How To Overcome Stage Fright When Speaking In Public

Renny Yagosesky defines stage fright as a generally intense psychophysical response of the organism that arises as a consequence of catastrophic anticipatory thoughts about the real or imaginary situation of speaking in public. How To Overcome Stage Fright When Speaking In Public?

How To Overcome Stage Fright When Speaking In Public
People in a Meeting.

From this definition we can draw a first clear conclusion: we are afraid because we visualize failure, sometimes because we remember previous events and other times, simply because we imagine it.

If you’ve Never Done it, Don’t Be Afraid.

If you’ve never spoken in public and have to deal with it, it’s best to look at the people who enjoy doing it. See how they move, how good they feel, how safe they show themselves.

There are many videos of people giving lectures on the Internet. Look for one of these and see how secure they are. A trick: stand in front of a mirror at home and do the same.

And, above all, concentrate on the applause at the end, on the public interest face. Now, get into their skin and visualize yourself. What do you feel?

If you Failed in the Past, Learn from your Mistakes

Just because you’ve had a negative situation in the past doesn’t mean it always has to be that way. The first thing you have to do is think about what happened, but not about the outcome, but about your attitude before, during and after the event.

Most Common Cognitive Errors

How To Overcome Stage Fright When Speaking In Public
Man Standing In Front of People.

Bados López (2005), professor of psychology at the University of Barcelona, points out in his article that there are certain cognitive errors that occur frequently.

Among these most frequent errors we can find:

  • Underestimate our own abilities.
  • Oversize the probability of making mistakes.
  • Thinking that others will notice all our anxiety symptoms.
  • Overestimating the probability and intensity of criticism and rejection.
  • Existence of selective attention to negative reactions of others and lack of attention to positive reactions.
  • Excessively negative evaluation of our performance.
  • Exaggeration of mistakes.
  • Selective recall of negative experiences.
  • Attribution of successes to external factors.
  • We must not forget that these errors, as their name suggests, are errors. Therefore, we should not focus on them or make them the centre of our experience.

Some Positive Ideas for Overcoming Stage Fright

People have a lot of work to do to get a lecturer missing. What we are all looking for is to learn, to enjoy, to share ideas. Give your audience what they want, it’s what you want. Why waste time on negative thoughts?

1. Rehearse, Train, Practice

Visualization is fine, but that doesn’t mean you’re left to luck. Practice, train, rehearse…. Call it what you want. But, as you learn to speak by speaking, to whom do I bore repeating the same speech over and over again?

2. Don’t let Anyone Tell You that you Can’t

Run away from those toxic people who pour their shit on you. Focus on the people who encourage you, who support you and who trust in your possibilities.

Are you the one who self-sabotages? Then maybe it’s time to go out and throw away the garbage. Free yourself from negative thoughts and love yourself.

How to dominate and control the situation

How To Overcome Stage Fright When Speaking In Public
A Group of People in a Conference.

You have already visualized yourself, rehearsed, filled yourself with positive energy and practiced a little more. You are ready to succeed.

But even so, you feel a small tremor in your legs or you notice a kind of cold sweat that runs all over your body. Well, you may be a little nervous, but you may also feel a great emotion. Try to channel your energies and do the following:

1. Speak Passionately and make your Audience Fall in Love

People will be much more interested in what you say and will get involved in the speech. The positive energy you give off when you speak will feed you during the talk.

2. Divide your Speech into Parts that are Easy to differentiate.

This will help you face each part independently, memorize the speech and feel that you are evolving successfully. Your audience will also find it easier to hear you.

3. Take a Deep Breath

Breathing techniques are essential for public speaking and overcoming stage fright, as well as for relaxing and concentrating. Practice diaphragmatic breathing before going out to speak, aware of what you are doing. You will oxygenate your body and feel calmer.

4. Drink a Glass of Water

Don’t forget to drink a glass of water quietly. That will send your brain a message of tranquility. In fact, keep water handy while you talk. You can take a sip from time to time, taking advantage of the passage from one section to another, or while someone asks a question.

5. Whenever you Can, take Advantage of Technology

How To Overcome Stage Fright When Speaking In Public
Man in front of People.

It doesn’t mean that you wear your written speech in a presentation and read it, of course not. It’s about relying on technology to facilitate your speech, either through slides that help you structure the talk, photos that make more graphical what you say or anything else that makes things easier and helps the public better capture your message.

6. Arrive Early to the Place of the Event

So, besides being able to explore the room calmly and visualize yourself in that context, you’ll be able to check that everything you need is fine: lights, electrical connections, computer equipment, and so on.

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