5 Public Speaking Anxiety Tricks to Dominate your Speech
Speech anxiety is not fun.
It’s one of the key fears that prevent us from reaching our grand potential.
When I used to have massive speech anxiety, one of my key fears was getting called on stage in front of familiar faces.
Not any kind of faces.
But the FAMILIAR faces.
This was a dreadful situation.
‘If you fail in front of a bunch of strangers, then life would move on.
But in front of your friends & family?
That’s embarrassing’ I thought…
This thought haunted me for a long time until one day, I experienced it.
Yep…your boy choked his first-ever talk in Toastmasters.
A part of me thought the world would end from there.
But the other part realized the intricacies of fear from that moment.
Speech anxiety is bad when you only have ‘what if’ scenarios to rely on.
In reality though?
Speech anxiety is like a poodle that we are mistaking for a pit bull.
It won’t kill ya bud.
In this blog, I want to share a few public speaking anxiety tricks that I have learned along the way.
Whether you have choked a speech or fear choking one… this article will be for you.
All the tips are practical & can be applied soon as you are done reading!
Public speaking is a cornerstone habit.
So once you conquer this fear, you conquer a lot of other fears along the way.
1. Push Up Practice
One of the toughest things about public speaking anxiety is the rapid heartbeat.
You feel as though the rapid heartbeat will make your voice quiver.
And you think the quivering voice will allow others to know how nervous you are!
Well, in that case, how about you PRACTICE with a quivering voice?
You’ll notice your heartbeat isn’t moving too fast when you are practicing because you are in the comfort of your own home.
So intentionally make it rise.
Do 50 pushups (or however you want to get a burn going).
Once done, force yourself to give a speech.
This will feel tough.
But you will get a feeling for how to do the breath management when the heart is beating at an awkward pace.
All practice champ!
2. Practice Thinking on Feet Skills
Another big cause of speech anxiety is fearing that you will forget a point.
All this practice for me to just choke?? you wonder.
That’s a tough feeling, I get it.
The thing is that choking can happen.
Sometimes the nerves can get the best of you.
But all you can do is practice your speech & give it your best.
In addition to practicing, start working out your thinking on feet skills.
Take some time every day to choose a random topic to talk about.
The talks don’t have to be too complex.
Just a 1-minute story can do wonders!
In this case, if you do fear to forget a point, you can always have some confidence on the backburner.
You know your thinking on feet skills can rise up & save you!
Just like anything, impromptu thinking is a muscle that can be learned, practiced, and mastered.
3. Clarifying Your Fear
Due to the negativity bias of the brain, we often put more focus on the negatives over the positives.
Our ancient ancestors had to weigh in potential threats on a higher degree vs. if they were having a good day.
Even in modern times, your brain will just create the anxiety out of the blue.
Especially if you have a speech coming up.
What you want to do is to clarify the fear.
Write down in words what is bothering you.
When you address that point, talk about in a hypothetical sense if the worst of your fears do come true.
What is the worse that can happen?
You’ll realize when you force yourself to clarify this question, the ‘worst’ that could happen ain’t that bad!
Maybe some audience members giggle and that’s about it.
And even if it’s bad, you have confidence in knowing that you clarified the fear.
Anxiety & clarity often cannot coexist.
Get crystal clear to gain control over your emotions.
4. Recording your Practice Sessions
The Illusion of Transparency is when we feel like our nerves our leaking out to the world.
That is why we think we look ‘ugly’ while speaking.
In reality, others can’t always tell if you’re nervous.
And the best way to prove that to yourself is to SEE how you look.
We gain access to a new world when we take the time to see ourselves in 3rd person.
Our entire lives, we are seeing life via 1st person.
Not quite sure how we exactly look.
With the camera, you are CERTAIN of how you look.
And when you notice you don’t look half as bad as your ego made you think, that’s when the nerves begin to settle.
5. Dressing Up For your Speech
Your clothes play a large role in your mentality.
If you don’t believe me, observe the difference in feeling you notice from wearing a:
- Dirty stained shirt, used basketball shorts, holes in the socks & muddy shoes.
- A custom-fit suit.
The mindset shift occurs instantaneously.
That right there helps you feel confident rather than feeling crippled by the feelings.
How you dress is also something you can directly influence.
Look, I get it, you can’t always control your anxiety & emotions.
But you can influence your wardrobe.
The audience NOTICES by the way.
They like the speaker that puts thought behind their outfit.
They become much more forgiving to your mistakes.
That’s why dressing up is a potent public speaking anxiety trick.
Bonus Tip: Using the Right Words
Words are perception programmers.
And if you understand that, then you will be more careful about the words you choose.
Something about the word ‘anxiety’ already has a negative tint to your perception.
But if you look closer, anxiety & excitement have identical physical sensations.
And excitement has an empowering perception attached to it.
As you get ready for your speech, take the time to refer to your nerves as ‘public speaking excitement‘ rather than ‘public speaking anxiety.’
This may not feel like a big change.
But over time, you start to gain more control over your perception.
And that right there is a key champ.
Overcoming Stage Fright One Step at a Time
Public speaking allows you to supercharge your life.
It’s a powerful feeling when you slowly start figuring it out.
Don’t expect to conquer public speaking anxiety overnight.
Expect to conquer it over time.
This article has the public speaking anxiety tricks that you can implement.
But in order to implement it, you need to have the conviction that you will give speeches.
Work your way up to conquering your fear.
But know the glory that awaits on the other side.
Public speaking is a spectacular phenomenon.
And the more you implement these tricks, the more empowered you feel.
Other fears that once terrified you will also begin to melt away as well.
That’s killing many birds with 1 stone.
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