If you've been a regular here the past couple months you know that recently I was invited to be the guest speaker at an 8th grade graduation ceremony...and I was scared speechless (puns are fun). Going through the process of preparing really made me dig deep and examine the root of my fear and anxiety. Apparently, I'm not the only one who is scared of public speaking. There's even a term for it---glossophobia.
Yes, yes, I know I am a lawyer and we all like to yell, argue, and go to trial, right? Not exactly. Sure, I've done my fair share of speaking in front of people in school and work..but this was different. In my job, in school, and other experiences I've always been comfortable speaking because I felt as though I had some authority to speak from because I had either studied it to death or you know..it was part of my job. With this I felt like what authority did I have as a 27 year old to give advice to anyone about how to be successful? I still feel like a mess trying to figure my life out.
Ok I realize I'm starting to ramble. Here are my tips for managing your fear of public speaking. Whether you're speaking for an event, school, job, or whatever I think these tips will be beneficial to getting through it!
This is probably a no-brainer but preparation really does relieve most anxiety that you have about any situation. There's absolutely nothing worse than the feeling of not being prepared for something..especially something important. I remember in college the one thing that always helped me stay calm was walking into a test and knowing I had done all I could. However, there were times that I didn't put in the same effort and my nerves could definitely tell the difference. You've heard it all your life but it's true...practice makes perfect.
It's amazing how your mind can work itself up and drive you crazy. A tiny of shed of insecurity can turn into a whirlwind of doubt and panic if you don't control it. I don't claim to be a yogi or meditation expert but some simple breathing techniques can do wonders. If you pray, calm yourself with a prayer or recite a simple mantra to yourself.
Envision Worst Case Scenarios
I'm a self professed pessimist. I just can't help it. Worst case scenarios and every possible thing that can go wrong with a situation naturally is the first thing to come to my mind. However, this actually serves me well in certain situations. When you actually sit down and think what's the worst that can happen in a circumstance you can put a label on the fear. Not only does the fear have a name you also can make a game plan to combat any possible problems.
What scares you?
Check out last week's Grateful Heart post!