15 Tips to Conquer Fear of Public Speaking

July is Freedom from Fear of Speaking Month. Summer is a good time to take a public speaking class, get a coach and knockout fear of speaking. Here are 15 tips to help you become a confident public speaker.

  1. Get over yourself Fear of Speaking - Nervousness is being self-centered. It's not about you-it's about them. The audience wants you to succeed.
  2. Focus on the breath - Breathe through the diaphragm of belly. Take 5-10 deep cleansing breaths.
  3. Prepare and Rehearse - Practice out loud and time your speech. Videotape yourself. You don't look as nervous as you feel.
  4. Set an anchor - Remember a time when you were at the top of your game. Get the feeling. Press your index finger and thumb together and anchor it. Press your fingers together right before you speak.
  5. Affirm your success - Overwrite negative programming by writing positive statements and say them to yourself. "I'm confident." "I can do this."
  6. Arrive early - Mingle with others and you'll feel like you have friends in the audience.
  7. Visualize your outcome - Create the outcome you want in your mind. Imagine every step of your presentation until the outcome is exactly the way you want it.
  8. Transfer your nervousness - Squeeze a small foam ball in your hand.
  9. Make contact with a friend - Look at a friendly face and smile. You'll feel you are supported.
  10. Plan a recovery strategy - Imagine your worst scenario and plan how you'll handle it in advance. Humor works great.
  11. Take time to pause - Stop for 3 beats of silence at the end of as sentence. You'll be able to catch your breath and think.
  12. Make your fear smaller - Imagine your fear as a fiery ball. In your mind's eye, shrink it and move it far away.
  13. Express your passion - Get excited and involved in your message or story and pretty soon you'll forget yourself.
  14. Meditate - Ten minutes of meditation will calm and focus your mind.
  15. Work the room - Release energy through moving to different parts of the room and using gestures. You'll feel energized.

What are your favorite tips for conquering fear of public speaking?