From my days of childhood, I have always had a fear when I was asked to speak in a public gathering ...I have always had a personal feeling that any potential mistake that I could do while speaking would turn out to be insulting, which had always kept me silent... Until a few years back, I had this fear, but I did rise above fear... I did rise to become a better public speaker, an online radio jockey, and a Compere... In this blogpost I share with you my own story of 'Raise Above Fear'
|speaking at a research meet|
To begin, fear of public speaking is called Glossophobia, where Glosso (means tongue) Phobia (refers to fear). It is something which is quite common among a large population of people. I was one amongst this population as well. Everytime, when Ive been asked to speak in public I used to panic, I could feel my sweat dribble down my spine, my hands and legs would go chill, my brain would stop thinking. I just used to stutter and stammer to complete a line and would get back to normal once it was over.... And then came this moment in my life...
It was my second year at college and I was academically doing good, and always enjoyed the company of books whenever possible, this fell in sight of my professor who was on a look out of a student who could compere for an international conference to be held at our university. The whole class had pointed towards me and there was no other choice, but to respect the words of my professor and take up this challenge to compere. Mind me ' it was the first time I was about the speak at such a gathering' I have spoken in smaller gathering of around 25-50 people, and it was indeed a herculean task for me'.
I did try telling my Professor that I will not be able to do it, but he kept reckoning me to do it.. It was then I realized that he's noticed something special in me, that he thinks I can do it... Initially I was low in confidence, and with time I slowly grew in confidence. I started working on the script and got it approved from the head of the department, with time, I practiced the script in and out... Closed my eyes, opened my eyes, stood in front of a mirror, made the room dark, and some how I managed to gulp down those lines.
It was D- day, the international conference was to begin. I was dressed in a suite, which made me feel a little uncomfortable, I took off my coat to feel a lot comfortable and within no time it was 9 am and all the dignitaries had come to the hall. I could feel the adrenaline rush as the audio systems were adjusted, I was given a thumbs up and was asked to begin.... The first word that I spoke did come out with a little difficulty, and what happened next, I didn't really know till my speech was over... There were loud cheers as I entered back stage, just to see my HOD and professor encourage me.. I also had to speak between sessions, wrap up sessions, and with time my confidence was sky high... I did rise above fear, I did defeat the glossophobia in me... From then on its been a uphill journey, and no looking back....
If you too have Glossophobia in any form, here are some of my tips on how you can rise above it...
1. Stay confident, confidence does matter a lot, if you remain low on confidence, it will reflect on your speech
2. Know your topic what you are gonna speak, knowing your topic would add to your confidence. If you are asked to speak on the spot, take a minute of deep breath and jolt down the points and then connect these points as you speak, if you are a first timer, you can have these points written in a piece of paper
3. Mistakes might happen, even I have done mistakes, I did a whole 20 minutes show by pronouncing the chief guest's name in a wrong way... doesn't matter, it does happen... learn to confirm before you go out loud.
4. Stay calm, events might get delayed or you might be asked to start in a hurry, just stay calm and keep a cool head.
5. Rehearse in front of the mirror a few times, look into your own eyes and speak it out... Im sure there can be no better judge than you, work on your flaws and you should be ready to rock...
6. Stay comfortable, I usually prefer to wear the dress that makes me feel comfortable. An uncomfortable dress could divert your concentration. Also see to that you dress according to the situation.
7. Look into the eyes of audience, it will make you feel confident, looking into their eye is a powerful tool and you gotta master this art...
8. If you realize you have made a mistake, just move ahead, pausing and thinking about the mistake could disrupt the flow
9. If you are presenting in a conference or meeting - don't add points that you don't know, if asked to explain, it could lead to embarrassment
10. Lastly, don't over do anything while speaking unless you are confident about what you are doing...
I hope these points (from my experience) should be a lot helpful to many and could help a whole lot of people to raise above their fear.
I leave below some pics (of memories)
This blogpost is a part of #RiseAboveFear activity by Mountain Dew, In association with Indiblogger.Here below is my favorite Tamizh actor Arya (screen name, actual name: Jamshed) in a short film/ Advert that captures his Mountain Dew: Rise Above Fear. (check it out)