Public speaking is a common students fear, experience is always like hell, like a place of no return. For students to overcome fear of public speaking, they need to understand that this task is just for a very short period of time, it will pass.
Fear of public speaking erupts when students start to experience a sudden change in feelings, an unusual, uncontrollable behaviour, when they are asked to defend, or present in class.
That experience where your body no longer follows your mind, your stomach rumbles, your palm sweats, your leg never stops shaking, your voice keeps breaking and you wonder when this will be over.
How To Overcome Stage Fright
What comes to your mind at this moment are how do you get up that stage, how do you face this large audience, when do you start your speech from, will people even listen to what you are going to say, will they mock you, keep silent or praise you when get off that stage?
Only you can answer these questions, as it depends on how you prepare over the fear of public speaking.
I remembered being in those shoes of public speaking fear, in fact this fear has been in me right before I became a student. I was an introvert who did not like social lifestyle, I hardly spoke to large numbers of people, even speaking with friends was war.
Public speaking is one of the major common fears of students, a struggle that many students fail to overcome, which has directly and indirectly affected many in academics, social lifestyle and even ruined career.
The Fun In Public Speaking
There are better ways to overcome your struggles of speaking in public. Actually, speaking in public is fun, you may think it is not, until you get the rhythms, then you will know there is a melody to public speaking.
Based on experience, I never thought public speaking was that fun until I learned how to play with people’s feelings and then tried some tweaks on people’s minds.
Note that, it does not in all ways work for everyone at first, but when it works it will keep working for you forever.
How To Overcome Fear Of Public Speaking As a Student
- Understand yourself: So many students could not overcome fear of public speaking not because of phobia to speak, but because they do not understand how to carry themselves, in terms of self presentation, body language, how often to speak, when to pause and all. You can not make people understand you if you do not first understand yourself.
2. Understand your topic: Why should you go out to speak in public when you do not understand what the topic is really about. It is your responsibility to make good research on what topic is given to you. To overcome public speaking fear as a student is to understand your topic.
3. Never expect too much: Before you mount that pulpit to give your speech, make sure you have in mind never to expect too much from the people you are about to speak to, you do not know their mind neither do they know what you are about to say. Facing the crowd with low expectations is better to overcome public fears.
4. Don’t hope for public praise: The same way you should never expect too much from the public, so should you not hope for public praise. You do not owe them anything, you aren’t their hero, you are just a nobody who is trying to prove yourself for the start.
Remember this saying, ‘Those who praise themselves will be pulled down and those who humble themselves will be praised ’. You do not need to hope for public praise even when you are confident of your speech.
5. Start with a power short story: People love stories that inspire, forget about the age, the class and caliber of people you are presenting to. Starting your speech with a powerful short story or history of an event that relates with the subject matter, it will make your audience feel free to relax and at the same time give you room to overcome your fears of public speaking.
6. Support your words with quotes: Adding some quotes from reputable scholars to your speech makes you stand out unique and accredited. Referencing other people’s work makes the audience believe you know what you are doing. Which at the same time diminishes your fear of public speaking.
7. Let others criticize your speech: Before the day of your presentation, give your article or speech out to your friends and family who you feel are more intelligent, creative and knowledgeable than you are. Tell them to feel free to criticize the write-up if need be, also do a live performance so they can spot your lapses ,if any. This is how to know where to tackle to overcome fears of public speaking.
8. Have good people who can motivate: The success of public speaking can not be completed without motivation. The fear of public speaking will surely overcome students who fear their fears. With the right motivation from yourself and or the people around you, it is easier to overcome fear of public speaking as a student.
9. Have a tone: Many students failed to overcome fear of public speaking because they do not have a tone. This may sound out of the box for you but this is the real deal. To become successful at speaking in public requires a sort of personality. This will show people the kind of person and how you can handle the situation. Be audible, firm, unshaken and stand on your ground, be the driver of your audience, let them dance to your tune.
10. Have a strategic plan: To come out outstanding is to have a strategic plan that can help you overcome your fears of public speaking. Have a plan A and B even C, so that if one does not work out then you try the second trick.
11. Practice early: The more you practice how to present yourself the better you get accustomed to it, and gradually it becomes part of you. Late practice will not help overcome your fear of public speaking.
12. Don’t think of impressing people: Among the major common student fears, student trying to impress others is a failed process. I do not mean impressing people with your intellectual capability isn’t great but impressing others without you first impressing yourself will not help you overcome your fears.
13. Be yourself: You can not form or pretend to be who you are not and hope to overcome fear of public speaking, it won’t work. Learn to be yourself by doing what you know how to do best, instead of faking it, make it real by improving yourself to be you wish to be.
15. Don’t cram: Cramming is like forcing yourself to memorize what you are afraid of. You can not overcome public speaking fear in that manner. It’s like you are mounting more pressure on an unbalanced ladder. Such a person is bound to fail.
16. Don’t be spoon fed: Don’t let people put words in your mouth, or tell you want to say. You can learn for their words or experience but you should be able to decide for yourself in taking and making of decision by believing in yourself, if you truly want to overcome your public speaking fear.
17. Don’t speak to the public: If you are new or overwhelmed by fear of public speaking, learn to speak to yourself and not the public. Speak like you are talking to yourself or more or less your siblings rather than the public the moment you mount the pulpit.
18. Fear regrets: Don’t fear the public, they will only have something to say about your performance for a while, but instead, fear regrets. No matter how people’s words spread through the world of your failure, it will gradually go down and fade away. But regret is like a thunder that never stops, it rumbles then strikes in the heart and lives with you forever
19. Don’t fear rejection: If you want to overcome any fears at all, I mean any fears of the world. Never be scared of the present aftermath or failure. In fact the moment you are scared of rejection, that moment you have labeled yourself as a failure, which will only worsen the situation. Fear of failure is even, fear of regret should be your worst nightmare.