fear of public speaking

If you are afraid of public speaking – there is a cure.

Public speaking is something we all must do at sometime whether it’s in University, in front of your tutor group, your boss or your coworkers. Even though we all must do the dreaded ‘performance’ at some point in our lives, many people are totally afraid of speaking publicly. However there are ways you can successfully deal will this fear and evolve to become an effective speaker.

What is the first thing you can do before you even speak publicly?

In order to be able to speak publicly – you want to feel as comfortable as possible. The best way to achieve this is to have an overall objective or purpose for your talk. As a speaker you need to ask yourself, “what am I talking about here”, “what point(s) do I want to get across”, and “how do I get people to not just listen but take action on what I am saying”?

What are the next 3 steps that should be followed after an objective is created?

The three steps are: getting your audiences attention, changing their emotion and getting them do do something about what they just heard. When grabbing their attention you must establish your credibility. This is conveyed in part by the way you walk to the location where you will be speaking. You must connect with your audience and speak clearly. To grab their attention, stay away from boring facts and statistics.

Connect with people by using personal virtues and by telling stories that reflect these virtues. Finally, have them take action. Have them fill out a form or raise their hands by presenting a question. Get them actively involved in some way.

Is it suggested that you use a PowerPoint presentation?

It is strongly suggested that you do not rely on PowerPoint or slides alone. Anyone can talk through a set of bullet points that appears on screen. It’s far better to convey your point verbally. If you must use slides, keep it to a minimum, and use them to act as a prompt for the stories you are telling and to back up the facts and figures you want to relay. Remember: practice makes perfect – so have a run through of your presentation, speech or talk with some helpful coworkers or fellow students first. The more you practice, the more relaxed and at ease you will feel

Overcoming the terror and fear of public speaking, although difficult for many, can absolutely be conquered. If you follow the above steps mentioned, public speaking can become easier for you.

Worried about public speaking? Read: Career Advice – Giving great presentations

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