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Kevin Brookhouser doing a Ted Talk live in front of hundreds of people. Public speaking..

How to get over Glossophobia (fear of public speaking)

Throughout my schooling I’ve always been shy and not able to public speak without feeling all sorts of anxiety and like my chest is caving in. But when I got into high school things started looking up and I found out how to cope with it and find ways to make it better.

Public speaking is the process of communicating information to a live audience. In school, everyone has to speak publicly, whether presenting to a class or reading a paragraph from a text. To many individuals, public speaking is a challenge.

The act of speaking to an audience is a common phobia among people. Over time, they may overcome their fear, but sometimes people need help. With the overwhelming fear of anxiety that you may feel in front of people, mixed with all the attention on you, it can be challenging and take time to overcome.

The best way to overcome any anxiety is to take small steps and gradually work your way up. The first step is to clear your mind. Clearing your mind helps you stop overthinking about stressors you may experience when public speaking.

The next step is to be prepared if you can. If it’s for a presentation, make sure it’s perfect before it is presented. But for me, that step is the most important. Not being prepared got me into an embarrassing situation, which helped me get over my fear of public speaking. In English class, I had to present a book report, and the Kahoot I had prepared would not work, and no one knew what to say or when to say it. The entire class was laughing, so situations, where you fail, can benefit you.

The last step to take is to trust yourself. When you trust yourself, you will be able to almost fully calm down, relax, and just focus on what you are saying.

Tips to help. Calm down and breathe. When you are in front of an audience with a clear mind, breathing will help you stay calm and keep you focused on what you are saying. Before speaking, take a deep breath. This is what I do to help when needed.

With all the precautions and advice given, things will still happen because that’s life. But little by little, you will become better. Some challenges you may face are; stuttering, freaking out or losing your place in something you are reading. All these things can happen to people facing anxiety. When those things do happen and challenge you when public speaking. Continue and be confident in what you say.

When taking the newspaper class at Athens Drive, we had to present something at the beginning of the year, and while presenting I lost my place and stuttered a lot. At that moment all I could do was rush through it and sit back down. While I’m not completely over my fear, I’m almost there.

These suggestions and helpful advice are what helped me in the long run and how to get better at being less fearful when talking to an audience, and hopefully help others be less scared and anxious.

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