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Tips To Overcome Public Speaking Nervousness: How To Stop Those Nerves

Apr 12, 2008
Public speaking is not an easy thing to do, wherever it takes place and whoever the speaker or the audience may be. Teachers admit they feel a bit nervous when they address a group of students they have never spoken to before and so does the president, no matter how well-prepared he is or how interesting the speech he is going to make might sound.

However, there are speakers who have learned to control their emotions and no longer feel awkward when hundreds of eyes are watching them. They have managed to overcome the fear and anxiety that public speaking used to trigger. How could one do that? Has it got anything to do with genes? Were they born to be more 'in control' than the rest of us? Of course not; what they do is educate their mind, continually preparing it to face the challenges of speech-making. They are not specially-endowed representatives of our species, but confident and motivated people who have learnt a couple of stratagems that make things easier for them. Here are some useful tips to overcome public speaking nervousness:

The first thing you should do is give up the belief that the speaker has to be perfect and he or she is not allowed to make any mistakes. We all do, but we must be prepared to correct them and we can never do that if we are in a state of anxiety. Even stuttering is all right if it happens a few times in your speech; the audience might assume you think faster than you can speak.

A speaker is supposed to know the subject very well and also to put his or her heart into that speech. If the audience feels the speaker's passion for the subject, a great deal of the trouble has vanished. You cannot charm your audience if you are not totally committed to what you are doing. And here comes another tip: you must assume that the audience is friendly, they have come to listen to you because they are really interested in what you are going to say and no one is there to judge you. Remember the last time you were part of the audience and your own attitude to the speaker. An audience is not the speaker's enemy unless he or she has come to attack them.

Believe it or not, the speaker's appearance is very important and you should never neglect it. If you look your best and are wearing professional-looking clothing, you will definitely feel great and the audience will sense that. They will see that special glow on your face and your self-confidence will result in the positive attitude of your listeners to you.

One last thing: don't forget to put a smile on! A relaxed and confident speaker, who believes the audience to be a group of friendly and knowledge-thirsty citizens, ought to show some appreciation to the people who have come to listen to the speech. Smiling at them from time to time will maintain the friendly atmosphere in the hall and keep you connected to your listeners. A smile is worth a million words!
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