Move over spiders, heights, and snakes! Did you know that glossophobia, or fear of public speaking, is one of the most common phobias? It is noted that as many as 75% of people suffer from the crippling effects that come along with speaking in front of a group. There are ways to ease those sweaty palms and butterflies, though! Just like in many things in life, CONFIDENCE IS KEY! Here are some tips from head to toe to keep you calm and collected the next time you have to give a presentation.
Head: Try your best to memorize your speech so that you aren’t relying so much on notecards. And, of course, practice makes perfect! You will appear more confident and professional!
Eyes: Practice consistent eye contact with your audience. This will help engage them and make them feel like that you’re really talking to them.
Ears: Listen to the mood of the audience and adjust how you are expressing accordingly.
Mouth: Speak clearly, slowly, and with great expression so that your audience can understand and be comfortable with the material. Avoid using filler words like “um” and “uh.” Do not forget to breathe!
Back: Stand with powerful posture. Reducing your tendency to hunch during a speech will help you appear professional, alert, and confident.
Hands: Use gestures to emphasize your points! Avoid picking at your nails or pulling at your shirt hem, which are common nervous tics during speaking.
Legs: Do not cross and uncross your legs, sway, or shuffle while speaking. This gives off the vibe that you are anxious or disinterested, which in turn makes your audience lose focus.
So, take a breath, stand tall, and keep these tips in mind as your speak your way to an A!
Written by Gracie McDermott, Peer Educator