One of the greatest fears women struggle with throughout their lives is a fear of public speaking. For many, this fear is just something that waits in the background of their life because they don’t have the need to speak publicly very often. But for professional women, speaking in public can be a common occurrence. And to do this successfully, you have to be and feel confident, which can be a real challenge. So to help make this more of a possibility, here are three tips for keeping your nerves under control while doing a big presentation or public speaking.
Familiarize Yourself With The Venue
To help yourself feel confident, it’s a good idea to be in control of as many variables as you can regarding your presentation. And according to Larry Kim, a contributor to Inc.com, familiarizing yourself with the venue or the area in which you’ll be speaking can help with this control immensely. Try to get to the room early so you can get used to the lights, potential distractions, and smells of the room. If at all possible, try to give your entire presentation or speech while the room is still empty so you can have some experience with your exact presentation in the exact place you’ll be giving it. This can help you feel much more relaxed come show time.
Make Some Quick Friends
Talking to a room full of strangers can be intimidating for many people. Especially if you lose focus or feel that you’re losing control of your presentation, meeting eyes with random strangers can make you unhinge yourself even more. So to keep this from happening, Scott H. Young, a contributor to LifeHack.org, recommends meeting a few people from the audience before you start your presentation. By doing this, you’ll be able to find a few friendly faces in the crowd that you can focus on and give your speech to.
Avert Their Eyes
If the thought of having a room full of people staring at you is what makes you nervous about public speaking, you can try some strategies to help take the eyes of your audience off of you while still intently listening to what you’re saying. One great way to do this, according to Josh Briggs, a contributor to How Stuff Works, is to use visual aids. If you have a picture or graph or other image that can draw the audience’s attention away from you visually for just a few seconds, it can give you the small break you need to regain your composure and power through the rest of your presentation.
If you struggle with speaking publicly, use the tips mentioned above to help you fake it until you make it.