Published: 30th March 2018
Do you go numb when asked to speak in front of an audience? Here's how you can beat your fear
The only thing stopping us from effective communication in most part is our very own fear. Only by working hard and honing our skills can we better our communication
The barriers to communication are present in all forms of personal reasons and situational conditions. If you are sincere to the task of developing your communication skills, then you should be able to identify the barriers that affect your performance and work on it by adopting suitable measures to overcome it successfully.
The most common barrier is fear within an individual to communicate — going numb and starting to tremble when asked to speak in front of an audience.
Here are a few more:
- Having a problem with the language and with the context of the content
- Feeling shy and nervous to stand in front of a gathering
- Do not want to commit mistakes and be laughed at
- Low confidence to take the initiative to speak to a group of unknown persons
- Feeling of going blank and not remembering anything to speak due to a blackout of thoughts
- Not comfortable with the voice and tone of speech
- Feeling ashamed by the accent that you have by nature
The solution: What youngsters need to do is identify the exact problem they face and work on strategies with a personal flavour to overcome it.
- Never miss an opportunity to speak at a gathering, take it up with confidence bearing in mind that no one is born perfect.
- Learn to speak at an even pace and with clarity.
- Prepare your mind in advance before you start to communicate, so that your flow of words does not get stopped or staggered.
- Reading a lot will help you build a vast vocabulary. The better armed you are with words to express a particular point, the more you will be successful.
- Develop the habit of speaking aloud when you are alone. This will help you learn how to make use of your voice and tone control.
- Establish proper eye contact with the audience when you address a group, it will give you loads of confidence when you get someone to nod their head when you speak.
- Develop good body language to make your speech effective. You can practice this by speaking in front of a mirror and pick the style that you are comfortable with.
- Do not try to copy an accent that is alien to you. Choose to speak in an acceptable accent in which you are comfortable.
- Work with a dictionary and a thesaurus to improve your understanding of words and their usage.
- Watch movies for conversation style and read books to learn the punctuations and pauses.
- Get acquainted with modern speaking gadgets like a microphone and other audio-visual devices.
- Give importance to listening and observing, which can help you develop a fairly good quality of communication.
- Take advantage of any chance you get to speak at various settings to get acclimatised with the communication style of varied approaches.
- Above all, remember you can master the art of communicating only by speaking.
The solution: The barriers are always in the mind and not physically present to threaten an individual not to communicate. Only when you speak, you will attain excellence in it and emerge successfully!
(Nicholas Francis is an HR mentor based in Madurai. He serves as a member of the Board of Studies of Social Work in colleges and contributes to the professional training and development of institutes)