It Can Help Boost Sales
If you are a sales staff in your place of work or even a business owner, you will need to do a lot of convincing.
Moreover, public speaking does not necessarily mean you have to stand on a podium.
It also entails convincing people on why things are best for them.
Therefore, if you want to spike those sales up, you need to learn how to overcome speech anxiety.
On The Day Of The Speech
Exercise. Exercising on the day of a speech can help reduce anxiety and stress.
Use relaxation techniques. Simple relaxation techniques lessen anxiety and allow them to focus on the task at hand. Some of the most common relaxation techniques are: taking deep breaths, tightening and then relaxing your muscles, and visualizing a peaceful scene.
Accept fear and use it. Accept the fact that you are nervous and use that nervous energy to enhance your delivery. Use the extra adrenaline that you get from fear to invigorate your gestures and enthusiasm about your topic. Remember, even the best speakers get nervous, but they use it to their benefit.
Wear clothes that you feel confident in. Most of us have a few outfits that we feel particularly comfortable and confident in. These are good things to wear when you present a speech. If you feel good about how you look standing in front of your audience, you can put all of your focus on your message. You do not want to distract your audience or yourself by adjusting your clothes or hair during your speech.
Find friendly faces in the crowd. While you are speaking find one or two people in the audience that are giving you positive feedback . When you feel nervous make eye contact with those people. Their friendly faces will give you encouragement.
Why Do Presentations Make People Nervous
There are myriad reasons why presentations make people feel nervous â not everyone is inherently comfortable being the center of attention.
For you, maybe itâs:
Having to stand at the front of a room while people stare at you.
The fear that youâll forget your planned speaking points.
The worry that youâll make a mistake.
The fear that people will find your presentation boring or uninspired.
Whatever the root of your presentation anxiety, it all comes down to one thing: youâre afraid that others wonât believe youâre good at your job.
Of course, this fear may not be rational â after all, your success as a public speaker is not a direct reflection of your success as a brand manager. However, most modern professionals will be expected to give a presentation or two throughout their careers â especially those that work in front-facing departments like marketing.
Nevertheless, itâs helpful to remember that being a good public speaker is only one part of being a top-notch brand or marketing manager. Thereâs so much more that goes into excelling in such a role. You have to be creative, hard-working, innovative, and flexible â always ready to try new things and take a risk.
Still, it doesnât hurt to practice your public speaking skills to ensure youâre ready for any and all challenges that come your way.
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Are You Ready To Overcome Your Presentation Fear
There is nothing wrong with having a fear of public speaking. Its a natural and understandable fear. But, as with any other fear, you cant let it run your life. You have to take action to overcome it. It wont be easy, and it might take some time, but the rewards of having overcome that fear will certainly be worth all the hard work you put into it.
Powerpoint Can Be Really Great Or Really Bad
Sometimes, having a powerpoint can be your best friend. It can help you if you lose your train of thought, keep your audience engaged, and give people a good place to grab notes and main points from.
However, do not put paragraphs and 1,670,987 other things on one slide. To learn how to create an impactful presentation here: 16 Tips to Create a Great PowerPoint Presentation.
Strategies For Dealing With Speaking Anxiety
By Anett Grant
A few years ago, I had a terrifying experience while diving with sharks in the Maldives. The instructor told me, You go first. And dive down quicklythe currents are big today. I felt a pang of anxietyI was used to going down slowly. Still, I dove in. When my descent ended, I looked around and saw nothing but deep blue around me. Since I had been the first to jump in, I had no reference pointnothing but blue above me, below me, ahead of me, and behind me. I had been diving for decades, but for the first time, I felt an incredible sense of panic. It wasnt until I looked on my depth gauge that the anxiety subsided a little. By keeping my vision trained on my depth gauge, something familiar to focus on, I was able to stay calm until the other divers entered the water.
Perhaps you feel the same way I felt underwater whenever you speak in front of a crowd. You get a similar feeling of panic, of disorientation. To overcome these feelings, you need to find your own depth gauge to focus on. You need to give your brain something to do other than ruminate over your insecurities.
Here are five strategies to focus on that will alleviate your speaking anxiety:
Relate With The Audience
To learn how to overcome speech anxiety, you should relate with the audience.
It is not a battlefield.
Some speakers just want to get it over with and runoff.
This shouldnt be you.
Instead, relate with the crowd by maintaining eye contact or engaging them with experiences.
Make the mood light by chirping in some jokes.
But do not do this in excess especially at business presentations.
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Thirty Ways To Manage Public Speaking Anxiety
Select a topic of interest to you
Prepare carefullyknow your material
Practicerehearse your talk with a friend
Know your audience
Challenge negative thinkingmake 3 x 5 cards of positive thoughts or have friends write out inspirational thoughts for you.
Expect positive reactionsexpect success!
Know the roomif unfamiliar, visit your speaking space before you talk.
Employ aerobic exercise strategiesdaily aerobic exercise can cut anxiety by 50%.
Eat for successfoods containing tryptophan and complex carbohydrates tend to calm the body. Eliminate caffeine, sweets, and empty calories.
Sleep for successknow and get the number of hours of sleep you need for optimal performance.
The Day of the Presentation
11. Eat several hours before the talknot immediately before
12. Dress for successyour success! Dress comfortably and appropriately for the situation. Look your best
13. Challenge negative thinkingContinue positive thinking
14. If you need to, express your fears to a friend
15. Review 3 x 5 cards of inspirational thoughts
16. Practice your talk one last time
17. Go to the room early to ready equipment and your podium.
18. Exercise immediately before the talk to reduce adrenalin levels.
- Employ anxiety reduction techniques
- Deep, rhythmic breathing
19. Use the restroom immediately before the talk
20. Take a glass of water to the talk
The Presentation: A positive experience stemming from careful preparation!
21. Interpret anxiety symptoms as excitement
Practical Tips To Gain Confidence
Like learning any other skill, becoming a good public speaker requires practice. However, not everyone knows where to start on the road to building this kind of confidence.
Therefore, weâve put together three practical tips you can use to help you achieve your goals and improve your presentation skills.
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How Nervous Am I
New speakers often overestimate the amount of anxiety they feel or expect to feel when speaking in public. The self-assessment below is an easy way to determine where your level of anxiety places you when measured against the level reported by others. You may be surprised to find that this assessment indicates that you are less anxious than you might have originally anticipated.
Strategies To Reduce Speaking Anxiety
Whether you’re about to lead a big presentation at work or you’re simply about to go out with friends and you’ll need to socialize with others, there are several strategies you can implement before the engagement that may help you with your speaking anxiety. These include:
There is an anxiety disorder known as social phobia that can make it harder to speak in public, and may make these strategies a bit more difficult. However, utilizing these strategies can lead to more self-confidence and comfort with the idea of speaking publicly.
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Turn Your Nervous Energy Into Enthusiasm
Nervousness and excitement often feel the same in the body. So, if you’re feeling especially nervous before a presentation, turn this into enthusiasm by using that nervousness to pump yourself up. Focus on being excited to make the presentation and tell yourself that the anxiousness you’re feeling is actually positive energy in anticipation of sharing your knowledge with others.
Practical Tips To Deal With Presentation Anxiety
Weâve all been there: youâre getting ready to give a big presentation and feeling beyond nervous. Sweaty hands, sped-up heart rate, mind racing â the works. While the rational part of your brain knows youâll be fine, for many people, that doesnât do much to erase the building anxiety.
As a brand or marketing manager, youâll be called upon many times throughout your career to give important speeches and presentations â to explain your strategies to C-levels or present your brand to an audience. Thus, whether or not public speaking is currently included in your arsenal of talents, youâll need to find a way to master it.
This article will take a look at a few different reasons presentations can cause anxiety and provide actionable steps to move beyond any worries so you can perform your best. After all, with enough practice, anyone can become a good public speaker â you just have to be willing to invest the required time and energy.
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A Common Phobia That Is Tough To Treat
The fear of speaking in public is incredibly common, over 25% of people report anxiety related to public speaking. Even those who are not necessarily anxious about other things may find themselves having some degree of anxiety when it comes to having to speak in front of a crowd.
While a fear of public speaking is very common there are also some some specific strategies that you can use to help make it easier. One of the first things that you can do is understand some of the causes for your public speaking anxiety.
Rehearse To Increase Confidence
Practice but dont memorize. Theres no disputing that preparation will build confidence. Memorizing speeches will mislead us into thinking there is only one way to deliver an idea. Forgetting a phrase or sentence throw us off and hastens the brain freeze. Memorizing provides a false sense of security.
Practice with written notes. Writing out the speech may help formulate ideas. Practice speaking extemporaneously using bullet points to keep us on track.
Practice the flow of the presentation. Practice focusing on the message thats delivered instead of the precise words to use. We want to internalize the flow of the speech and remember the key points.
Practice recovering from a brain freeze. Practice recovery strategies by purposely stopping the talk and shifting attention to elsewhere. Then, refer to notes to find where we left off. Look ahead to the next point and decide what wed like to say next. Finally, well find someone in the audience to start talking to and begin speaking.
Be prepared for the worst. If we know what to do in the worst-case scenario , well have confidence in our ability to handle it. We do that by preparing what to say to the audience if our mind goes blank. Visualizing successful recovery of the worst will help us figure out what needs to be done to get back on track.
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To Overcome Your Fear Of Public Speaking Stop Thinking About Yourself
Even the most confident speakers find ways to distance themselves from their audience. Its how our brains are programmed, so how can we overcome it? Human generosity. The key to calming the amygdala and disarming our panic button is to turn the focus away from ourselves away from whether we will mess up or whether the audience will like us and toward helping the audience. Showing kindness and generosity to others has been shown to activate the vagus nerve, which has the power to calm the fight-or-flight response. When we are kind to others, we tend to feel calmer and less stressed. The same principle applies in speaking. When we approach speaking with a spirit of generosity, we counteract the sensation of being under attack and we feel less nervous.
Most of us even those at the top struggle with public-speaking anxiety. When I ask my clients what makes them nervous, invariably they respond with the same answers:
I dont like being watched.
I dont like the eyes on me.
I dont like being in the spotlight.
And it follows that when they get up to speak, nearly all of them initially avoid making eye contact with members of the audience. Therein lies the problem: While avoiding direct eye contact may seem like an effective strategy for coping with speaking anxiety, it actually makes you even more nervous.
What Causes Speaking Anxiety
There are a number of reasons that a person may experience anxiety about public speaking. Before you learn how to manage it, it is important to realize exactly what causes this type of anxiety.
These are just a few examples of course. Anxiety about bullying or mocking can cause embarrassment that is strong enough to affect public speaking. Also being in situations like having to speak to a crowd of people who are of a higher status than you , having to present new ideas, or when you know you are being evaluated based on your performance, can all impact the degree of anxiety you have about public speaking.
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Okay So I’m Not Alone How Do I Get Better
Here are three tips that can help alleviate your nervousness before a big speech or presentation. These tips provide just a glimpse of the improvement that’s possible through coaching and increased practice.
1. Visualize something positive. “Imagine something that you love is in the room with you, or even keep a picture of something you love on the podium, or in your pocket,” suggests “I’ve seen great speakers keep images of their children on their teleprompter because of this technique.”
2. Find a reason to be excited about your speech. Ever wonder why it’s easy to speak nonstop for three minutes about your favorite movie, yet comparably difficult to stand before your coworkers and talk about anything? Likewise, ever wonder why it’s easy to sing your favorite tune at karaoke, yet nerve-racking to sing under audition circumstances? Obviously, there’s more on the line at work or at an audition, and that’s no small part of it. But another part of it, according to the studies of Harvard Business School professor Alison Wood Brooks, is your own passion about the topic.
Brooks actually tested this theory in a karaoke setting, using Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” as the song. She asked singers to declare whether they were excited, anxious, or calm before performing the tune. The “excited” performers sang the best.
The takeaway here? Whatever you’re speaking about, find one or two facets of it that truly excite you. And when you get nervous, think about those facets.