In public speaking, fear maybe viewed as negative leading to ineffective communication. This is the tendency if you predict bad situations. Fear can be easily seen through physical manifestations: hands cold and clammy, rumbling speech, slouching and unwanted movements.
In public speaking, fear comes from the “fear of the unknown.” Most people are afraid of not being liked, offending someone, forgetting everything, of stumbling and falling or ruining the effort.
But fear can be seen in a positive aspect as well. According to Kenneth McFarland, “it is not necessary to banish fear in order to gain confidence. A wholesome fear of failure is one of the best guarantees of success.”
Fear can be a motivating force for the public speaker that adds strength, energy and conviction to otherwise lifeless ideas. Your courage is the ability to see fear in a realistic perspective. The way to curb your fear is to prepare thoroughly. But fear cannot be eliminated fully. It is meant to be conquered.
In any public speaking experience, stage fright and anxiety are hindrances to building your self-confidence. Stage fright is an emotional state that affects people the minute they stand before an audience. Having positive thoughts greatly help in managing stage fright. Believing that you are going to succeed, that you are effective as a speaker and that your audience will trust you and gain respect for you are sure winners to combat fear. Furthermore, being aware that nobody is perfect and everybody is prone to mistakes are effective thoughts to calm you down. Best of all, think that the audience is your friend.
If you need to know more on how to build your self-confidence, here are some practical tips:
1. Share your personal experience to begin your talk. Why? Because no one knows better than you do.
2. The most effective way out, if fear attacks you, is to do it. Conquer your fear. Do not hesitate just because you think that someone can do better that you do.
3. Accept that you know. Be confident to share about it.
4. As a public speaker, you ought to assume the delivery man role and that you carry an important message that you need to get across.
5. Apologizing in public speaking is a sin. Do not apologize for your material or even your lack of experience.
6. Be yourself and be confident. Do not imitate government officials in the way they speak. Speak in your own “official capacity”.
7. Prepare for the occasion by dressing appropriately and then forget how you look.
Confidence is a key element in achieving success. But remember, be on guard against overconfidence.