Learn how to overcome your public speaking fears in part two of this handy tutorial. While part one explained how to identify your fears, this second video gives you the basic steps needed to overcome them. Michael Foster explains that to beat your speaking fears simply involves doing three things.
The first stage is acceptance. While the natural reaction to fear is to try to avoid or fight it (i.e. fight or flight), in public speaking none of these approaches are likely to help. Avoidance will build up the fear in your mind so that the experience is even worse when you do have to present to a group of people. Alternatively, trying to fight it only serves to fuel the fear by ensuring your mind remains focused on it. A better approach is acceptance, which involves acknowledging there is a risk of the fear occurring, but that it is something you are prepared to deal with.
The second stage to overcoming your fear is to plan a contingency. This is simply a plan of how you will minimise the damage if your fear come to fruition. In the case of a shaky voice for example, your contingency might be to pause and pretend to shuffle some papers, all the while taking a few slow breaths. When you start speaking again you can start at slower pace than normal, making it easier to control your voice, getting back up to a normal pace only when you feel comfortable.
The third and final step is to go out and do it, but do so knowing that your aim is not necessarily to stop your fear from happening, but rather to do the whole thing without panicking – regardless of whether your fear comes true. If you can do this you will find that over the course of a few presentations your anxiety will disappear, while the risk of your fear occurring will go down to almost zero. Should you ever start to experience the old panic again relating to your public speaking fear, simply remind yourself that you have accepted it as a possibility and consider your contingency, before letting it go. You may need to repeat this a few times at first, but after a while you should need to do it less and less often.
So check out this video and free yourself from your public speaking fear.