If you feel genuine terror when you are asked to speak in public, you are not alone. Fortunately there are some very simple things you can do to help you overcome this fear. This article look sat visualizing your performance, setting your intention and having contingency plans for things going wrong.
Tip 1: Visualize Your Performance
Your brain cannot tell the difference between reality and something that is vividly imagined. Therefore if you vividly imagine successfully giving your presentation, you will increase your internal confidence as your brain believes that you have already done it successfully. This will help you to make a more confident presentation.
This is as simple as sitting down, closing your eyes and imagining yourself giving a great presentation. Another way you can use visualisation is after the presentation; but this time imagine how you would like it to have gone, so that you have the perfect experience as a base line for your next presentation.
Tip 2: Ask For Help Or Set Your Intention
This is the magic little extra that works for me. You might need to change what I do to fit in with your belief system. Before every presentation I say:
In this presentation I am about to give, help me to say the things that will make the biggest positive difference to every person in the room. I ask for your guidance to say the things it is highest wisdom for me to say. I offer you my voice box to share wisdom that would be relevant for the people in the room.
Since doing this, I have found that my presentations generate a much bigger ‘buzz’ and more people come up to me afterwards and tell me what a huge impact the presentation has had upon them.
What I say may not be appropriate for you, but there will be a way you can modify what you say to yourself so that you are achieving a similar result. It is really just setting your intention for the outcome you want from the presentation before you start.
Tip 3: What Is The Worst That Could Go Wrong And What Would You Do If It Did?
Fear of public speaking can be overcome in the same way you have overcome any other fear you have had in your life. Your fear is really is you imagining the worst possible outcome. The reality is that this worst possible outcome rarely happens and you have wasted a lot of time and energy thinking about it. Here are some things you can do to help you move through this fear:
- Work out what could go wrong and what you would do if it did.
- Ask yourself what is the worst thing that could happen and then check whether that is really as bad as you have imagined.
- Remind yourself of how many times in the past the worst possible scenario has actually happened – not often.
- Understand that by staying stuck in your fear, you are guaranteeing a less positive outcome than could otherwise be the case.
- Know that every time you move through fear, the size of your confidence sphere expands. The only way to get it to expand is to move through fear.
- Look at the benefits you could obtain from doing the presentation and compare them with the cost of the fear.
- Take backup copies of everything with you. If something goes wrong, you will have it with you. From past painful experience… if you are travelling, these copies need to be in your carry on luggage rather than you checked in luggage… just in case the checked in luggage goes to another city.