Not everyone enjoys speaking in front of many people. In fact, when asked about phobias, public speaking tops many people’s list. Worse, this fear could even lead to mental block. This takes place when one takes the center stage to speak and all of a sudden, no words come out. Despite constant practice, some people still experience mental block.
Why does mental block happen?
There are a lot of reasons behind being mental blocked. The most common reason is the lack of confidence. Some are simply not used to speaking in front of many people. When given the opportunity to do so, they end up messing the entire speech. There are also those who fear to be rejected or humiliated. They always seek for perfection and they are afraid to say something wrong since it will change how other people perceive them. Most of all, there are those who hate being judged. They know that the moment they step on the stage, all eyes are on them. This causes them to just freeze and not say anything at all.
Having a mental block when speaking in front of many people can be very embarrassing. It can even end up with lifelong teasing. It can also pull down one’s self- esteem. If you experience the same problem, there are ways on how to overcome mental block.
Tips to overcome mental block
• Practice, practice, practice! Yes, practice does not necessarily make one perfect, but it helps a lot in training the brain. It puts to your subconscious everything that you have memorized or planned to say. When the brain is trained, it can easily recall what you have are to say even if you are at the height of emotions.
• Get used to speaking in a crowd. When practicing, do not just do it on your own. Make sure that you do it in front of your friends or with many people. By then, you will know how deep your fear is when facing the crowd. On the actual performance, you will become more confident in your delivery.
• Prepare your speech in bullet points or use keywords. This is important to remember the entire speech. Sometimes, when you just see a word in your speech, it reminds you of the entire sentence or paragraph. Outlining is also effective to avoid messing all words in your head. It makes things easier to remember.
• Don’t aim for perfection. Committing mistakes is fine. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You need to condition yourself that everything is going to turn out really well. When it isn’t, just go ahead and continue talking. Do not concentrate on one word that you have missed as it could make you forget the rest of what you are about to say.
• When you are overwhelmed with fear, relax and breathe. Take time to stop for a few seconds rather than continue talking using fillers such as “uhm.” When you have gained your momentum back, you can once again continue talking.
• Enjoy the whole process. Don’t worry about what other people will think of you. The most important thing is that you enjoyed your speech and you believe that you have made a great delivery.
• Sleep well a night before the speech. Make sure you are refreshed and you feel great on the actual day for delivering your speech. By taking enough sleep, your brain is also activated for it to function well.
It might sound difficult to overcome stage fright and mental block. However, when you have gained confidence in speaking in front of a crowd, even for impromptu speeches, you won’t have anything to worry about.