How to overcome stage fear – tips for public speech preparation2020-04-28 0:36
How to overcome stage fear – tips for public speech preparation
How to overcome stage fear – tips for public speech preparation
Public speech preparation is not a tough thing at all. There are many myths of public speech preparation like “Public speech is an art or inherent talent”. But It’s definitely not the case public speech is a skill which can be developed by anyone at any time. We often get inspired by people who are great at public speech and yet many people wonder about how to start public speech preparation.
How to start public speech preparation is the real question? and here’s a simple way to start with:
Understand why you have stage fear the first place
It’s absolutely normal to have fear of certain things or activities which you haven’t tried before. And in this case, fear comes because of high expectations of results right from the first attempt. Those who does not associate with stage activities right from childhood are most likely to have higher intensity/ chances of having stage fear in later part of life.
Rejecting a chance of failure leads to lack of practice
Turn on the learning mode and practice. Because in childhood it does not much matter to be on stage. However, in college life we feel great embarrassment of mistakes. That is why we do not allow ourselves to fail for several times in process of learning. It is important to understand you cannot master any skill or art without practising it. And one cannot practice anything without letting fail. Eventually, you need to learn to fail first. And then learn from failure.
Even the greatest of great speakers spend hours of preparation in perfecting one single dialogue!
The leaders, politicians, actors, speakers, anyone who you follow in presentation skills or public speech have developed their skills with hard work and intensive practise. None generates the master piece of any painting just in first attempt. It takes consistent efforts and ability of not settling anything but the best. Similarly, in case of public speech too, you can start observing great leaders.
Collect data and prepare a good script
Prepare a short speeches of topics which you are familiar with. Collect the data or information related to your topic and try to have your own point of view/opinions based on them. Good speakers will always draw attention to what they speak by creating a buzz through their strong opinions. Indeed they also have data to back up their thought process and justify what they are going to say.
Always carry 2-3 points more than needed as it is likely to forget few points as a beginner.
Always carry bullet points/ prompts even while practising
The biggest mistake beginners tend to make is to write whole script line by line & mug it up. In order to refraining from losing out the sequence or any points people prepare whole script. In this situation they end up forgetting the whole sentence or a simple word and whole speech is stuck at a point. This again frustrates them and work hard to mug it up line by line & word by word.
If you are too much concentrating on words and lines you are not going to take hold on your body language. This will increase your stress level and anxiety. Never less to say this bad practise will actually could lead a bad experience of your speech.
I will strongly recommend, you should not focus on preparing speech line by line. But you should ideally just write down bullet points or prompts.
Prompts will simplify you to reduce your stress of forgetting any point. It also will allow you to demonstrate your natural style of speaking by using your own words. Thereby, eliminating the chances of getting stuck at one word.
You should practice at home or in front of mirror/friends using prompts only. This way you will start elaborating the same points in different ways and words. And you can also focus on your body language without being too much conscious of what you speak.
How you speak matters more than what you speak!
The way you present yourself on the stage creates a long lasting impact on audience. Your confident posture, subtle way of walking on the stage shows you have grabbed attention of them. Your eye contact, hand movements, gesture keeps your audience engaged in the topic. Some intriguing questions in between the talk will help you to bring points even more interesting. Even a moderate level of humor here and there (if appropriate to the subject) will be appreciated by all.
Practicing in front of mirror/ recording videos while rehearsing will help you to monitor your body language. But nothing could beat the feedback of live audience. Rehearsing again and again until you give your best and picturing the positive reactions of audience will certainly help you.
Don’t compare your first attempt with others
You should not compare your performance with anyone else’s first or best one. You should just think about your expected best performance. For example, imagine you gave your best speech & audience is thrilled, applauding for you, congratulating you. This way you will get a new amount of motivation for your next attempts.
Remember presentation is a skill not art or talent—it can be developed with practice and consistency
Public speech or mastering communication skills require practise till you master at it. Afterwards it just comes natural to you. Just like when you start driving a car for the first time you need to concentrate on many things initially. But after practising over and over you don’t really have to think about where’s clutch or gear etc. It comes automatic to you. Later in time you master the driving skill. But what if you don’t try in the first place? You will always feel less confident and might have a fear of driving on any emergency situation.
Same thing happens with public speech fear, just because you have not developed a particular pattern in your brain you feel less confident about it. Just because you haven’t practiced it enough you feel scared of trying. All you need to do is jump into the water without thinking, you will learn how to swim.
I hope these things will help you or guide you on how to start trusting yourself while on the stage. If you follow these tips in public speech preparation it will definitely help you.
Ms. Prerna Salunke
Co-founder of ingenious Academy
She is an HR professional having 3+ yrs of corporate experience. She has been working in Training and development field in IT industry. Moreover, she was associated with big brands like Bharat Petroleum Ltd. Co. (BPCL). She is also a Certified professional for Recruitment. Her area of expertise includes Personality assessment programs, Recruitment processes and soft skills development. Additionally her work highlights also include CV building, Interview preparation, grooming sessions and personality development programs. She is an alumni of Welingkar Institute of Management & Development, Mumbai which is among India’s top 10 institutes of management.