Become a better PUBLIC SPEAKER

The most common phobia people have is the Fear of public speaking. Some people dread public speaking even more than death. Public speaking is necessary for each one of us irrespective of our age or profession. You will be more comfortable working in a team and giving effective presentations and seminars in the workplace. This improves your professional life and your relationship with your colleagues. As a confident speaker you will be comfortable breaking the ice and starting conversations with strangers. This expands your social circle and improves your personal life. Some ways to overcome our fear of public speaking:

1. Take the Plunge. The only way you can get over your fear of public speaking is by going ahead and speaking. It might sound counter intuitive but this is true. The longer we wait to do whatever it is that is causing the fear, the more intense our fear would become. So go ahead and give that speech or presentation you have been pondering over for such a long time. Enroll yourself in public speaking groups or organizations like toastmasters club where you get to constantly challenge yourself and move out of your comfort zone.

2. Mind matters. Dr. Robert Schuller once said 'You are what you think about all day long'. This statement is true when it comes to public speaking. Change your self -sabotaging beliefs you are holding in your mind. You can become a good speaker only when you believe you can.

3. Preparation pays. Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration – Thomas Edison.
When you are well prepared you are more confident that your speech would turn out well and this keeps you in a relaxed mode. Public speaking is not an inborn talent but rather a skill which can be cultivated by anyone. It's true that for some people it comes naturally but even they have to practice in order to spruce up their skills. A word of caution though – Do not over practice. Preparation should be done well in advance and just relax in the in the last 15-30 minutes before delivering your speech .

4. Know your audience. We get nervous when we are speaking in front of a group of strangers. Try mingling with few people in the audience before starting out your speech. This makes you feel that those in the audience are not aliens but people just like you. Apart from relaxing your tension this also helps in improving your connection with the audience.

5. Reach out to like-minded people. The best thing about joining a public speaking group is that you get to meet people who are highly supportive and encouraging. You realize that you are not alone; in fact there are millions of people out there with the same mission as yours. You get inspired by those who have transformed from a timid speaker to a confident speaker. You also learn a lot from the experienced speakers. They will be ready to lend you a helping hand by giving you tips on how they have achieved success. There are also people who can give you some genuine feedback on the areas you are good at and the areas you need to work on.

6. Take criticism positively. We all love to receive compliments but when it comes to criticism we prefer to be on the giving end rather than the receiving end. The successful you are, the more criticisms you will have to handle so learn to handle them with a positive attitude. Don't dwell on your criticisms. When someone's giving you a negative feedback take it as an opportunity to learn and grow, not a reason to quit.

7. Persevere. Be patient. Do not expect things to change in a jiffy. Some people might take more time to improve and others might take less. Do not push yourself too hard by comparing yourself with others. Just go with the flow.

8. Let go of the perfectionist in you. There are people who are unable to take the first step, forever waiting to attain a state of perfection. But that moment never comes resulting in never ending procrastination. You don't have to be perfect in order to be good speaker. All that matters is how passionate you are about what you are saying. Just speak from your heart and your audience will appreciate you for your sincerity.

9. Bounce back. Failures are stumbling blocks to success. You learn a lot from your failures. Resist the temptation to give up and keep bouncing back

10. Celebrate your success. We often take our success for granted. Reward yourself for the success you have achieved however small it might be. Give yourself a pat on the back for having the courage to get over your fear. By rewarding yourself you will feel good and stay motivated to take the next step.
Don't take yourself very seriously. Approach public speaking with a committed yet playful manner. Children rarely experience stage fright because they approach public speaking in a playful manner. They are having fun while doing it. Adopt the same attitude.