longer periods of time. You don’t want to be distracted by a poor choice of clothing during your speech.

8. Choose the right shoes

Wearing shoes that are presentable and comfortable is relevant. If your toes are clenched or your heels are slipping back, you won’t be able to focus on your speech. The fear of public speaking increases when you feel physically uncomfortable.

9. Have good hygiene

You will undoubtedly want optimal hygiene when you are in public view. Self confidence goes out the door when you have bad breath. Make sure you have some breath mints on hand. To overcome the fear of public speaking, you have to maintain habits like brushing your teeth and having presentable nails.

10. Remember to practice

Nothing is better than practicing. Practice your speech ahead of time. Keep your cue cards in your hands while you practice. You will get to the point where you no longer need them. You can continue using the cards if it makes you feel more confident, taking away your fear of public speaking.

11. Be aware of the worst

Remember that the worst thing that can happen to you if you screw up a speech is embarrassment. We all experience shame at some point in our lives. Excuse yourself if you stutter or hiccup. Understand that this happens to everyone.

Standing in front of a crowd can be a scary thought. It can shrink a person regardless of their position or job requirements. Knowing how to overcome it will increase your potential for a job and your effectiveness as a leader.

The fear of public speaking can be overcome. Try these steps and repeat them until you gain the confidence you need. You can even learn to love public speaking over time.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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