If the mere thought of public speaking positively fills you with panic, you’re definitely not alone. Approximately three out of every four people suffer from glossophobia, the fear of speaking in public, but it’s not something you simply have to accept. With a little practice and dedication, anyone can boost their leadership ability by putting their anxiety about public speaking to bed.
Start With How You Think
“I hate speaking in speaking in public.” “I’m terrified of giving presentations.” “I can’t speak in front of crowds.” Chances are you make statements like these a lot if you have a fear of public speaking, but it’s important to realize they’re all examples of negative self-talk. Start your journey by flipping the script and telling yourself you’re excited about overcoming your fear and being able to give stunning presentations one day instead.
Great leadership skills aren’t born in a vacuum. They’re the result of solid training and dedication. Effective public speaking is a learnable skill. The more you know about how to do it properly, the less afraid you’re going to feel, so get proactive about seeking out educational resources. Signing up for a workshop, reading self-help books on the topic, or even simply reading articles like this one are all fine ways to get the ball rolling.
Practice Makes Perfect
Exposure and repetition are important parts of overcoming fear like glossophobia. The more you speak in public, the more comfortable you’ll become with it. Eventually, there will come a day when it feels just like second nature to you. Once you’ve learned the basics of how to be successful at public speaking, it’s time to start practicing, so instead of avoiding opportunities to speak, try seeking them out instead. Speak in front of small groups at first, and move on to larger ones when you’re ready.
Preparation can help alleviate fear as well. The more prepared you are for a presentation, the less likely you are to be overcome by a case of stage fright when it’s “go” time. Leadership experts always make sure to know their audience so they can tailor their presentation properly. They also know their objectives backward and forward.
At the end of the day, there are few things in life that are as rewarding as knowing how to speak to and inspire an audience. It’s definitely a skill that will take your far in life, so what are you waiting for? Get started today.