How to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

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Tricia Brouk sits on a chair

Being on stage can be daunting—whether you’re a dancer, actor, or public speaker. Despite being mentally and emotionally prepared, our body’s physiological reactions can sometimes get the best of us. However, you can learn to manage your body language to mitigate this.

Here are five effective steps to help you control your fear of public speaking and manage your body’s response to stage fright.

First, if you are struggling with fear of public speaking, I encourage you to think of the four elements: earth, air, water and fire.

Ground yourself

Feel the support of the earth beneath you. Stand firm and plant both feet solidly on the floor. Let this stability transfer from the ground through your legs and into your torso. This strong stance will bolster your confidence, helping you feel unshakable, even in the face of overwhelming anxiety or fear.

Breathe deeply

Slow, deep breaths can significantly calm your nervous system. Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth. This practice not only slows your heart rate but also promotes a feeling of calmness. Trust in the extensive preparation you have put into your speech. You are ready.

Stay hydrated

Anxiety causes dryness in your mouth, so make sure you have water with you on stage. There is no rule that says public speakers can’t have water with them.

Energize your performance

If you think of nerves, they can feel hot – just like fire. Use that fire to heat your center and energize yourself.

If you have a fear of public speaking or suffer from anxiety while on stage, call on the four elements when your body starts to betray you.

Rehearse under mild pressure

This is the fifth and most important step a public speaker can take to settle their nerves. Mild pressure means somebody who doesn’t stress you out when you’re performing – this could be your spouse, partner or close friend. Use the four elements in that circumstance so that you can feel what happens to your body physiologically and you can practice having the confidence in knowing that you aren’t going to faint.

Over time, increase that mild pressure by rehearsing in front of a larger group – always applying the four elements and knowing what is going to happen to your body when you perform on stage. In doing all of this, you will successfully combat your nerves and minimize your fear of public speaking.

Looking for more support in taking the big stages you desire?
Join my complimentary masterclass for public speakers. Inside, you’ll learn how to identify your purpose and clarify your mission for speaking. You’ll also gain proven tools that allow you to give powerful and transformational talks again and again.

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