Right up there with death and heights, public speaking is ranked by 75% of people as their Number 1 fear1. That’s kind of scary! Anyone can have this fear, so the good thing is you are not alone.
It’s called glossophobia and is a pretty common anxiety disorder. It can present itself in physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, and a racing heartbeat, as well as psychological symptoms such as fear, nervousness, and self-consciousness. Less extreme cases are defined as jitters, butterflies in the stomach, and sweaty armpits. We all get them from time to time whenever we have to give a speech or give an important presentation to our boss. It can be a downfall in our career.
However, here are some things you can do to overcome glossophobia and become a pro at presenting before your next pitch.
- Prepare and practice: Preparation is key. Practice your speech or presentation as much as possible. This will build your familiarity with your materials and confidence when speaking about them. And you won’t end up in a panic if you forget everything from your slides.
- Use relaxation techniques: Deep breaths, progressive muscle relaxation, affirmations, or meditation can slow down your heart rate and help you relax when presenting.
- Visualize success: See it, and you will become it. Visualize yourself delivering a successful speech or presentation. Affirmations help because it imprints your ultimate objective in your heart and mind, so you can manifest it.
- Focus on your message: Focus on your message and what you want to convey, rather than on your anxiety. Remember that the audience is interested in what you have to say, and they are not there to judge you.
- Connect with your audience: Connect with your audience by making eye contact, using humor, and engaging them in your presentation. This will help you feel more comfortable and build rapport with your audience.
- Seek professional help: If your glossophobia is severe or interferes with your daily life, seek professional help from a therapist or counselor who can help you overcome your fear.
For more tips and tricks to successful presenting, get the book “Presentation Hell: From Painful Presentations to Better Stories”.
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