People Reveal How To Overcome A Fear Of Speaking To Large Crowds
Public speaking is the subject of many a person's nightmares. It's such a common fear that many people are dubious of anyone who claims it doesn't bother them.
Reddit user u/now_im_toast sought some advice on conquering this fear:
Apathy Is Certainly Helpful
I legitimately don't care what people think.
It helps knowing that most people are more preoccupied with themselves and their phones than any mistake I might make up there.
Plan Ahead And Enjoy The Ride
Having a clear idea of what I'm going to say helps. By that I don't mean a script memorised - I'm pretty good off the cuff, but I like to have bullet points of what I need to cover, and maybe a pre-planned joke or two.
Then I just mainly focus on energy and keeping things moving.
It gives me a really big adrenaline rush that I quite like, so maybe I just try to feed off that too.
Know Your Enemy
I've done a couple of public speaking competitions and I've found that realizing how much power you have over a crowd really helps. Simply changing your tone and the speed you talk can change the mood of a crowd and I think there's something empowering about that. The best example I can give of this is Will Stephen's ted talk.
In this same vein, studying up on human instincts and psychology helps a lot too. Kind of a 'know your enemy' type comfort.
Know Your Material
If my presentation is 100% in my wheelhouse, then I don't get nervous at all. My fear isn't the presenting, per session, but rather the fear of being completely incorrect in front of lots of people. If I know I'm right and I'm the expert, then I don't freak. Actually the Q&A becomes fun because it's almost conversational.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice and experience.
Now any time I talk publically it's a breeze.
It's weird. I'm very self conscious but I can run my mouth anywhere!! I do nurse education and all staff education as part of my job and I just go up with an outline (thanks speech class) and do what I'm good at.....run my mouth 😂
Being a good bullsh*tter helps a lot as well.
Make It A Performance
I'm a ham. I like it. It's fun. I wish I could give you some tips but it's just fun for me. I enjoy the performative aspects of it.
Yup. A lot of folks here talking about not caring what the audience thinks or whatever. For me, I do it because I like being able to connect with a bunch of people. It's fun and exciting to get other people excited about something.
What's the worst the audience is going to do? Ignore me?
If life is anything like old cartoons, they're gonna throw rotten vegetables at you then pull you off stage with an oversized hook.
Am not a professional at this, people know am not a professional. It'll be alright.
This is an underrated comment. people understand how hard public speaking is. There are very few people who are 100% comfortable with it. They'll understand if you're a little nervous. We're only human.
Think Of Who You're Doing It For
I think to myself, "if even ONE person gets something out of this, it's worth it." Then, you speak to that ONE person and 10/10 times at LEAST one person will come up afterwards and tell you how great it was!
At first, being nervous is natural but you get used to it and when you're honest, real and poke fun of yourself, they appreciate it. Just be honest. Sometimes I say, "oh man i'm so nervous I'm getting sweaty!" People will root for you if you're super terrified because most people are terrified of speaking themselves.
What has worked to make public speaking easier for you?
You know it's not a great place to work when employees band together to walk out. Literally.
Unions were basically created for this reason, by having the working people band together to fight against being mistreated by corporations, they create power in numbers. Even without a formal union, there is still power in numbers--no company wants to be tasked with explaining themselves like that.