Speaking in front of a crowd is a nightmare for some. Even talking to a stranger or going to an interview sometimes gives them the butterflies because they don’t have that confidence to talk to other people. If you are one of them, well, you’re not alone. Fear of speaking in public affects majority of the adult population.
The good news is you can actually deal with this phobia and improve your confidence in addressing a crowd. Facing your fear will give you more room to do more and that sense of accomplishment you didn’t get before. It doesn’t matter if you can deal with it in a breeze or take a while to overcome what you’re afraid of; the most important thing is that you try and do your best.
Lighten up the mood
One of the best ways to get the attention of your audience is to lighten up the mood by starting with a joke. Once you see the crowd laughing, it will help you relax and go through speaking without much trouble. Seeing friendly, smiling faces while you go through your speech makes it more bearable. Plus getting them to laugh at your joke breaks the ice and creates a level of trust.
Connect with people who pay attention
Not being able to connect with the audience is one of the reasons why people get scared of public speaking. And once you let your nerves get the best of you, you’ll feel like everyone is disinterested and you’ll start to forget the lines you practiced and prepared for.
You can deal with this by looking out in the crowd for people who nod when you emphasize on important points. This gives you the assurance that they are listening and actually interested in what you have to say. Connect with these people by establishing eye contact every now and then, and walk towards the part of the where the attendees are on the edge of the seat hanging on to your every word, as this will give you more confidence to go on.
Don’t forget to practice
Some people believe that speaking is an innate trait that a person has – it’s either you’re good at it or not. Of course, this isn’t true. The real secret is this skill can be built and developed through practice, as although it takes time and energy the payoff is worth it. If an opportunity arises to talk in front of a crowd, you need to grab it and prepare in advance so you can give yourself enough time to practice. You don’t have to memorize every line because the important thing is, you understand what you’re saying and this should reflect on how you deliver it. Practice in front of the mirror and once you built your confidence, try it in front of a friend or family member so you can get feedback. It’s also a great idea to enroll into a good public speaking class to sharpen your skills.
Public speaking shouldn’t be a scary experience for anyone. Just believe in yourself and build the confidence that you need to speak in front of a crowd.