On the average person’s scale of Likes and Dislikes, giving a speech ranks somewhere down with going to the dentist and cleaning of the cat litter box. Very few people feel comfortable standing in front of a group of others giving a speech. It is just something that lands well outside many individuals’ comfort zones.
Fortunately, like most things in life, you can learn to be more at ease with the idea of giving a speech. Here are two steps that you can try that will help to overcome your Glossophobia (fear of public speaking):
Do your homework
Some people can stand in front of a crowd and just wing it, but that is not the case for the majority of us. In fact, one of the biggest fears for most is standing in front of an audience and not knowing what to say. You can avoid that scenario by learning your speech backwards and forwards. Also know the subject well enough to answer any questions that might come up at the end.
Pretend you are speaking to an empty room
Would you be as nervous about giving a speech if there was no one in the room? When the time comes to give your talk, imagine exactly that scenario. However, that does not mean you can stand completely still and stare off into space. It is important to still make eye contact every once in a while, but beyond that, you do not need to acknowledge the presence of anyone else until you are finished.
If you are standing on a stage under a spotlight, chances are that you will not even be able to see the audience anyway. That can be a godsend for some people, but it is still important to be able to learn the art of giving a speech when others are in plain view. Keep practicing!