We Are All Afraid.
From college students to seasoned professionals – we all fear speaking. It is the number one fear. We fear public speaking even more than we fear death (and spiders – yikes!)
So how do we all do it? How can it be that so many of us are actually presenting day after day – even though we fear it?
Some just plow right through it. Others avoid presenting as much as possible. But there is one group, that actually finds the strength – or rather builds their strength – and become confident speakers.
Build Your Confidence Muscle
Confidence in presenting is usually acquired over time, and with practice. The more you present, the better you become (we hope!) But how do you get practice if you can’t overcome your fear and get started? How can you deal with the fear in your early stages?
Here are a few ideas of how to get over that first hump and gain a bit of confidence – enough to be able to present more often so you can gain experience and thus build your confidence muscle.
Face Your Fear
Acknowledging your fear is the first step in reducing it’s power over you. Everyone feels this fear, it is natural. Next, change your perspective of the fear – appreciate and recognize it is your body’s way of getting you into action. Use the energy to inspire!
Push Through The Fear
Often the fear subsides after the first few sentences. So if you can just make it through you will be more relaxed and comfortable – and less self conscious.
You wouldn’t start lifting the heaviest weight possible to build your biceps – would you? So why start with a complex and long presentation? Start with a short presentation. Maybe even start by introducing the main speakers at an event. This will help you to build your strength slowly.
Work As A Team
Take the pressure off – work as a team. It is much easier to partner with someone when presenting. You can assign the work based on strengths, knowledge, and experience. If the presentation is conversational you may be more relaxed. You can also step in and cover for one another if needed. It’s like having a safety net.
Your Mileage May Vary
It’s important that you know you are unique in what will work for you to build confidence. Not everyone can use every approach. Work with a coach to help you discover what works for you. And remember – don’t panic!