Have you been asked to present to a group in the near future and instantly had sweaty palms at the very thought? You’re not alone. Fear of public speaking or glossophobia is very common, and it’s estimated that around 25% of people struggle with nerves and anxiety when addressing a group of people.
But luckily with the right training to improve public speaking, it’s a fear that can be managed and even eliminated. Find out how doing so can be advantageous to both your professional and personal life.
Public speaking skills need to be encouraged
A well-known quote that’s often touted is that people fear public speaking more than death. In fact, it’s an activity that makes some American teens so anxious that they’re asking for class presentations to be abolished.
But according to University of Illinois economist and historian, Deirdre McCloskey in a recent Forbes article this isn’t the best thing to do. “It’s a terrible idea to reduce public speaking opportunities in class at a time when students need the skill to succeed,” she says.
With good public speaking skills in high demand across the workforce, these skills need to be developed in students not stymied. Teachers should be giving kids more chances to improve public speaking not less and helping them to overcome their fears so they have a competitive advantage in their future jobs.
Why should I do anything to improve public speaking?
If you’re fresh out university or even if you’ve been working a while, showing that you’ve had some communication skills training on your CV can definitely give you a professional edge. Not only can it get you the job you want and a higher wage, but it can also help you with career advancement.
Being able to communicate your ideas and get buy-in from stakeholders or managers is incredibly empowering. If you’re comfortable with public speaking it can also help you to grow as a person and form strong collaborations with colleagues.
What are some techniques I can use to improve public speaking?
That all sounds great, you might say. But I can’t imagine ever being comfortable speaking in front of an audience, I just freeze up and stumble over my words, it’s a disaster!
Don’t give up just yet, you may surprise yourself. Having a few techniques up your sleeve can make you feel a lot more confident, and the thing about public speaking, the more you practice, the better you get at it.
Here are 3 simple tips to think about next time you’re asked to do a presentation:
- Don’t try and connect with the whole crowd, think about the individuals in the audience and what they might find valuable about the topic you’re presenting on
- Share a story to instantly engage people and link it to your key message
- Invite audience participation and spark interest by posing a question, this can be a simple raising of hands or getting them to shout out.
Want to learn how to overcome nerves for good when public speaking? Enrol in our Mastering Communication Program today and nail that next presentation. When you see people responding to what you’ve said and taking your ideas on board it will give you a huge confidence boost, as well as the feel-good factor!
Check out what some of our past participants have to say about the program and how it’s transformed the way they communicate.
The Colin James Method® Facilitators train corporate executives to improve their professional communication skills with a proven methodology. Our highly trained Facilitators and Coaches are recognised for their experience in their fields and have worked with many individuals and organisations around the world to master the art of communication.
Erica Bagshaw is an entrepreneur, Executive Coach and Co-Founder of The Colin James Method® and Inner Profit Pty Ltd a vibrant leadership development company in Australia. She has spent the majority of her career growing and developing close client partnerships. She loves sharing her expertise on the perfect pitch.