Reduce Public Speaking Fear By Connecting With the Audience

WRITTEN March 29, 2012 Author: Rich Atkins

GLOSSOPHOBIA: The fear of public speaking

We are all looking for ways to reduce public speaking fear!

Many people have a fear of public speaking. If you’re one of them, this is good news – you’re not alone! More good news is that there are ways to reduce anxiety while speaking in public.

An important way that nervousness will be brought down is preparation. Prepare thoroughly, with lots of information. The confidence of knowing you are prepared is priceless.

Next, practice the speech numerous times before delivering it. Just imagine playing with an orchestra at Carnegie hall, not having practiced the piece beforehand! Practicing before giving a speech is a must.

Build bridges while speaking to a group.

Another great way to calm your nerves is to connect with the audience, to show them that “you’re on the same team” or that you are in rapport with them. In some cases, your ability to connect with the audience can make or break your presentation.

How To Connect With Audience

  • Greeting the audience before the presentation, if possible.
  • Using audience comments in your message,
    (“As Loretta said …”).
  • Using good eye contact. For the US culture, eye contact is the best connection. People interpret it as honesty.
  • A Strong Topic – Speaking to the audience about something they want to hear.
  • Speaking from the heart – be sincere and honest.
  • Shorten sentences – awkward (overly wordy) sentences make for difficult reading. Clear, short sentences are much easier to read.

Any time you give a speech, remember that your audience is there to learn from your presentation. They want you to be good so that they can fully grasp the information you provide them.

When you help yourself connect with an audience you will reduce your fear of public speaking. Build that rapport and you will come across as trustworthy and likeable. When there is a connection, your audience will support you and pay more attention to you…and who needs to be afraid of that?

This information is from the Improving Communications Public Speaking: Improving Presentation Skills class. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of our public classes.

Other Resources:

To overcome your fear of public speaking, stop thinking about yourself.

27 Useful tips to overcome your fear of public speaking.

Top 10 Fears of public speaking.

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