Overcoming public speaking anxiety

Public speaking anxiety is hard to deal with.

If you’re reading this, it means you can probably relate and you came here looking for advice.

It’s important to remember that you are not the only person who feels this way. It’s more common than you think. Research says that is a very common phobia that is believed to affect up to 75% of the population.

These are some of the things that I tell to myself when I’m overthinking:

  • Stop thinking about it and just do it!
  • It’s not a big deal. You’re the one making it a big deal!
  • No one cares. They will forget about it tomorrow.

Over the many years I’ve struggled with this I managed to discover a few useful tools:

Talk slow and breathe!

Whenever I had to make a presentation at school I used to always speak super-fast. My thought process was ‘I hate this. If I speak fast enough, I will be able to get out of here as soon as possible’.

This however, always made me more nervous. I would twist my words while talking and get so embarrassed that I would forget what I was saying. In the end this always affected my grade.

With time, I learned the importance of taking your time to breath and speak.

 Do whatever feels natural with your body language

Some people become so focused on the small details. ‘What am I supposed to do with my hands? I don’t want to look weird.’

The answer to this is DO WHATEVER FEELS NATURAL TO YOU. If you want to move your hands while talking, do it. If you prefer to walk around the room while giving your speech, do it. There is no right or wrong.

Doing what feels natural to you will ease your mind.

Visual contact

You know, when you’re talking to someone and they’re staring directly at you? This can feel intimidating at times. Especially if you struggle with speaking anxiety.

A massive thing that helps with this is looking around when you’re talking to someone. I know that may come across as rude to some people, but with the right balance (of looking at them and looking around) you’ll manage.

Take one day at a time.

And remember, practice makes perfect!

Put yourself out there and #LetsGrowTogether

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