Overcoming Your Fear Of Public Speaking

Posted on December 13, 2010
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Folk who make their living researching what scares folks the most have made a pretty fantastic discovery. Consistently when folks list the top five things they are terrified of in life, they have are some pretty threatening terrors. But you’d think that death would rank number one on that list. But death doesn’t take number one, it has got to accept number 2. Surprisingly, the no 1 thing that terrifies most people isn’t death, it is public speaking. A popular comic once said that this implies that people would rather be the fellow in the box at a funeral than the man giving the eulogy.

If you have ever been in a meeting listening to a speaker, you can usually tell if they are frightened. They will get up there and you will see that “deer in the headlights” look. You know that look. It is one of intense fear, panic, and terror so surpassing that the individual is frozen in place unable to speak of move. And if you have ever been that bloke or gal in front of a group giving the “deer in the headlights” look, you know the feeling of apprehension that occurs in front of a grouping of folk can be pretty horrible.

So if you know that public speaking is going to be part of your job or something you have got to regularly, you have to find how to neutralize that fear and be well placed to relax in front of a bunch when you talk. How often have you sat and listened to a speaker who was relaxed, funny, bright and even able to field questions with no difficulty at all? It’s easy to admire that sort of public speaker and think that he has some enchanting powers that you’ll never get. But they do not have wizardry. That speaker has just learned some systems for neutralizing those fears so she or he can appear relaxed and as though he or she has fun up there. It is not an inborn talent. It s a skill which can often be learned.

Of course plenty of the power to look out at an ocean of faces who need to hear what you need to say and not feel sick comes from experience. But experience teaches you things you can at least understand before you become an old pro at public presenting. One of those things is that the crowd out there doesnt know what to expect. If you broke down why you feel shocked in front of folk, it is that you think they think they know what they need and you are being judged.

But to grasp what people really expect when they are having a look at you at the podium on stage, just remember the last time you heard someone talk. You had no predefined idea what was going to be said and you had no outline or any frame of reference what that speaker was going to claim. That implies that even if you do not deliver your speech perfectly, they will never know that! So long as you do not let on you’re frightened or not sure about your material, they won’t know if you got it wrong. If you forget an entire segment of your speech, so long as what you do say flows nicely and they never know you forgot it, the people listening will think your speech was just fine and will most likely applaud.

Also remember that you’re not really chatting with a group. The group has no ears. You are speaking to a few individuals. When you are listening to a speaker, you are one person listening to one individual. That is how each person in that audience is receiving you, as individuals. So if you talk to them as though they are one person, not a crowd, your show will be warm and private and terribly successful. And the crowd will like you to which helps a lot.

remember that their expectations of you are reasonably low and for the main part, people hearing you talk need you to succeed. So grin at them, use a bit of humor and use that tiny insider tip to relax up there. And when you can relax, you can actually have a great time at public presenting instead of wishing you were the man in the casket instead.

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