You’ve spent endless hours preparing the perfect speech – enthralling, witty, entertaining and attention grabbing – and the minute you get near a stage or podium you begin to fall apart! Fear of public speaking is all too common amongst the professional and social arenas and tackling your nerves may appear to be an impossible mission. There are however great tips and techniques included with training courses that can really help and overcoming the fear of public speaking can be achieved! Understanding the fear of public speaking. The first step in beating any phobia is to try to understand what causes our reactions to things such as public speaking, flying, spiders and all sorts of other seemingly irrational fears. Fear of public speaking is only one of a group of anxiety related illnesses known as social phobia but it is probably the one that affects most people. The way our bodies react to these situations comes from signals in the brain, causing physical symptoms including: – Dry mouth – Excessive sweating – Palpitations – Blushing – Trembling In more extreme cases, a full-blown panic attack can happen, where an overwhelming feeling of anxiety takes over. Controlling your nerves. The main thing that you must remember is that you are not alone if you suffer from a genuine fear of public speaking. There are very few of us who feel comfortable about getting up on a stage or talking in front of a crowd of people, but the good news is that with an effective public speaking training course, you can learn to use your nerves in a positive way. Breathing and relaxation are big factors in coping with your anxiety about public speaking, and learning how to use your nerves to your advantage can often be the first step in beating the fear. Preparation and practice. Spending time preparing for a public speaking event is, of course, essential and can go a long way to help if you suffer from the dreaded fear of public speaking. This does not mean that you have to spend hours practising your speech in front of a mirror. After all, there may be times when you are asked to make a last minute presentation or your audience will be asking questions afterwards. Learning to beat your anxiety and lose your fear of public speaking completely involves being able to stand up in front of a group of people without the benefit of practicing beforehand. Your preparation for this type of situation is not, therefore, writing screeds of notes, it’s more a matter of knowing how to prepare yourself mentally! Fear of public speaking is a widely recognised problem, and there are numerous sources of help and training available. A good public speaking training course should address not only the basics concerns over nerves and anxiety, but will examine the reasons behind the fear, and help you with your individual needs.