If your hands tremble, your heart beats so fast, and you can’t utter a word even when you’re supposed to do so in front of an audience, it’s official. You have glossophobia or a fear of public speaking.
Don’t worry. You’re not even a minority. Very Well Mind reports that as much as 77 percent of the population has this fear. Some don’t even have to be in front of an audience for them to exhibit those symptoms I mentioned. Just the mere thought of speaking in front of an audience gets them all sweaty, trembling, at a loss for words, you name it.
You being part of the majority, however, shouldn’t be an excuse for you not to conquer your fear of speaking in public. In fact, you should even aim to improve your public speaking.
Why Is it important to conquer your fear of public speaking? It is because public speaking will benefit your career, boost your confidence, improve your communications skills, and much more.
Succumbing to the fear of public speaking, on the other hand, will only bring you down. How exactly, you ask? Let’s discuss those in the article so you’ll understand why it’s important to conquer your fear of public speaking in more detail.
Why Is It Important To Improve in Public Speaking And Conquer Your Fear?
Offhand, I can think of many reasons why you should always strive to improve in public speaking. Let’s enumerate some of those reasons:
1. Increase Your Chances of a Promotion
The better you speak in public, the higher your chances of promotion: Just think about it. Have you ever met anyone who has just recently been promoted who doesn’t know how to speak in public? I bet you haven’t.
Like it or not, many companies look at whether or not a person knows how to speak in public when deciding whether or not to promote that person in the first place. You might argue, “but that’s only for people who are in niches that require public speaking. In writing, for instance, you don’t really need to know how to speak.”
That’s where I have to stop you. The reality is, even when you’re in a niche that doesn’t require you to face people, you still have to face people if you want to climb the corporate ladder. If you’re a writer, for instance, you can’t be an editor if you don’t know how to speak before the writers who are under your supervision. Editors, after all, are supposed to help the writers under their supervision to write better. They can’t do that if they can’t articulate what they know in the first place.
I can say the same thing for IT and for graphic design. You can’t be an IT or a graphic design manager if you can’t talk to your subordinates about specific projects or explain to them what they need to do to improve the workflow, for example.
2. You Will Be Viewed As An Authority
The better you speak in public, the more perceived authority you get: You see, in general, public speaking involves sharing ideas only you would know and your audience wouldn’t. If you get invited to speak about marketing, for instance, it’s because you know about marketing. If you get invited to speak to employees about this next project the company is about to launch, it’s because you know about the project.
In other words, the people who get invited to speaking engagements are typically those who are experts in that particular area. From the organizer’s perspective, they already have perceived authority.
Once you start talking to that crowd, that perceived authority the organizers have of you transcends to the crowd. When members of the audience see a person in front of them, they automatically associate the person with expertise in a particular area. If your presentation goes well the first time, that perceived authority is strengthened in their minds. If you do better the next time around, that perceived authority is strengthened even further.
But why should you care about perceived authority in the first place? Well, when you’re a perceived authority in a subject, you’re the go-to person for that subject. So, everything you say about marketing, for instance, is considered the truth. Perceived authority equates with credibility and respect. And, wherever you go, those two things, as we know, is always good to have.
For more information on authority, check out the article "The Top 9 Tips For Presenting with Authority"
3. Ability to Influence Others
The better you speak in public, the better you can influence other people: So, we talked about how, when you improve your public speaking, you strengthen your perceived authority. Because of that perceived authority, you get to influence people better.
So, if you’re a graphic design manager who just gave an impassioned speech about how all of you should be able to meet deadlines to ensure the final project is completed on time, all those who heard you speak will actually submit their tasks on time. Or if you’re that salesperson who just gave a pitch about that product you’re selling, you get your audience to actually purchase that product from you.
Check out how Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007:
Why should you want to influence other people, you ask? Well, why shouldn’t you want to? Apart from the fact that it can earn you praises from your boss (let’s just assume that after your impassioned speech, your team now manages to submit projects on time) or get your commissions (let’s assume you nailed those sales after your amazing sales pitch), it can make you feel good.
There’s just that feeling of accomplishment you’ll feel when you win people over, especially those you never thought would ever agree with you. It’s very much like winning the grand prize in a contest (or maybe this is an exaggeration, but you get the drift).
4. To Become A Better Person
The better you speak in public, the better person you become: Before you say I’m exaggerating in this point, just hear me out.
It’s a generally accepted idea that when you improve anything about yourself, you become a better version of yourself in that respect. So, if you improve how you deal with people, for example, you become a better social creature. Or if you improve your vocabulary in a language, you become a better speaker of that language.
Well, the same principle applies in this case. If you improve the way you speak before an audience, you become a better public speaker. You should be concerned about striving to do better at all times because, well, it won’t just make you feel good. You’d be doing society a favor, too, when you present your 2.0 version while playing your critical role as a member of that society in the first place.
Simply put, when you improve public speaking, you reap all sorts of benefits you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
Why Is Fear of Public Speaking Bad?
Now that you know why you should continuously strive to improve your public speaking, let’s look at why the fear of public speaking is bad.
Fear, in general, is bad: Fear is a negative feeling. It can drag you down in many ways you can imagine. When you’re overcome by fear to do something, after all, you’ll never actually reach your full potential.
People who are gripped by the fear of public speaking never actually get on stage to speak before an audience. And that’s a pity because, if you think about it, they might have been the next great public speaker out there had they just tried.
Public speaking is something you can’t avoid: Like it or not, at one point in your life, you’re going to have to speak before an audience. Even if you don’t plan on climbing the corporate ladder, you’re going to have to face your interviewer to land that job in the first place. Or if you’re still in school, at one point, you’re going to have to make a class presentation or even defend your thesis. If you fear public speaking and you give in to that fear, you can’t do the basic things in life at all.
In other words, if you fear public speaking, and allow yourself to be overwhelmed by that fear, you can’t possibly live the life you want. You’ll only live with regrets and avoid the basic things in life that require, well, speaking in public. And unfortunately, that’s almost everything.
Why Is It Important to Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking: Conclusion
The thing is, it’s completely normal to fear public speaking. What’s important, however, is to overcome that fear. After all, public speaking permeates every aspect of our lives. If you allow that fear to prevent you from even trying, you’ll only end up avoiding practically every aspect of your life. Living with that fear will also make you live with regrets, and without reaching your full potential.
The good news is, there are ways you can overcome that fear. The Internet is a goldmine of information. This Space 4 Speaking blog alone already has the tips you need to get over that.
But before you can even get to that stage where you’re researching for ways to overcome your fear of public speaking, you need to WANT to overcome that fear in the first place. There’s always a way if there’s a will.
So, my suggestion? Find it in yourself to WANT TO OVERCOME that public speaking fear in the first place. And when you resolve to conquer your fear once and for all, this blog is here to help you.
For more resources to develop your public speaking skills while you are in the comforts of your own home, please check out the article ‘Online Resources for Public Speaking‘. If you would like to leverage the best presentation software for your next big speaking engagement please read the article 'Best Presentation Technology tools'.