Speaking in front of the class or a business presentation is frightening let alone standing in front of hundreds of people. The extreme fear of public speaking is called glossophobia. In fact, glossophobia is the second most common fear not just here in Singapore but around the world.
Overcoming glossophobia is hard but if we put our hearts to it, we will surely convey our words clearly and effectively. To overcome it, the first thing that you have to do is identify the symptoms. Symptoms include stuttering or stammering, hearing problems, freezing, excessive sweating, weak voice, dilated pupils, rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, shaking, nausea and rapid breathing.
Glossophobia holds us back from the possibilities. If we are good public speakers, we will surely sell our goods and services, showcase our expertise and even build connections to improve our network of potential clients. It does not end there because our words may be an inspiration to others. It would be such a waste if we do not speak a word.
You have to remember that getting past the fear of speaking in public is different from building and strengthening it as a skill. Becoming a better speaker will surely open doors. Here are some tips on becoming a better speaker:
• Know thy topic: In everything you do, it is important that you know your topic before delving deeper. Preparation will surely dispense irrelevant and nervous thoughts. Remember that there is no one in the room more knowledgeable than you.
• Submit to exercise: Few minutes before the presentation, you have to pause for a while, close your eyes and do deep breathing exercises. This exercise will surely ease tension leading you to a more relaxed state.
• Do not dread moments of silence: Many speakers see moments of silence as a negative thing. You have to think the other way. It is natural to fear moments of silence but take it as a positive thing. That means people are listening intently on you and that you have nothing to fear.
• Practice: Before the actual event, you need to practice until you uttered the right words. Other people even practice in front of the mirror while some watch recordings of their speeches and critique the performance.
• Join classes: If you are convinced that speaking publicly can advance your career, it is time that you seek the help of professionals. Finding a good coach or mentor is easy.
Remember that even the most successful speakers had speaking anxieties at first. Practice will make things better.