@kelogsloops // Instagram

We’ve all been there..

Sweaty palms, a rapid heart beat, visualizing the worst scenario that might happen, mentally going over and over your well-prepared lines and overthinking the reactions of those in the audience. Stuttering, Losing your train of thoughts and stumbling upon your well thought-out and memorized words.

It was the year of 2011, I was giving the speech that would make or break my career. I was to present a marketing pitch in-front of a big Media Corporation that wanted to create new kinds of entertainment shows in Egypt following the revolution and hence wanted to cause a buzz by shifting the focus from politics to entertainment. It was the exact opportunity I was looking for!

..Yep, you guessed it, I messed up! I was too self-conscious, too terrified, and mumbled throughout the whole presentation.

According to Psychology Today, 1 in 4 people reported being anxious when presenting ideas and information to an audience. Forbes magazine states that only 10% of the population loves public speaking, leaving the rest of the remaining 90% terrified or in fear.

Fret not! I am here to inform you that years later after presenting numerous times on live stages, working as an anchor on television and teaching in Education, I can say I mastered the art of public speaking.

Here are some tips and pointers to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

Eat your favourite food in the morning:

Start your day right. Set the mood by making your favourite breakfast, listening to a song that makes you happy, or take a hot shower before you get dressed. Put your favourite shirt on, wear your comfortable shoes. Make it all about you!

Prepare but do NOT memorize:

Know the flow of your content but do not memorize your words. You can always change the order of your words but it will still lead to the message you want to deliver. So many people go in memorizing their words that when they forget a certain line, they mess up entirely.

Spread your gaze across the room:

When beginning to speak, look for a familiar face in the audience and make eye contact but beware that you do not solely focus on that one person. Instead, spread your gaze across the room so that everyone present thinks that you are addressing them and that you acknowledge their presence. That way, you’ll have their attention for longer.

Focus on the content and not on yourself:

Have in mind that you are there to deliver a message. It’s not about what you’re wearing, your accent, what your social status is or how junior you are the company. It’s about the message you’re conveying across, the idea you’re introducing to these people that will help them question the traditional ways they go about. What will they walk out with having known from you today?

Use your natural voice:

When I started my professional life, I used to get so shy that when it was my turn to speak my  voice would thin out, meaning my voice would become thin with no deepness to it.

I’d gasp for air in-between my words which sounded like I was running for my life.

The best tone you can use is your natural tone, the tone you use to speak to people who are close to you like friends or family. Visualize that the room consists of your friends and loved ones and start speaking.

Be spontaneous:

If a joke comes up during your talk and the audience begins to laugh, laugh along. Do not stage your facial reactions, words or expressions. People will relate to you when they sense that you are giving them your authentic-self.

Keep the learning objectives/outcomes in mind:

If you have a list of outcomes in your mind that you want your audience to know or to focus on as a result of your speech, you won’t be worried about being side-tracked or distracted. At the end of your presentation, reaffirm those outcomes by emphasizing them so when they walk out, it’s stuck in their cognitives. Educators and Advertisers use the strategy of ongoing repetition as a way of instilling messages in people’s minds

Have a witty wrap up; Your Outro is  just as important as your intro:

Smile at the end of your presentation and thank your audience for giving you their time. People say that first impressions are important but it’s your last words that cause the biggest impact. Your outro is just as important as your intro! Depending on the kind of audience present you may tell them an anecdote to conclude your speech or you may ask them to follow you on your social media accounts. Better yet, give them a sneak peak of what’s coming up in your work, leaving them eager to find out what’s next for you.

I hope that helps you on your journey of overcoming your fear of public speech and remember that putting yourself out there in the spotlight is the only way you’re going to master it!

Practice makes perfect!


Have something to say? Join the conversation in our Facebook group!

Feel free to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the latest releases on our articles & episodes for our exclusive mental health podcast series, hosting celebrity guests sharing their take on Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Available Now on  Anghami /  AppleSoundcloud