7 Ways to Reduce Your Fear of Public Speaking
Most people feel extremely nervous during an interview, and that is probably the reason why they do not want to make an awkward mistake that will embarrass and humiliate them in front of their peers and that will prevent them from reaching their goal. There is no magic solution that can completely eliminate stage fright. However, what you can do, is learn how to manage your fear and how to get rid of the “butterflies” in your stomach that disturb you during the performance.
The text that follows is an excerpt from the book “The Media Training Bible” whose author offers seven techniques and tips that helped him and thousands of his clients in the last decade.
1. Practice makes perfect
Most people say that the best way to reduce their fear is by getting familiar with their material they have to present and conducting several practice interviews in advance. Their trainees also say that their fear recedes as they gain more media experience. Therefore, seize every opportunity you can to practice with smaller media outlets before the time comes for your first “big” interview.
2. You don’t have to be perfect
No one is judging you based on some perfection scale. You’re allowed to stumble, say the occasional “um” here and there or even forget a word or two. If you focus on doing the big things well – deliver quality content with passion—the audience is probably going to form a positive impression of you.
3. Just because you feel something doesn’t mean others can see it
The estimation of your own nervousness is bad. Don’t assume the audience can sense your pounding heart or sweaty palms—they usually don’t have such supernatural powers.
4. Remember, it’s not about you!
Stop focusing on your own fears and concentrate on the audience. Think about their lives, their needs, and their interests. Remember that your information can make their lives better. Try to serve them. It’s not about you. It’s about them.
5. Stay concentrated
If you make a mistake, stay concentrated. Don’t eat yourself up while the interview is still in progress—if you lose focus, you’ll make additional mistakes and make your original error even more complicated. Self-flagellate after the interview ends but never during the interview.
6. Take a long, deep breath
Adults, on average, breathe 12 times per minute. That number goes up when you’re in a stressful situation, which leads to a reduced concentration of carbon dioxide in your blood and oxygen in your brain. Long, deep breaths can help you regain control of your respiration, so it is recommended to practice your breathing shortly before your interview begins. Start by slowly exhaling all of the air from your lungs. Next, slowly inhale through your nose until your lungs are full. Hold your breath for as long as you can comfortably do so. Slowly release the air through your mouth until your lungs feel empty again. Repeat this exercise 10—12 times.
7. Relax your muscles
You can also use a modified version of a technique called “progressive muscle relaxation” by flexing—then relaxing—different muscles. Sit in a comfortable chair and close your eyes. Flex the muscles in your face for 10 seconds, then relax for 20 seconds. Move on to your neck and repeat the same exercise, continuing on with your shoulders, then your arms, then your hands, then your chest, then your stomach, and downward until you reach your toes.
We hope these few tips will help you prevent sweaty palms, pounding heart and butterflies in your stomach.
Source: mrmediatraining.comTags: public speaking, media relations, public relations, media training
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