Today I will share six tips on overcoming fear of public speaking. The first tip is join a Toastmasters Group in your area. Toastmasters International offers ways to practice communication and leadership skills. Visit the site at http://www.toastmasters.org/. You will learn hand gestures, eye contact and techniques on becoming a confident speaker. Each meeting you will practice among the members by participating in a different roles such as telling a joke, giving a new word, delivering a speech, or any roles that are available. The main thing is you are among people that will help you grow and develop your communication skills. Practice makes perfect. Just get in front of the group and just do it.
Second tip is visualize yourself giving your speech in front of the people. Close your eyes see the people listening attentive to your speech. Feel yourself standing before the crowd, embrace the butterflies in your stomach, feel that rush of adrenaline, breathe and take a deep breath. See yourself calm and delivering your prepared speech knowing that what you have to say is important and you know what you are talking about.
The third tip is just before you deliver your speech there are some relaxing techniques that I've learned in one of my massage classes that you can do that will help you calm and knock off some of the anxieties that you are feeling. Start by taking your index finger and rub it under your nose 1,2,3 rub 1,2,3 do that 3 to 5 times. Next, place just hand above your chest just below the throat and pat yourself 1,2,3 pat 1,2,3 do that about 4 or 5 times. Then you could also take one hand and place it on your forehead while the other hand is holding the back of your head. Hold that position about a minute and you can repeat in your head or out loud, "I am calm, I am calm." Now these are the same techniques that I do before I deliver my speeches and so far I have won three 1st place speaking contests from Toastmaster. My last win was 2/26/08 for the International Speech at club level. On 3/7/08 is when I will compete against other club members to move to the next level then you go on to regional, national and so on. So try these relaxing techniques before you speak in front of a group.
The fourth tip is watch others perform their speeches to give you an idea on what speaking should look like. For instance, I have included a video from Youtube with a guy speaking at a Toastmasters function. So once you look at the one on this site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSKnIKAZb9E just check out the winners and watch them in action. Also, on Youtube you will learn more tips on how to overcome fear. The videos have tons of informations on public speaking.
The fifth tip is read books such as, "Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking" by Dana Bristol-Smith. Go to Amazon.com and search for titles such as: Fear of Public Speaking and check out the books that are listed.
Finally, the sixth tip is visit different websites. There is a site that talks about the Lefkoe Method www.speakingwithoutfear.com Peope are giving that method high praises. I will list two more, but there are others, http://www.undoityourself.com and http://www.telewebcaster.com
Remember the saying that is said about fear, "False Evidence Appearing Real" Hopefully one of the sixth tips will start you on your journey to overcome the fear of public speaking.