Oh, public speaking! It's one of the most common fears of humans -- in fact, it's reported that over 70% of people have public speaking anxiety, so if you're one of them, you are not alone. Here's three things you can do to keep the anxiety at bay.
Practice, practice, practice. Start off by practicing solo in front of a mirror to begin to notice how you might appear in front of an audience. You can also record yourself to see where you trip up, observe your gestures and facial expressions, and hear how you would sound for a listener. How are your inflections of your voice? Do you sound confident? Are you speaking clearly and at the right pace? Once you nail it alone, take it to the next level: practice in front of a live audience, to mimmic your nervous system's automatic reactions of an actual presentation. This will help get the jitters out and establish control of your speaking pace. It’s the closest experience you’ll get to the real thing, and the more comfortable and confident you feel going into public speaking, the better the delivery.
Visualization is the simplest thing you can do, but also so effective thanks to neuroplasticity. Just by imagining yourself delivering the presentation exactly how you want it to go from start to finish helps to fire the neural pathways that will be used in the actual public speaking event. The more you visualize success, the more ready you'll be for a successful presentation.
Of course, you must also practice stress management! Exercise, crafting, and other hands on activities are great for leading up to the presentation, and deep breathing and mindfulness meditations are excellent ways to ease your mind and nerves right before the final go. And if you're feeling rushed or nervous during your presentation, don't be afraid to take a deep breath in.
What are your tips and tricks for public speaking?