How to Overcome Public Speaking Phobia

Many people absolutely dread the thought of public speaking or having to do a presentation as it fills them with complete fear. As soon as they think about it, their minds become full of negative thoughts and reasons to avoid it.  Has this ever happened to you?  And have you ever thought…

  • I’ll forget what I want to say
  • The audience will be bored and fall asleep
  • I’ll look like a quivering wreck
  • Everyone will see my knees, hands, body shaking
  • My voice will wobble uncontrollably
  • I’ll get asked loads of questions that I don’t know the answer to
  • I’ll start waffling off the point and lose track of what I am saying

Public Speaking Training can help you overcome your phobia

Liz Banks - Skillstudio MD If you want some expert coaching to help you overcome your fear and enhance your public speaking skills then Skillstudio are there to help. We provide:-

Overcome Public Speaking Phobia
A 1-day public workshop for absolute beginners to presenting and public speaking held in Central London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Edinburgh & Glasgow.

Effective Presenting & Public Speaking
This 2-day Public intermediate level workshop is held regularly in Central London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow.

Advanced Public Speaking Coaching
This 2-day Public course is held regularly in Central London.

We can also run our public speaking courses for your organisation on an in-house basis at your premises throughout the UK and Europe. We also offer 1-2-1 coaching in all aspects of public speaking throughout the UK.

Call us today on 08456 444 150 if you want to discuss how our training can help you or your team.

Public Speaking Phobias

These negative thoughts automatically create an attitude of fear of failure towards speaking in public. It is this fear of failure that can often create a phobia towards public speaking. It is much easier to focus on the negative rather than the positive things that can happen when you have to deliver a speech in public. If you focus on negative thoughts however, you are more likely to convey these to your audience and this is not going to help you to feel more confident.

Creating positive thoughts

So, to avoid being trapped by your negative thoughts, you need to reverse your attitude and actively create some positive thoughts in you mind instead. You can do this by creating an inner dialogue with yourself – ie by saying some positive things over and over again in your head to help create a positive state of mind. Here are some examples of positive thoughts that you could consider:

  • I have information that the audience needs to hear
  • The audience will benefit from listening to me
  • I have a strong passion for the topic of my speech
  • The audience members would probably much prefer to listen to me than have to speak themselves

Controlling your anxiety when speaking in public

It’s important to acknowledge that you will inevitably feel nervous when you have to speak in public and this is very normal for most people. If you acknowledge this you can then work on some techniques to help you calm yourself down before a presentation. It’s important to try to relax before a presentation and although easier said than done, you can achieve this with some simple techniques.

One of the easiest ways to help you relax is to focus on your breathing before you start to speak. Think of the rhythm of your breath as a controlling mechanism. The more you slow down your breathing pattern and make it more sustained, the greater control you will have over your nerves and anxiety. We tend to release tension when we breathe out – so the longer you sustain the out breath, the more you will release hidden tensions in your body.

Visualise your success when public speaking

We have looked at the kinds of negative thoughts that tend to creep into our minds when we think about having to speak in public and how it’s important to transfer these negative thought into positive ones. One way to help to do this is to actually visualise yourself delivering a successful speech before you do it. The mind finds it difficult to distinguish between reality and strong imagination and so the more you can actively imagine the event beforehand eg imagine –

  • Filling the room with your voice
  • Feeling strong and confident in front of your audience
  • Observing the audience’s faces – listening to your every word

the more you will feel you have already been successful. By repeatedly talking through these things in your head, you will develop a belief that you can actually be successful.

Fear of failure

We have looked at how having a fear of failure can result in a phobia towards speaking in public. It’s important though to realise that many confident and successful speakers have initially experienced these fears but have learnt to use the techniques we have discussed to help them overcome them.

So when you are next presented with an opportunity to speak in public, try to use the techniques we have discussed:

  • Creating positive thoughts
  • Controlling anxiety
  • Visualising success

They will help you to control your anxieties and speak with more confidence. The more you practice them and gain valuable public speaking experience, the more you will grow in confidence and reduce your phobia.

Public speaking coaching will overcome your phobia

For most people, becoming more successful at public speaking is a relatively slow and painful process with many never really overcoming their phobia and achieving their true potential.

But it doesn’t have to be like that.  

You can quickly build confidence and develop these skills with Skillstudio through expert coaching and practice.  And by enhancing your public speaking skills you will be able to develop a much stronger influence on your audiences and reap the business success that goes with that.

To get some coaching in public speaking, click on one of the links below:-

Public Speaking Coaching  – 121 coaching
Public Speaking Courses – Open to members of the public
Public Speaking for Business – In-house training for companies and organisations

Skillstudio also offer public courses, 1-2-1 coaching and in-house training in many aspects of presentation skills and communication skills, including public speaking, vocal skills and body language awareness.

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