I have stage fright. How can I gain confidence with public speaking?
Honestly, when building confidence for public speaking, practice helps. Here are some suggestions that have helped me and others:
- Practice among friends
- If you can stand in the place where you'll be presenting, then practice your speech there...it'll help in that by the time you're actually speaking, for you'll be in a familiar surrounding.
- When speaking, don't look directly at anybody...try looking over their heads, like at the back of the room.
- If you begin to mess up, look for people in the front row with smiles and consider them an encouragement.
- Recently, I heard of a program in schools where a local animal shelter brings a dog into the school for kids to read to. It turns out that by reading to a dog, kids gain confidence when reading out loud, for a dog never corrects their pronunciation or anything…just enjoys your company and being read to. So if you own a dog, try presenting to it to help you feel more comfortable.
- Know your material
- Before giving the speech, visualize yourself actually giving it.