Do you hate public speaking? Would you rather do anything but read this article? Does the thought of public speaking bring shivers down your legs?
Did you stumble your way upon this article after you had no choice but to accept a public speaking offer by your teacher?
Don’t worry, we lie on the same boat!
As a fellow ‘I will never speak on stage even if I was paid to’ type of person, I’m bringing to you a fresh new article on, guess what? PUBLIC SPEAKING!
Are you seeking for a temporary boost of optimism for a nerve-racking task like public speaking? Try these steps!
Step 01: Identify What Scares You
Before you try to overcome your fear, you must first identify what scares you.
Is it the large amount of people in an assembly that makes anxiety bubble through your veins, or is it that one drunk uncle at a wedding who would always interrupt you when you try to speak?
Perhaps, was it that one time you stuttered over the word ‘mozzarella’ when you were trying to explain the importance of going vegan?
Possibilities are endless and with combatting your fear, comes identification first.
Step 02: Challenge What Scares You
Ask yourself why it scares you.
Rather, why should you allow it to scare you? What is so important about it that it should stop you from speaking?
That one drunk uncle interrupting you would pale in comparison to all the listeners whose attention has been perked by your words. He would simply be slurring in his words, a mere distraction to yours.
And if you hear a few laughs here and there, that’s a testament to the engagement of the crowd during your speech, so laugh along and take charge.
Confidence is key and so is your dedication to speak over your drunk uncle and the crowd’s bubbles of laughter
Step 03: Visualize Your Success
Think of what comes after you’ve successfully finished your speech.
Think of the pride that would bloom in your chest as the audience erupts with a glass shattering applause. Think of the drunk uncle’s slurs that would be drowned out by the applause and the laughter and relief that would willingly trickle from your chest.
And it’s okay if you’ve stuttered a bit here and there, we’re all human too. And it’s okay if someone laughs at you for it, give them a snarky grin like they’d have done it any better, right?
A wise man once said, “done is better than perfect” and if you’re one to chase perfection instead, just remember that your finish doesn’t always have to be glorious.
Step 04: Remember That It’s Okay
This isn’t really a step, rather some words of advice from one scared individual to another.
If you couldn’t clear any of these steps, or you have but your fear has barely dulled its flames within you, I would like to be the one to remind you that it is perfectly fine to be scared and it is also very fine to not want to do anything about it.
Sometimes, it IS just that simple. If you hate it, you don’t have to do it.
And more so if you’re scared of it; don’t force yourself to overcome something you see no end to. We all have our fears, some ceremoniously grand and others, the small things like a roach under your bed, but nonetheless, these are your fears, and they make you human.
It is okay if you cannot get over it.
And sometimes it’s okay to not want to try.
By: Shazana Shiraz (12 SSc)
Royal Institute International School (Havelock Town)