Often in our life we face difficult situations where we are left to ourselves to solve the problem. The problem could be related to our work, family or at times involve our own minds. I would like to discuss here how I was able to overcome one such problem in my own life. I used to fear public speaking when I was a child. It took a large amount of my time, energy and a well-planned systematic approach to triumph over the problem. When I was in school, I hated all those speech and debate contests and felt panicky while speaking in front of the class.
My knees would shake and voice, tremble. Sometimes I would even lapse into malapropism. However, I understood that I had to get over this difficulty as early as possible if I were to achieve something meaningful in life. The successful leaders in each and every sphere of life are essentially the good orators. So first and foremost I tried to find out the reason behind my fear. Why I did get nervous and tense while speaking in front of a group of people? The answer I found was that I got nervous thinking what would happen if I looked totally foolish and stupid in front of all those people?
I was afraid that my mind might go blank on the stage and my lack of speaking skills might lower the opinion of others towards me. I did not want to feel humiliated in front of so many people. But then what exactly did I need to do? I asked my teachers, parents and my seniors for suggestions and they responded with different solutions. I used my own logic and picked up some suggestions and then practiced those. I wish to communicate to you what methods I opted for. First, Be Well Prepared Before Speaking To A Group (Orman, Morton C) I started with jotting down the points of my speech on a plain paper.
In fact, initially I used to write the whole speech. Proper preparation reduces chances of goof-ups or failure. Also, I always kept in mind to which audience I was going to speak. Would there be young people or older ones? Would it be a very formal session or informal to some extent? Depending upon that I used to think over my language, words and the style of delivery. One should know beforehand that what he/she is going to talk about, who will be the audience and in what condition he/she will speak. It will increase your confidence level. Second, Leave Nothing to Chance.
Check each and every detail to ensure that everything is ok. Ensure that your material has enough information. Ask some one else to go through it for his/her valuable input. Show it to someone who would give you an unbiased feedback much before the D-day, to have enough time to do necessary changes. If possible, then check the stage before you are going to start your speech. If you are going to use a microphone or a projector, check whether they are functioning properly or not. So that you could be sure that there would not be any unwanted problems from these devices during your speech.
This will make you more relaxed and sure of yourself. Another suggestion of my seniors which helped me to improve is Practice. Practice as much as you can. Practice will make you more spontaneous and more confident. To start with, practice when you are alone. Simply say the speech out loud. You will feel that the material is getting more ingrained into your memory. By practicing it loudly I got certain control over my voice modulation. Then, I started practicing in front of a mirror to watch how I look while speaking.
Also, it helped to bring forward my emotion behind the words. Besides, it relieved me from my tension of “do I look foolish while speaking? “. Later, I found that I was able to make a better eye contact with my audience after the mirror practice. Another way that some people suggested me was to use a tape recorder for the practice. It allows to play the speech back to know how you actually sound. After I gained certain confidence by practicing before the mirror, I started practicing it before some of my close friends.
It always helps to practice before a friendly audience as it is getting closer to the real world of speaking to a group. The next important thing is to reduce the fear of your audience. Generally what happens is, the more important the audience or the occasion, the greater your fear becomes. But you need to understand that the audience has actually come here to hear you and should not fear about them. I started thinking of them as some caring, friendly people, just like my friends. The positive image of my audience relaxed me and put me in a good frame of mind. (How I Manage the Process)
Last but not the least is, try to feel relaxed before your speech. Practice deep breathing before you set out for the microphone. Then, before you begin, thank the person who introduced you and then count up to ten before you start speaking. The audience will get ample time to get settled and ready to hear you by this. These are some steps by which I solved my problem of public speaking fear. References Orman, Morton C. “How To Conquer Public Speaking Fear. ” http://www. stresscure. com/jobstress/speak. html “How I Manage the Process”, <http://www. speakfreaks. com/>