A lot of individuals experience the fear of presenting in front of a large group of individuals. This phenomenon is commonly known as stage fright. Stage fright is often caused by anxiety due to a lack of confidence in one’s skills and abilities to present in front of a large crowd. This article will tackle how to build up confidence and overcome anxiety in order to get better at presentations
Confidence is not an inborn trait, instead, it develops naturally amongst individuals that have been raised to portray confidence. And while the development of one’s confidence can start as early as pre-school, it is never too late to start building up on your own confidence even when you are already in primary, secondary, or tertiary education.
Before we proceed any further into the article, we must first identify the importance of confidence not only in presenting in front of a large group of people but in daily academic life as well.
How many times have you seen a shy and reserved individual have trouble communicating properly due to their anxiety? You must have witnessed a few instances, right? Well, by building confidence, these individuals will be able to communicate with other individuals better.
Confidence is necessary in order to express what one has in mind. Without the confidence to speak out, individuals would just be giving cues that they expect others to interpret which can cause a lot of confusion and misunderstandings. This would not be a problem if these individuals had the bare minimum of confidence to truly speak what is inside their minds.
Once a person presenting in front of a crowd shows a high enough level of confidence, the audience will generally take what they are saying more seriously. This is due to the fact that they wouldn’t be so confident on stage if what they are presenting or speaking is pure gibberish. Thus, the audience becomes easier to convince and sway.
This can seriously put a speaker in an advantageous position especially if they are in a situation that calls for the support of an audience such as a debate or campaign speech.
Simply having enough confidence not only in your skills but also in yourself will allow you to be able to do more than what you thought you would. Confidence allows one to step outside of their comfort zone and try out things that one has never tried before. This expands their horizons and enables growth in an individual.
Confidence is not a matter of how good an individual is at a certain activity, confidence stems from how much trust that individual has in his/her abilities. These tips will slowly help you gain trust in your abilities and skills in order to build confidence.
The first and most important tip you must remember is to always keep your cool. This applies not only to building confidence but in other areas as well. keeping a cool head allows one to properly analyze a situation at hand and think of the best course of action to take. This allows one to make rational decisions during crucial times, like when speaking in front of a crowd.
Since the fear of saying something incorrectly and being laughed at is one of the main demotivators for public speaking, keeping a cool head will benefit one greatly. If an individual makes a mistake on stage or in front of a crowd, keeping a cool head will allow them to avoid panicking and keep them from making even more mistakes and will instead allow them to come up with a solution or cover up for their mistake.
Keeping a cool head may be the first thing to keep in mind, but it is not the only thing one should learn in order to build confidence. Reading up on good presentation techniques is also a key factor that will greatly benefit one’s confidence level.
Having knowledge of the techniques that will make a presentation effective will do wonders in boosting one’s confidence when presenting in front of a large crowd. This is due to the fact that simply knowing a few techniques will greatly improve one’s presentation skills, and thus, will also boost their confidence.
After learning a few presentation techniques, the next course of action should be to practice what one has learned. A person could learn and read all the theories about presentation techniques, but still fail to properly execute them due to not having practiced every single one of those techniques.
It is necessary to practice the theories one has learned into action in order to fully grasp the contents of the techniques one has learned. Visualization can only go as far as one’s imagination can go; however, reality often throws unprecedented events that might throw an individual off course. This is why practicing presentation techniques in real-time is one of the most effective ways to gain confidence quickly as it allows one to be confident in their chosen technique.
If you are seriously introverted and have a long way to go before facing a large crowd, then fear not for what is important is not the size of the crowd you are presenting to, but the effort and dedication you have put up in order to present in front of people.
Starting by presenting in a small crowd such as your group of friends or family members can serve as your stepping stone towards building confidence in presentations. After all, even those with extraordinary skills have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is often small in scale. It is only after they have built enough confidence in their skills and abilities that they can face greater challenges and come out victorious and well-renowned.
When practicing out the presentation techniques or simply speaking in front of a crowd, it is common to make mistakes as human beings are often prone to err from time to time. During these times, you should always remember that is alright to make mistakes. The fear of failure and making mistakes is what individuals feel anxious when presenting in front of a lot of people, so by simply telling yourself that failure and mistakes are alright to make, you are essentially limiting the factors that cause anxiety.
This will not always work for everyone as some are hesitant to accept the fact that making mistakes is alright as society has often taught individuals to aim for perfection. And yet perfection cannot be attained by simply being perfect, there is a need to know what works and what doesn’t in order to be good at what you do.
A common defense mechanism that many people have when they are given the chance to present in front of a crowd is to run away from the task and place it on the shoulders of another person. However, this is also one of the causes that make their confidence slowly wither away.
Running away from the task will do absolutely nothing towards an individual’s development and will only cause them to become even farther from the goal of building confidence. Running away robs an individual of the chance to gain experience, knowledge, and insight on what the feeling of presenting on stage feels like.
Nothing will ever start if the individual doesn’t want to start. Fear is what is holding you back and you listen to deep-seated emotions such as fear. But who was the one that was overthinking and gave rise to the fear? It was yourself.
Changing your mindset and setting it to become less agitated by fear will strengthen your resolve to present in front of a crowd, and in turn, will also build your confidence. Just like how rain can be seen as a blessing for farmers, but a nuisance for outdoor sports; changing your mindset about a certain event can greatly change the way you perceive that event.
Confidence is not just about being skilled, we have talked about it earlier. But we are yet to discuss how confidence stems from being comfortable as well. Once an individual is comfortable about what they do, they will gain a natural sense of confidence and security in doing it.
This is why it is also important to find a comfort zone in presenting in order to maximize the confidence one can build. You never know that you might have a talent for presenting in story form, mixing satirical statements, or even by mixing some cheesy quotes unless you try and find out for yourself.
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