10 Public speaking anxiety tips to boost your confidence


I’ve been in the speaking business for many years and have helped hundreds of clients manage their stage fright.

I know what it’s like to be nervous about public speaking, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay that way.

The tips below will help you take control of your anxiety and become a more confident speaker.

get comfortable with the speaking space

Get comfortable with the speaking space. It’s a simple tip, but it’s important to know where everything is.

You should be able to see your audience and they should be able to see you, so make sure there is nothing blocking their view of you (e.g., plants, tables).

  • If it helps, practice in the space beforehand.
  • Make sure you’re comfortable with this spot and how it feels when giving a speech there!

know your listeners

To help you know your audience, you should:

  • Know their needs and interests. You need to understand what your listeners are looking for in the presentation. Their needs may be different from one another’s, so take time to learn about each person before the presentation begins. Also consider the nature of their business or industry; if it’s related to health care, for example, they’ll probably have questions about how their business can improve employee wellness and reduce healthcare costs.
  • Know their level of knowledge on a subject matter (if any). This will help you tailor your message appropriately without overwhelming or boring those with a high knowledge level. If some audience members are more knowledgeable than others on a topic and could benefit from hearing more details about it than others would find useful, provide this additional information only after gauging whether it will be useful for all listeners or not

rehearse your speeches

The first step to addressing your public speaking anxiety is to practice your speeches in front of a mirror or a friend.

Next, you can practice in front of a small group.

Once you’re comfortable with that, move on to practicing in front of a larger audience such as a small crowd or even just by yourself (if the room is big enough).

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practice meditation and mindfulness

If you’re nervous about public speaking, meditation can help.

It’s a great way to calm your nerves and focus your mind in the moments before you have to go on stage. Plus, it’s easy to learn and doesn’t require expensive equipment or other resources.

You don’t have to do anything fancy or complicated—in fact, many people meditate while sitting in the same spot with their eyes closed for a few minutes each day (though there are more elaborate forms of meditation that involve specific actions).

The important thing is finding a way that works for you: whether that means taking time out of your day before leaving for work in the morning or simply breathing deeply whenever you’re feeling anxious until that feeling passes.

try relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques can be effective in reducing or preventing anxiety. Here are a few you can try:

  • Breathe deeply. Breathing deeply has been shown to reduce stress levels and calm nerves. Place one hand on your chest, the other on your stomach, and take slow deep breaths for about ten minutes. You may want to do this lying down or sitting in a quiet area where you won’t be disturbed by others around you (although this is not necessary).
  • Take a break from work for a few minutes every hour if possible; even just five minutes can make a difference! This will give you time away from whatever it is that makes speaking so difficult for you, giving yourself space to relax and regroup before continuing with what needs doing next without feeling overwhelmed by everything else going on around it at once as well as having less stress overall which means lower chances of developing anxiety later down line when speaking does come up again unexpectedly during conversation between two people who aren’t aware yet how much difficulty exists beforehand; especially since when things happen unexpectedly sometimes tend still being able to cope better than others because they didn’t think anything would happen anyway so there wasn’t any reason beforehand why they couldn’t handle whatever might arise afterwards either – but then again maybe sometimes not either so I don’t know…

practice gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful emotion, and it can be practiced in small ways. For example, when you wake up in the morning, instead of feeling angry that you have to get out of bed and go to work, try thinking about how fortunate you are to have a job—even if that job isn’t particularly exciting or fulfilling.

It’s also important not to underestimate the power of gratitude for overcoming fear and anxiety.

If you’re afraid of public speaking, for example, think about all the other things that scare people besides public speaking: heights, spiders and snakes (to name just a few). But when we look at these things objectively (in other words without being scared), they don’t seem so scary anymore.

If we’d been born with wings instead of legs and arms but couldn’t fly because our bones were too heavy or some kind of mutation prevented us from flying efficiently enough then no doubt we’d be terrified every time someone suggested going on holiday somewhere with an airport nearby! But since most humans don’t share this phobia about flying then perhaps it’s worth considering whether there might be something similar at play with your own fears?

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Visualize your success

Visualizing your success is a technique that can help you prepare for public speaking. It can be a powerful way to get your mind and body ready for the event, helping you relax before the event, and even practice what you will say if it’s not too far into the future.

Much has been said about visualization, so let’s go over some of its main benefits:

  • Visualization helps reduce stress by focusing on positive outcomes rather than potential failures that might occur.
  • Visualizing an ideal scenario allows you to see yourself successfully completing an activity from beginning to end in detail instead of thinking about each step separately—you can use this technique during every aspect of preparing for a presentation or speech (e.g., what do I wear? What does my room look like?).

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lean on trusted confidants for support and encouragement

When you’re feeling nervous about public speaking, the last thing you want to do is be alone with your thoughts.

The best way to stay calm and collected when you’re getting ready for a big presentation is to make sure that there are people in your life whom you can trust for support and encouragement—and not just people who will tell you how well-prepared or confident they think you are.

Conversations with trusted confidants before any important presentation might include:

  • What other kinds of support do I need?
  • When should I make time for these conversations? (During a lunch break between meetings? Over coffee on Friday morning?)
  • How much do they know about my presentation? Should we go over any parts together, or just talk about generalities like “it will be great” or “I know it’s going to be fine”?

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be patient with yourself and your progress

  • Don’t be hard on yourself.
  • You will make mistakes, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s inevitable! If you’re not making mistakes, then you aren’t learning or growing as a speaker. So instead of beating yourself up over every mispronunciation and awkward pause in your speech, focus on the positives: did you nail your introduction? Did you get through all of your slides without stumbling over anything? Were there any points where people laughed? Focus on those moments and use them as motivation to keep improving as a speaker.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others—especially if they’re better than you are! People who are naturally gifted at public speaking will always be better speakers than those who learn from scratch; however, when we compare ourselves to other people’s abilities we can easily become discouraged by our own shortcomings (or lack thereof). Instead of comparing yourself with others who are already very good at public speaking or have had years of practice under their belts (like politicians), try comparing yourself with someone who has also just started learning how to teach students about the importance of being kind—that way no matter how far along either one gets in their speaking journey there will always be room for improvement!

know your topic

  • Be prepared. This is the most important thing you can do to reduce your speaking anxiety. Know what you want to say, and know how you will say it. When I speak at conferences, my slides are already created, I have my notes and talking points all ready to go, and I feel confident in my knowledge of the topic.
  • Know your audience. Your audience may not be as familiar with your topic as you are; they may also come from a different background than yours or hold different opinions than you do on certain issues. This doesn’t mean that one person’s opinion should be valued over another—it just means that people can have different perspectives on things because their experiences are different from yours or theirs! Everyone has something valuable to add regardless of who they are or where they come from; so don’t be afraid if someone disagrees with what you’re saying—they might just have something equally valuable for everyone else in attendance at the conference 🙂
  • Be confident in yourself! You’ve prepared well enough that there shouldn’t be any surprises during your talk (and if there is a problem then just pause until it’s fixed). Even though other people might not always agree with everything we think about our own ideas/opinions/etc., we must stand firm for ourselves because only WE know exactly what WE really believe about something very specific (e.g., whether someone actually deserves respect even though others may disagree).

Focus on what you can control.

The best way to deal with speaking anxiety is to focus on what you can control.

  • What are the things you can control? Well, I’m glad you asked! You can control how well prepared you are for your talk, how good of a speaker you are and how good of a connection there is between you and your audience. You might not be able to control how many people show up or whether they fall asleep listening (though if they do, that could be an opportunity for some gentle humor). But most importantly, don’t worry about anything outside of these three areas—it’s just noise distracting from what’s important.


The point of public speaking isn’t to be perfect. It’s to get your message out there, and that’s exactly what you can do with the tips above.

If you feel nervous about a presentation, try to remember that everyone feels a little anxious at times—in fact, it might help if you think of your audience as nervous too! By using these techniques, practicing them regularly, and leaning on trusted confidants for support, your confidence will grow over time.

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