When people are asked to rank the things they are most afraid of, public speaking is usually pretty close to the top of the list.
Fortunately, this fear can be tamed. By taking proactive steps, you can manage your stage fright and ensure that even if your knees are shaking behind the podium, you seem collected and professional to the people watching. One of these steps that can lead you to get good results is hiring qualified coaches to teach you how to become a TEDx speaker.
To that end, here are four tips to help you handle your fear of public speaking.
It’s an unfortunate irony that the more anxious you are about something, the more likely you are to put off thinking about it. You cannot afford to do this when you’re preparing for a big presentation.
The thing about stage fright is that it’s pretty difficult to overcome entirely: instead, focus on managing it. And the best way to manage it is by becoming so familiar with your presentation materials that talking about them becomes second nature.
Just like an athlete or musician drills long and hard to build up muscle memory so they don’t have to think about what they’re doing, practicing your speech or presentation repeatedly will help ensure that when you step onto the stage, your training takes over.
2. Focus on the Message
Stage fright is a natural response to speaking in front of a large group of people. Who isn’t afraid of looking foolish in front of their peers?
This means that stage fright is a fear of how others perceive you. One of the best ways to manage it is by shifting your thinking away from yourself and toward the needs of your audience. What have they come to learn? What information do you need to communicate? How can you help them feel the same passion for your topic that you do?
Seeing yourself as someone providing a valuable service — and trying to make sure your audience gets the most out of your presentation — can help you stop worrying about being so you can focus on doing.
3. Get Professional Help
If public speaking is scary, having a professional presentation in a high-stakes business context can be terrifying.
Many great business presentations aren’t the product of a single person’s genius ideas but are created through collaboration with a presentation designer or presentation design agency who can help with everything from custom graphics to outlining, drafting, and coordination with a PowerPoint specialist.
Getting professional input and guidance won’t just improve your presentation; it will also bolster your confidence when walking on stage.
4. Limit Your Caffeine Intake
On the day of the presentation, you want to make sure you feel as lucid and calm as possible. Caffeine won’t help with this, so limit your intake of tea, coffee, and chocolate in the hours before the speech.
It’s okay to have your usual morning cup of joe, but slamming back espresso shots as the day continues will make you more anxious and jittery.
While stage fright might not be something you can conquer completely, following these tips can help you manage your anxiety to give the best presentation possible.