If you consider standing up before a group of benign people and opening your mouth as a fate worse than death, then good news - conquering your fear of public speaking may be as easy as confronting the possibility of rejection.
Despite the fact that the mere thought of public speaking makes some people's palms sweat, hearts race and stomachs reel, it is a vital skill that can help one get up in front of a crowd to make a pitch, present an idea, or close a deal.
According to Teja Gudluru, the real brain behind UDO - a budding android app that lets you connect to thousands of experts in over a hundred categories, Glossophobia or "Fear of public speaking, stems out of a fear of being rejected or not being accepted. This usually indicates low self-esteem and the need to be accepted by others."
"In India, I have interviewed and interacted with over 40,000 students. For most it's the fear of speaking in English. A complex that has been built over a period of time that speaking in English is synonymous with having good communication skills," Gudluru told ANI.
He added, "Students are told that if they cannot improve communication skills, it is almost the end of their careers. While this may be true, the way the communication is sent causes more panic than motivation. Most students coming from rural backgrounds resign to the fact that they can ever speak as well as what is expected of them. And since the fear that failing to talk and communication in public is the end of their career opportunity, makes them even more nervous because they are anxious of the result even before they attempt to speak."
Gudluru listed down some points that can help people overcome the stage fright:
1. Start with a simple good morning or hello when you make eye contact with someone. The more strangers you talk to voluntarily, the more confidence one builds.
2. Attend conferences and events, go introduce yourself to others, talk to them irrespective of how good you are at communicating. Watch videos online like TED and observe how public speakers are when they are on stage.
3. Take feedback. Video record yourself speak. Fear of public speaking is the most pertinent amongst all phobias, with an average person ranking it on a much higher scale as compared to other fears. The truth is, this fear has every chance of affecting your professional and personal life.
Fear of public speaking is a form of performance anxiety in which a person becomes conscious and concerned of his/her appearance, gestures, dialogue and more. Time and again, people try to shelter themselves by avoiding public speaking, leading to a struggle against speech anxiety and by doing this; they get misled into making this social disease more potent, chronic and disruptive.
At the professional forefront, it is important for you to be able to convey your views/opinions. Whether you are giving a formal presentation to an audience or simply asking your boss for a promotion, speaking skills are essential to getting ahead in a professional race. Therefore, public speaking should be promoted, instead of being avoided.
For Alka Gupta, Director of BAFEL Academy- an Education and Training company, "The art of speaking is not only to convey messages but also influence minds."
Universally, there are various types of public speaking that one can opt from. While monologue is there in the form of a speech, a dialogue is a one to one conversation. When it comes to a conference, the listeners can range up to 25, having a single speaker; while in a seminar, the audience doubles up as speakers.
Gupta listed down the ingredients that are needed in any kind of speaking:
1. Knowledge of subject- Without profound knowledge on the subject, there are chances of the message getting hampered with the usage of unnecessary fillers.
2. Vocabulary- A good orator is always armed with sound vocabulary. Overuse of jargon-centric terms alienates people from what you are trying to convey.
3. Voice Clarity- Clarity of voice is needed to convey the objective, laying great emphasis on the keywords, to drive the message across.
4. Body Language- The correct body language ensures that the message gets disseminated and assimilated, in the ideal frame of mind.
5. Self Confidence- Self Confidence is like the salt in a dish. Without the self-confidence, all the above ingredients will fail and your dish will be a bland failure and will not induce any flavour to the person consuming it.
"The first thing one must know is that attaining perfection is not humanly feasible. We all are born with diverse traits, which help us gain individualistic skill sets. Different scenarios call for different expertise, making us perfect in certain scenario while imperfect in some other scenario. It lies within us to hone our strengths and work upon our weaknesses," she added. (ANI)