Public speaking is an activity, which can help you to improve your speaking and communication skills greatly. It increases your confidence and self-esteem.

However, does just the thought of actually getting up in front of a group of unfamiliar people send terror down your spine? If so, the following tips will help you deal with your fear of public speaking:

Just do it

Although public speaking might seem particularly scary, it’s just like any other activity you might be unfamiliar with, which could make you feel anxious. In order to ultimately get over public speaking phobia, you need to do it.

Sign up to a local public speaking group and take the first step.

Continue making baby steps

The great thing about joining a public speaking group is you don’t have to speak the first time you attend a class – unless you want to. If you feel it’s too much for you, then just sit and observe other speakers getting up to speak and get comfortable with the whole set up.

Next week or month (depending on the frequency of the classes), be a little braver and get up and say a few words.

Prepare well

A great way to deal with the fear of public speaking is to prepare well. When you’ve decided on the topic of your speech, write out the script in full, and then rewrite it again in note form. After this, rehearse your speech, again and again until you begin to feel confident.

By knowing the content of your speech well, you’re setting yourself up for a successful delivery of it.

Visualise yourself

Not only can you help yourself by saying your speech out loud through rehearsing, you can also take this further by vividly visualising yourself giving your speech in just the way you want to.

See yourself giving a successful speech on the screen of your mind, and you will send out the right messages to your body to act out your visualisation for real when you give your speech.

Imagine you’re speaking to friends

A huge factor which can put you off public speaking is worry about what the audience will think. You think they might judge you or that you will make a mistake and look stupid.

The reality is that no one will really judge you, and making a mistake doesn’t mean you’re stupid. It means you’re human. Nevertheless, you can still be concerned about others.

One technique you can use to deal with this is to imagine the audience you’re going to be speaking to are friends. Even if you’ve never spoken with any of them, still assume they’re friends.

By assuming their friends, you’re helping yourself to feel more comfortable.

Welcome the nerves

Before you give a speech, you will feel nervous. You’re not alone. Everyone does. Even the most seasoned public speaker will feel some butterflies in his/her stomach before giving a speech.

Nerves are not a sign that you should not speak. Nerves are a sign that you that you have the opportunity to make your speech fresh and slightly spontaneous. Such qualities will only enhance your delivery.

My friends, it’s over to you:

• What other approaches and techniques can we use to overcome the fear of public speaking?
• Please share your valuable views, experiences and thoughts in the comments box below.
• Please also share this post on your favourite social networks. Thank you.