Speaking in public is a skill that you can learn. Like any skill you need determination, repetition, and coaching to master it and speaking in public is no exception.
Stage fright is normal and usual, there is nothing wrong with you if you feel that fear before you make a presentation but how you handle it is what matters. As a person who speaks in public almost every week, here are my tips for overcoming stage fright
- PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE: Rehearse your talk before your friends and family to generate feedback from them, you can also record your speech in your phone and watch or listen to yourself make the presentation this will give you the necessary feedback for a great presentation on the day of the talk.
- HAVE A CLEAR PURPOSE: Why are you giving the speech? Is it to: inform, instruct, warn, motivate, sell, etc. The purpose of your speech will give you courage and shift your focus away from yourself to the struggles and challenges of your audience. The only reason why you have stage fright is usually because your whole focus is about you (What will people say, How will i come across, etc) Make the focus about the value you intend to add to your audience and stage fear will disappear.
- GET TO THE VENUE BEFORE EVERYONE: Get to the venue early and set up your laptop, projector, or whatever you’ll need for the presentation. The other benefit is that when you arrive early you can start friendly conversations with participants before your mount the stage to talk this reduces your anxiety and helps you in making eye contact when you start talking.
- USE YOUR BODY: Since 55% of communication is body language, it is important that you don’t standstill when your talk use your hands, facial expressions, and tone of voice to portray your point of view. It’s been researched that the most effective presentations are those with the most body language. Also, your body affects your emotions and your emotions affect your body. If you put your body in an emotional state of courage, the energy of fear will disappear.
- PRAY: I have been speaking professional for ten years, yet i still pray to God for courage and empathy before i speak. Try it, it works because God answers prayers.