Overcoming the Fear of Speaking

Studies show fear of speaking ranks higher than the fear of death.

Maybe that’s because speaking in public is a slow death to those who have not mastered the art.

  • Speak on only that which you have earned the right to speak about or participate in a team group.
  • Don’t try to be a public speaker or imitate one – it will end in disaster. Be yourself, authentic.  Some of the best speakers are soft spoken or quirky and it works if that’s their personality.
  • Open and close with a prepared comment but use an outline to speak conversationally about the topic. Do you enjoy watching a person read a speech to you?
  • To be really effective, think of your talk as a gift that you are presenting the audience.Know what that gift is.  Put it in your own words along with the excitement that comes from sharing something you know the audience will like.
  • Warm up the audience if possible by walking through and greeting as many people as you can before your talk. If you can you will have that many people pulling for you.
  • Look the audience in the eyes – nothing is more effective than looking at the people you are talking to.
  • Finally, keep it short and end on a positive note.

Scared speakers usually are also short on self-esteem so instead of practicing your talk over and over again, practice reminding yourself why you are qualified to speak on this subject.

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