“There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly to get your subject into the heart of your audience.” – Alexander Gregg
But, how is it possible? Public speaking is one of the worst fears that people face other than the fear of dying or hurting oneself. Yes, folks! It is that common. Shaky voice, cracking voice, feeling dizzy, trembling, forgetting everything that you wanted to speak… Public speaking can be very difficult at times. It can make you mumble, fumble and make your words all jumbled up. Public speaking is an art. For some it’s an easy task, while for others it is like hell! But, public speaking is not that difficult or scary. If you know about its dynamics, you too can master the art of public speaking. Let us look into the dynamics of Public Speaking:
Psychological Causes behind the fear of Public Speaking
Fear of speaking in public or social settings is often caused by different psychological phenomena. Some of them are:
- Lack of self-confidence
- Anxiety and stress
- Lack of personality finesse’
- Speech anxiety or glossophobia
- Problematic decoding of rehearsed material in memory
- Problems in encoding, storage and retrieval of memory traces
- Past negative experiences in public speaking
How to prepare yourself for public speaking
Going prepared to a public speaking session always helps to avoid fear or nervousness during the event. Starting from a good night’s sleep to your diet, everything plays a vital role in effective public speaking. Here are some of the important things you need to do for preparing yourself for public speaking:
Know the event
Even before you start planning for the public speaking session, try to know the theme of the event. What is the occasion, who all will be attending it, what is the implication and significance of the event, possible outcome and probable expectations of the audience….try to do a home work on these aspects before you start!! This will help you to captivate your audience and speak the right words in the right most way.
Plan for the even
Planning for the event gives a buffer and boost to your public speaking performance. Planning for the event means what time to get up in the morning, how to get ready for it, keeping all the important stuff/papers you need absolutely ready the night before, what time to leave for the event, how to commute… Planning means to be well prepared about each and every logistics of the event.
You can end up feeling embarrassed if you don’t dress decently and properly for the public speaking event. Select clothes that are gentle, that are not too flashy, and that fit well. Check out for any wardrobe malfunction too. Most importantly, the clothing that you are planning to wear for the event should be comfortable and apt for the occasion and audience.
Sleep well the previous night
Even if you are stressed out for the public speaking event, even if you are getting anxious nerves everywhere…do not spend sleepless night. Try to relax and de-stress yourself more and more and enjoy a good night’s sleep. Meditation, deep breathing, soothing music and massage are some of the ideas that would help you to de-stress yourself. Always remember that, the more you are relaxed and composed, the more confident you will feel while speaking. Sleeplessness will only make you more tired, dull and shabby!
Stand in front of a mirror, or speak out in front of your friend….try rehearsing the public speaking material before you actually keep your words out in front of the whole group of people. An elaborative rehearsal will help you keep an eye over your body language, speaking skills, eye contact with your audience, memorize the speech and look into the important points, your voice modulations and lot more.
This is what most of the people forget. Before leaving out of the house for the event, take a tour inside the entire house to cross-check whether you have left any important thing back After you have re-viewed everything, take a deep breathe and zoom forward for the event with a positive spur ‘n’ spark!
Don’ts before Public Speaking
Here is a quick guide on what not to do in or before the public speaking:
- Do not foster negative thinking or speculations
- Stay away from assumptions
- Do not skip meals or sleep. It may make you feel sloppy, weak and queasy
- Do not over-learn anything. Just make the points clear in the mind…words will automatically flow out.
- Do not lose your own-self confidence.
- Do not focus on others… Focus on yourself and what you want to say.
Public speaking is not that difficult the way you are thinking. If you have confidence on yourself, if you believe in yourself… You can do it!!! To help you more here is a wonderful saying by Dale Carnegie:
“Students of public speaking continually ask, “How can I overcome
self-consciousness and the fear that paralyzes me before an
Did you ever notice in looking from a train window that some
horses feed near the track and never even pause to look up at the
thundering cars, while just ahead at the next railroad crossing a
farmer’s wife will be nervously trying to quiet her scared horse as
the train goes by?
How would you cure a horse that is afraid of cars—graze him in a
back-woods lot where he would never see steam-engines or
automobiles, or drive or pasture him where he would frequently see
Apply horse-sense to ridding yourself of self-consciousness and
fear: face an audience as frequently as you can, and you will soon stop shying. You can never attain
freedom from stage-fright by reading a treatise. A book may give
you excellent suggestions on how best to conduct yourself in the
water, but sooner or later you must get wet, perhaps even strangle
and be “half scared to death.” There are a great many “wetless”
bathing suits worn at the seashore, but no one ever learns to swim
in them. To plunge is the only way.” – Dale Carnegie, The Art of Public Speaking