Public speaking fear can become a career-crippling problem.
It’s nearly impossible to eliminate nervousness, but there are plenty of ways to ease anxiety, boost confidence and reduce the type of dread that can rob you of golden opportunities.
Try these four strategies to squelch public speaking fear:
1. Rewrite automatic thoughts.
If you’ve had a speaking experience go awry, you might still feel defeated by it. It’s common for speakers to feel defensive or guarded because of that experience—and they carry those scars into every new speaking opportunity.
It’s important to learn from mistakes to grow as a presenter. However, there’s a difference between learning from the past and carrying that burden with you into a room of people who’ve not heard you speak.
Every presentation offers a chance for a reset. Instead of deflating yourself with negative thoughts, a process called cognitive restructuring can help replace your automatic but distorted thoughts with more accurate and productive ones. As examples:
Automatic thought: “I blew my last talk, and I’ll probably blow this one, too.”