How To Conquer Stage Fright

by A Guest Author

Your heart is racing; your palms are sweating; you can’t remember why you ever agreed to this. If that describes you whenever you need to do some public speaking, you’re not alone. Lots of people get stage fright when it comes to getting behind the podium. Most of the time, however, you’re being your own worst enemy. Public speaking doesn’t have to be so bad. When you examine the reasons for your fear, you can get past them. Here are a few of the most common causes of public speaking stage fright.

Telling Yourself It’s Stressful

Here’s a secret – public speaking isn’t stressful. Maybe you think it is, but why? A lot of times people are afraid of public speaking because they don’t know what to expect or how they’ll do in the situation. Stop hyping it up to be so scary. Instead of telling yourself that, tell yourself it’s no big deal. You talk to people every day; this doesn’t have to be much different.
Thinking It Has to Be Perfect

Perfection is a pretty lofty goal, but lots of people strive for it nonetheless. If you’re nervous because you want things to go perfectly, you’re putting way too much pressure on yourself. Don’t strive for perfection – it’s not necessary to achieve success. And believe it or not, the audience doesn’t expect you to be perfect. Everyone knows that public speaking can be difficult for some people, and no one expects other people to be perfect. Give yourself a break because they will, too.
Trying to Match Someone Else’s Abilities

Some people are naturally amazing public speakers – they just have a knack for it. Many more people, however, aren’t. If you know someone who is a great speaker, maybe your boss or someone you’ve seen on TV, you shouldn’t try to match their finesse. It’s not a bad idea to learn from others and try to improve, but don’t hold yourself to someone else’s standards.
Worrying that Something Will Go Wrong

If it’s not your pursuit of perfect that’s worrying you, maybe it’s your fear of failure. There are lots of things you can’t control about public speaking. There’s also no way to guarantee that you won’t “mess up” a little bit (even though more often than not the only one who will notice is you). You can’t let your worries that something will go wrong get in your way. There’s nothing you can do to prevent it, it usually won’t matter anyway, and thinking that way is practically setting yourself up for failure.
Dreading Potential Criticism

You can’t control the reaction of your audience to your speech. If you’re worried that they’re going to judge you harshly and criticize you, you’re not giving them a lot of credit, and you’re thinking about things the wrong way. If you do receive criticism after your speech, you should actually welcome it. People will rarely be mean to you; they’ll just offer constructive criticism that can help you become a better public speaker in the future.

About the Author

Valerie Burton is a marketing pro and blogger who likes to help others overcome their fear of public speaking. She loves to write and blog about anything from speech writing tips to today's top entrepreneurs.

Photo Credit: brainpop_uk

This post was written by A Guest Author

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