Almost all students have phobia for public speaking. For most students, their fear of public speaking is greater than their fear of death. This usually affects both their personal and professional life. You may have experienced fear before while standing before a number of people. You suddenly become nervous, your stomach knots and your palms sweat. It is quite an embarrassing experience but anyone can win the battle against the fear of public speaking if he/she can follow through the highlights of this article.

It is most certain that all students will at one point or the other speak before a group of people. It doesn’t have to be a formal gathering, it maybe to make a point before the class or during project defense. Public speaking skills are therefore important.

The phobia for public speaking should not be underestimated; however, this article aims at providing tips for students to overcome their fear of public speaking. These tips will help you to utilize energy positively in public speaking.

19 Public Speaking Tips and Tricks for Students to Overcome Fear

  1. It is Normal to Be Nervous

Physiological reactions such as trembling of hands and pounding of the heart are normal especially if it is your first time. Also, the adrenaline that makes you sweat is not out of place. All these are there to give you the needed energy for a successful public speaking. They should not be linked to reasons to fail.

The best way to prevent all of the anxiety is to prepare yourself. Rehearse your materials privately and before a few friends or family members that can give you honest feedback. You may even record your voice or videotape yourself to be able to discover what you need to improve.

2. Get Acquainted With the Audience

Before you create your message for the audience, ensure you know who your audience are since the message is about them. This will allow you to know the information level and words to use and how to organize your speech.

3. Keep Yourself Organized

Create a plan for your speech. Identify the central theme, main purpose, and points to elucidate your mind. Keep your materials arranged to gradually grasp the attention of the audience in the first 30 seconds.

4. Keep Track of Your Audience

Focus on your audience to measure your delivery. Be flexible and adjust your message if need be. Stay focused on your message but be flexible with your delivery style.

5. Avoid Borrowed Personality

You can accomplish much via your communication if you remain yourself. People will trust you more when they hear the real you. Try as much as possible to avoid being someone else during your speech.

Put some sense of humor. A short story can help provide individualistic touch.

6. Talk about your Script never read your script

Avoid reading your script before your audience. Talk about your script and remain focused on your message. Make your outline visible such that when you see it, you can talk it.

7. Gesticulate effectively

Your nonverbal communication is key. It conveys the message faster and clearly. Balance it with your voice and your presentation will be meaningful.

8. Keep your Audience with you

Begin your presentation with an impressive statement that can grab their attention, keep it until the end with effective communication and then end it all with a concise summary and an easy to remember statement.

9. Be wise with Audiovisual Aids Usage

Audiovisual aids must be used minimally to avoid distractions. Audiovisual aids should illustrate or clarify your message not keep the attention of your audience.

10. Avoid feeling rejected

The audience is interested in what you have to say. Avoid feelings being rejected or hated. It won’t help you.

11. Focus on Keypoints

Try as much as possible to focus on keypoints. Reiterate it and pause intermittently for the next point so that it can prepare your audience for what next you will say.

12. Practice your Speech before the mirror

Practice your speech as if you are before the audience and judge yourself. Take note of your gestures, body movement, facial expression as well as your appearance. These things are crucial and determine the success of your speech.

13. Get acquainted with yourself

If you really want to be better with your public speaking skills, record your own voice or videotape yourself and then listen or watch it while you take note of what you could have done better. Help yourself get used to your voice and your style.

14. Your Breathwork

Your breath is highly important. It is a cure for both stress and fear if well utilized. Be calm with your breathing.

15. Speak to learn to speak

Learning to speak can only be achieved by speaking, therefore keep practicing until you become good at what you do. Elbert Hubbard noted that speaking is the only way to learn how to speak.

16. Seek honest feedback

Let your friends and family members who are really interested and can provide honest feedback be your judge. If they have questions be sure to answer them, it is most likely that your audience may have the same questions.

17. Get trained

Help yourself by getting a mentor to teach you or join a group where you can learn the art of public speaking. Let your teachers help through your fears.

18. Choose your best topic

Let your topic be something you are passionate about, something you are knowledgeable on and that you are willing to talk about anytime any day. You will be more confident and relax with such topic.

19. Realize the audience is on your side

Imagine those moments when you were a part of the audience receiving a lecture and you could observe the speaker was nervous. Did you make fun of the person or did you feel the person was less than you were? It is highly likely you were sympathetic with the speaker and tried your best to ensure the speaker was comfortable by nodding and smiling.

It is always best to note that the audience does not desire that you fail but instead want you to come out successful.

Ajaero Tony Martins