Public speaking skills work in the same way as any other skill. You will have more success in public speaking if you are more confident. Public speaking fear increases with the number of failures and perceived failures you have. You may experience some nervousness or anxiety while presenting, but it’s not something you should be experiencing for the rest of you life.
From where does public speaking fear come?
Take a look at any skill that has been acquired throughout your life. You don’t know how to ride your bike, drive a car, use a musical instrument, or operate your iPhone. You likely felt discomfort or nervousness when you first tried these activities. To gain confidence in these activities or any skill is to have some success wherever you go. Self-confidence will drop if you fail in the early stages. A person who has never owned a car before takes the controls of a car by herself, without any guidance or assistance. There is a good chance that it will be a bad experience. That fear, like public speaking fear when the first time you drive on a freeway, will be very real. The person may then say something along the lines of, “I never want to experience this again!” This fear can only grow if the boss requires the individual to try the skill several years later.
You can develop public speaking skills through success
Learning a skill better is to begin with something that is less risky. The car example shows that most people start out in a parking lot, usually with a parent/coach. After gaining some confidence, the new driver might begin to make right-hand turn around a neighborhood. Then you might move on to making left-turns. Next, maybe you will find a higher traffic area. The freeway is the last. A similar approach is recommended for anyone trying to improve public speaking skills or eliminate fear of public speaking.
Begin with something that is less risky such as speaking out at the staff meeting. Most executives and managers want input about ideas and problems in staff meetings. You should make it a habit of speaking up during these meetings at least once. Next, you can volunteer to report on a project during a staff meeting. Once you are comfortable with public speaking, you might consider trying something more risky. Ask questions as an audience member for a larger presentation. You should remember that while you may have experienced more anxiety when learning how to drive, when you finally got on the freeway you felt completely safe. Similar results will occur with public speaking fear. As you become more comfortable with complex presentations, it will be easier to make them.
A public speaking coach can accelerate your confidence growth
A good coach for public speaking can help you save a lot of time, just like your coach or parent who showed you how to drive the car. If you were learning how to properly park your car in the parking lot, you might need to take a while. The hardest thing would be that there would not be a reference point to compare your skills with so that you might not know when you’re doing a good enough job. Nervousness could result from all of the questions you might have in your brain. The most important part of coaching is to be able to tell when you did it correctly. This is not a requirement that you hire a professional business coach. Find someone who can present very well to a group. Ask them to take a look at you and give you feedback. This coaching method is popular in toasting clubs.
However, if time is tight, you may want to hire a professional coach. A coach who knows how to help people with public speaking problems can teach them skills that will last a lifetime and stop you from becoming a bad speaker. I learned how to play golf when I was in the twenties. I was broke and bought some cheap clubs from a second-hand shop to take down to the municipal green. After a few months I became quite proficient, but I experienced a severe slice which severely affected my range. I was often two or three strokes behind my friends when I played together. I decided that golf wasn’t for me and gave up. I was able to pick it up again years later when I went to a nearby golf-pro. I asked him how much time it would take for me to become competitive. He responded, “Well if it was you who came to me in the beginning then maybe a few more months but now, it will be much tougher.” I asked why, and he said that it was because of my slice. This meant that I had developed the habit of turning my bodies differently in order to correct the problem. I knew my ball was going in a different direction, so I adjusted my aiming point over time. My body had become accustomed to the swing and I had no choice but to stop it.
I could have saved myself time and frustration had I just practiced early with feedback by someone who was already capable of doing what I wanted. You can also improve your public speaking skills. Let a mentor coach you. Your coach will assist you in overcoming your fear of public speaking faster.