Public Speaking Lab

2 Ways to Embrace Your Inner Public Speaking Fear

So, you’re here because, like most of us, you’ve felt those jitters when the spotlight’s on you. Well, let me spill the beans – you’re perfectly normal! Yep, even the seasoned pros have been there. It’s all part of being human. In fact, fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobias in the world. So, what can you do to embrace that fear? 

To help you break free from the shackles of public speaking anxiety you can take small steps, like volunteering at networking events or trying an improv class, to get comfortable speaking in front of others.

But before explaining each of these strategies, let’s understand why this fear is so common. Well, it’s because we’re social creatures. We’re wired to care what other people think of us. And when we speak in public, we’re putting ourselves out there, making ourselves vulnerable to judgment. Let’s face it: what others think of us matters. We all want to make a good impression and show our true selves.

But here’s the thing: public speaking is also a skill that everyone can learn. And it’s a skill that’s worth learning, because public speaking is an essential part of life. Whether you’re giving a presentation at work, interviewing for a new job, or simply speaking up at a meeting, public speaking skills are essential for success. But when the fear of judgment holds us back from speaking up, it’s time to shake things up. 

Conquering your fear doesn’t have to be a giant leap – it’s about taking baby steps that lead to big wins. Here’s how:

1. Volunteer at networking events

Volunteering at networking events provides an invaluable opportunity to get yourself used to public speaking in a supportive and less formal environment compared to a major work presentation. Volunteering for a smaller role, such as participating in a discussion or sharing a brief insight, allows you to ease into public speaking without the pressure of a full-fledged talk. This way you expose yourself to public speaking in manageable increments. This gradual exposure helps desensitize the anxiety associated with speaking in front of others. 

Successfully volunteering, even for minor speaking roles, contributes to a sense of accomplishment. Overcoming the initial hesitation and completing these small speaking tasks can boost your self-esteem and confidence. This newfound confidence becomes a foundation for taking on more significant speaking challenges in the future and can help reshape your perception of public speaking as something to be embraced rather than feared.

Networking events also provide a social and collaborative environment. Engaging in public speaking within this context allows you to observe others, learn from their experiences, and receive advice or tips from those who may have faced similar fears. This social support can be invaluable in your journey to conquer the fear of public speaking.

2.Try an improv class

Improv isn’t just for comedians – it can be very helpful for public speaking too! Improv classes emphasize thinking on your feet and responding to unexpected situations. This fosters a mindset of spontaneity and adaptability, crucial skills for effective public speaking. Improv teaches you to embrace the unknown, helping to reduce anxiety associated with rigidly scripted presentations.

It also helps you to step outside your comfort zones. As you engage in various improv exercises and games, you gradually become more comfortable with the idea of expressing yourself in unpredictable ways. This increased comfort translates directly into improved confidence when speaking in public. Through repeated exposure to unexpected scenarios, you can decrease the fear of making mistakes or being judged. It also emphasizes active listening and effective communication with fellow participants. These skills are transferable to public speaking, helping you connect with your audience, respond to their reactions, and maintain engagement. 

In conclusion, when you conquer your public speaking fear, you open doors to a world of opportunities. Not only will you shine on the stage, but you’ll also become a better communicator in your everyday life. Whether you’re aiming for that dream job, making an impact in your community, or just enhancing your conversational skills, public speaking is your secret weapon.

So, why wait? Embrace your inner fear, because on the other side is a world of endless possibilities. Remember, it’s not about ditching fear altogether; it’s about owning it and making it your ally.