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(Expert Feature) 3 Ways to Overcome Nervousness and Fear Around Public Speaking

how to get over fear of public speaking

The Moment We All Fear

Whether you’re in business or working for someone else, at some point in your career you’re likely to face a microphone and a waiting audience.

Or, if that doesn’t describe you, then at some point you’ll need to make a toast at a wedding or retirement party.

Public speaking is something we all face at some point in our lives.

The sooner we can gain a little skill at it the better off we’ll be. If it’s part of your work it can even help hasten a promotion.

The higher up you go in a company the more you’ll need to address an audience. It’s unavoidable.

This is why it’s so important to get past the nervousness and fear of public speaking. It’s a very common anxiety and one that’s easier to get over than you might think. Here are 3 solid ways to do it.

3 Solid Ways to Get Over Nervousness and Fear Of Public Speaking

1. Force yourself to practice.

This is by far the best way to resolve your fear of public speaking. In 1998 I took the 12-week signature Dale Carnegie course.

I was sick of not being able to properly address groups and didn’t want it holding me back any more.

As part of the Dale Carnegie program participants were required to speak for 2 minutes every week. Some weeks we had to speak twice!

It was very difficult in the beginning, but after the halfway mark something remarkable happened.

I was actually starting to like it a little bit. By the end of the course I was less nervous and more excited about what I was doing up there. I was thinking more about the content and getting it out there than my nervousness!

It was all due to the regular practice I was getting.

Don’t make excuses to get out of speaking. Just do it.

Go out there and blow it and then do it again. No champion was skilled in the beginning but they persevered until they became great.

2. Focus on the part of the audience that really wants to hear you.

Nervousness around speaking is almost 100% mentally derived. It’s all in our heads.

One of the reasons we’re nervous is because we’re thinking about the people in the audience who might be judging us. Stop doing that!

Don’t give a lick about those people. Instead, focus on the ones that care. They make up the majority of the audience and they don’t expect you to be perfect.

Once you realize this fact you’ll feel less nervous.

You’ll see more about this point in the video below.

3. Understand that the audience can’t perceive how nervous you actually are.

I’ve heard that nervous speakers feel 3x more nervous than the audience can ascertain. That’s because they can’t see the butterflies in your stomach  or the sweat trickling down your side.

Only you know how nervous you really are.

If you would only stop dwelling on your body and what’s happening with it and focus on the audience you could get on with the job at hand and do better.

The key here is to get out of your head.

Remember it’s a mental game and you can win. Watch the video now to learn more about this point.

What Ways Do You Deal With Nervousness?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you deal with nervousness around public speaking and whether these tips help you.


Photo by eyebidem

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About michael neuendorff (17 Articles)
Michael Neuendorff has been working with small business owners and independent professionals since 2008 to grow professionally. His areas of specialty are speaking, social, strategy and sales. Michael owns a Growth Coach franchise in the Bay Area as well as Speak Well and Sell. He is also adjunct faculty in the Business Division of Skyline College in San Bruno, CA. Michael has 20+ years of sales and marketing experience; extensive team building and leadership experience; teaching, training and mentoring experience and a proven ability to think creatively and listen deeply. Check the blog for business growth ideas. Attend an upcoming seminar or workshop. Read the latest issue of my acclaimed newsletter. * Michael is a 2BH contributor, so stay tuned for future articles from him.

2 Comments on (Expert Feature) 3 Ways to Overcome Nervousness and Fear Around Public Speaking

  1. You offer some great tips here Michael! I don’t get overly nervous when I’m speaking with a group but there are two things that help me overcome any flutters. For one thing, I smile… a LOT! It helps me relax and makes me feel friendly, which doesn’t leave much room for feeling nervous. Also, I try to focus on how the information I’m delivering will help the listener. If I focus on them, and not on myself, I’m way less concerned about how I sound, if I make a mistake or whatever.

    Thanks for this great post!

  2. Sydni,

    You’re welcome! I appreciate your additional tips. Smiling is something that was difficult for me to incorporate in to my talks in front of groups, but it’s easier now.

    As for focusing on your audience, that’s a super tip. As soon as you shift the focus from you to your audience you can’t help but put on a better presentation. Thanks for jumping in to help here.

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