Have you heard the word Glossophobia? Do you have stage fear or the fear of public speaking? In the beginning, many people have stage fear and nervousness. When attending on a stage in public, feeling nervous is normal. But if that nervousness reflects in your body language and expressions, your audience will not appreciate it. This article will help you overcome stage fear and nervousness while delivering presentations or public speaking.
In this article, you will find 5 fast and effective ways on how to overcome stage fear and nervousness to allow you to focus on the topic and deliver great presentations and speeches.
What is Glossophobia?
Glossophobia or speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking. The word glossophobia derives from Greek. Glossa, meaning tongue, and Phobos, fear or dread. Speech is the action of speaking out loud and anxiety is the feeling of worry, tension or concern that manifests when thinking that negative things will occur, and physically by increased blood pressure, sweating and shaking. Thus, speech anxiety is the feeling of worry and physical reactions caused when speaking to others, especially to larger groups.
The causes of Glossophobia are uncertain but explanations include communibiology and the illusion of transparency. Further explanations range from nervousness produced by a lack of preparation to, one of the most common psychiatric disorders, Social anxiety disorder SAD.
Its symptoms vary from physiological changes, mental disruptions, and detrimental speech performance.
There are several ways to overcome Glossophobia, which include preparation and rehearsing, deconstructing your beliefs, engaging in positive self-talk, visualizing your optimal performance, practising mindfulness, breathing exercises, creating an anxiety hierarchy, using virtual reality, computerized coaches and medications such as beta-blockers.
Individuals who suffer from SAD engage in negative visualization and self-talk which halt their attention and ability to stay focused and drain their cognitive power and physical energy. People suffering from SAD believe they are just not good at public speaking, setting a belief as a fact and falling victim to a popular psychological phenomenon known as Self-fulfilling prophecy
The more specific symptoms of speech anxiety can be grouped into three categories: physical, verbal, and non-verbal. Physical symptoms include: shaking, sweating, butterflies in the stomach, dry mouth, and rapid heartbeats. As Garcia-Lopez (2013) has noted, symptoms can include acute hearing, increased heart rate and blood pressure, dilated pupils, increased perspiration and oxygen intake, stiffening of neck/upper back muscles, and dry mouth. Uncontrollable shaking is also common and often occurs prior to the phobia-eliciting stimulus. Verbal symptoms include (but are not limited to) a tense or quivering voice, and vocalized pauses known as vocal fillers or Speech disfluency. Nonverbal symptoms could include going blank during the speech and remaining dependent on note cards.
According to research, four out of five people face the fear of speaking in public. There is a good chance that most of us have this fear, glossophobia.
Let’s look at some very practical tips that will help you overcome glossophobia, the fear of public speaking.
5 Effective Ways To Overcome Glossophobia
1. Calm the Adrenaline rush
The first and most important is to calm the adrenaline rush. Do you know what does this word mean?
Adrenaline, also called epinephrine, is a hormone released by your adrenal glands and some neurons. Adrenaline is also known as the “fight-or-flight hormone.” It’s released in response to a stressful, exciting, dangerous, or threatening situation. and also helps your body react more quickly. It makes the heart beat faster, increases blood flow to the brain and muscles, and stimulates the body to make sugar to use for fuel. When adrenaline is released suddenly, it’s often referred to as an adrenaline rush. Credits: Healthline
When you have the fear to speak in front of many people or on a stage, you feel this nervous energy. You may feel your heart pumping in your chest, your palms getting sweaty. Well, that’s nothing but the adrenaline rush.
If you want to overcome the fear of public speaking you need to know how to control this. You need to know how to comment.
How do you overcome the adrenal rush?
First of all, you need to understand that feeling the adrenaline rush or being nervous is very normal. Don’t feel like you are going through a negative emotion because it’s normal to feel like that. When you want to make it calm, it is very important that you take a minute-long breath. Why do you have to do this? When your heart is pumping fast in your chest or when your palms are sweaty, you need to calm yourself down. You need to let the oxygen flow in your brain so that you can think clearly and that is going to help you calm the adrenaline rush. So take a minute to just take a long breath.
Many people get very worried about their looks, clothes and hairstyle on the stage. If you have such a problem, don’t care about that because if you care about that, you are raising the adrenaline levels. So don’t worry about how you look, instead focus on your topic. If you focus on your topic you don’t have to worry about the adrenaline rush.
2. Learn the power of pausing
The next important tip is the power of pausing. What is a pause? You know how to pause a video or song playing on your smartphone or other electronic devices. What is a pause mean? A pause literally means to stop something for a few minutes or more. Sometimes even when you are in the middle of a speech you have to stop it for a few seconds. Pause doesn’t mean stopping altogether. Sometimes you need to pause to create an impact on the audience.
Why do you need a pause? You need a pause because you may want to highlight the important words or the important points of your presentation. When you want to create an impact you’ve got to pause so that you can highlight the important features of what you want to say. Sometimes a pause also allows you to gather your thoughts. When you have to speak you have so many thoughts running through your mind. If you don’t pause, you are going to run the risk of getting all jumbled up in your mind and you will sound pretty incoherent. If you learn how and when to pause, you will gather your thoughts and your words will flow through seamlessly. So always practise the power of the pause.
Do you know the benefits of speaking with candour?
3. Choose the topic wisely
When it comes to overcoming glossophobia choosing your topic wisely is an important point. Many people pick up trending topics but it is always better to choose topics that fall under your area of expertise. If you don’t have enough knowledge and expertise on the topic, you will feel nervous. To avoid nervousness and fear always choose a topic about that you have enough knowledge and you are comfortable. It is true that sometimes people may ask you to speak about a topic that is out of your area of expertise. At that time be wise enough to say no. Stick with topics that you are comfortable with.
4. Mock up your speech
Do you know you can mock up your speech in order to overcome glossophobia? You might have heard about the mock tests, mock interviews and mock drill. What’s the meaning of the word mock? Mock means not the real thing, but something that you do before stepping on to doing the real thing. Before you go on to giving your speech or talking to people you should mock up your speech. You should practice your speech before people that you know very well. You can do it in front of your family members or friends and ask them for feedback. If you practice in front of them they will give you honest feedback. You can encourage them to ask you tough questions.
When you are giving a presentation it is very common for the audience to ask you questions. You need to be ready with answers. If you mock up your speech in front of your family and friends that will help you to get answers ready. The idea of preparing a mock speech before the actual day of the presentation will help to prepare for the final day This practice will give you a simulated experience of how it is actually going to be on the day of the final speech.
5. Watch yourself in front of the mirror
The next very important tip is to watch yourself in front of the mirror. A mirror never lies. When practising your presentation, you need to practice your expressions and also pay attention to your body language. When you practice enough number of times in front of the mirror you can find your mistakes and improve them.
Looking in the mirror you can practice your smile, expressions, body language. Sometimes you end up thinking that you are confident but your expressions and body language don’t show confidence. So it is better to make sure you practice in front of the mirror until you feel and appear confident. Learn to boost self-confidence.
Hope that you could find the above simple public speaking tips useful. Try to use these tips in your next public appearance and deliver a presentation to be remembered by the audience. Avoid negative self-talk because negative self-talk will make your mind and body weak. Never have self-doubt in your skills. Learn to overcome self-doubt. Always have faith in your skills and ability to handle everything in any situation. Never stop believing in yourself even for a second. Learn to become mentally stronger.
What are the points that touched you to overcome glossophobia?
Do you have difficulty in public speaking? If yes, how do you manage your fear?
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Mathukutty P. V. is the founder of Simply Life Tips, a passionate Blogger, Content writer, Influencer, YouTuber. Lives with a notion “SIMPLE LIVING, CREATIVE THINKING”. Believe – “Sharing is caring.” “Learning never ends.”