A microphone in front of a blurry crowd, how stage presence is needed for public speeches

Stage Fright? Improve Stage Presence in Public Speaking

Why stage presence in public speaking so important?

It might be because 25% of people are terrified of public speaking. Also known as glossophobia, public speaking fears can be detrimental to one’s professional and personal life.

Even minor public speaking fears affect most of the population, with 75% of people being at least slightly nervous at the thought of speaking to a group or crowd.

The great thing about stage fright, though, is that it can be remedied. With the right tricks and practice, any fearful public speaker can overcome their fears and improve their stage presence.

Keep reading to learn more about how to take control of your stage fright!

Why Do People Fear Public Speaking?

When we feel threatened, our bodies prepare for what’s ahead. Sometimes that preparation involves the arousal of our autonomic system, stirring fear and anxiety.

The emotional fear prevents us from being able to perform or speak in front of others. At a certain point, that fear causes individuals to avoid public speaking situations altogether.

More often than not, people let their imaginations run wild and begin to overestimate the potential for failure at the idea of communicating in front of their peers. They begin to imagine the event as a threat to their image, their reputation, and credibility.

They also worry that they won’t reach, connect with, and hold their audience.

Status

A lot is incumbent on whom is speaking to who. Many people find themselves more intimidated if they have to present to a group of higher positions.

Likewise, an accomplished doctor might fear presenting their findings to other reputable doctors in their field.

Experience

The less experience you have had to speak in public, the less confidence you’ll have in doing so. The best way to combat this particular aspect of public speaking fear is to practice.

If you don’t have much experience on a stage, it makes sense that it’ll trigger fear and anxiety.

The Content

Sharing new ideas or content that you haven’t shared before is intimidating. You might be unsure as to how people will understand, receive, or analyze what you present.

If you’re presenting something new, opting to take questions to fill in any gaps or misunderstood information is an excellent strategy.

Skills

Most excellent and successful public speakers have developed, practiced, and honed the skills you watch them use on a stage. Public speaking comes naturally to very few people. However, with the right tips and skills, anyone can become a successful and confident public speaker.

Why Do Public Speakers Lose Their Audience?

It doesn’t matter how great your content is. If you don’t speak with authority and confidence, you’re going to lose your audience. You have to know your message and understand exactly what you want your audience to do with it.

How will your message benefit them? Where do you want them to go from here?

Attention Span

It’s no secret that global attention spans are shrinking. While some studies combat this assumption, take a look at your own life and attention span.

How long do you stay on a given web page? Do you prefer shorter emails to longer ones? Do you find yourself scrolling through your phone while watching a movie?

If you can learn to keep your audience’s attention, you’ve mastered the most important goal of public speaking.

People Get Bored

People want to learn new things and hear new information. If it’s the same old dribble, they’ll get bored and drift their attention to their thoughts or devices in an instant.

If you want your audience to recognize your content’s significance, you’ve got to treat it with the attention and excitement that you want them to give you.

Tips for Mastering Public Speaking

First and foremost, you must get comfortable in your skin. Physical posture and behavior can play a bigger role than the actual content you’re delivering.

If your arms are crossed, you’ll appear guarded. If you are shy and quiet, you won’t grab the attention of your audience. If you clasp your hands in front, you might come off as weak.

It’s vital to practice to become more comfortable moving around the stage or conference room.

It’s important to understand your discrepancies, too. You can find out what kind of communicator you are by taking this quiz.

Go Bigger

Whether you want to keep things casual or deliver a top-notch professional speech, it’s important to go bigger in almost every aspect while public speaking.

Be bigger than your everyday disposition. The best performers, no matter how natural or talented they are, make constant efforts to entertain or engage.

Bring your opening night enthusiasm, even if it’s just a conference room presentation. The more energy and confidence you display, the more likely your audience will follow along and engage the entire time.

Keep It Fresh

You don’t have to include every detail or explanation of the information on the topic at hand. You want your message to be clear, yes, but fresh and short when it can be.

Don’t repeat yourself, and sprinkle comments, moments, questions, anecdotes, statistics, and stories into your presentation to keep your audience engaged.

Regardless of the topic at hand, you’re still a performer. Keep your audience interested as you’d want to be as a listener.

Keep Their Attention

Don’t try to cram too much into your speech. Choose one topic or one aspect of a topic and keep that your focus.

Don’t move around from one subject to another, and keep it simple.

Most importantly, remember to know what you want or expect from your audience. Pick one call to action and make that your goal.

Overcoming Your Public Speaking Fear Is a Feat in Itself

Public speaking is terrifying, or at the very least, scary to most of the population. If you can overcome and master your public speaking skills, you’ll reap the rewards in many ways.

You’ll build your confidence and gain respect and admiration from your peers. Plus, the confidence, tips, and skills you gain will translate to all aspects of communication in your life.

The next time you have a one-on-one meeting with a coworker or boss, you’ll find that you feel more comfortable sharing your thoughts and knowledge.

Take a look at our virtual communication skills workshop!

Do you have questions first about what will help improve your personal communication skills? Contact us with any concerns.