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Strategies To Overcome A Fear Of Public Speaking - Part 1

Nov 30, 2007
The first strategy in overcoming a fear of public speaking is to try basic methods outside of medical treatment first. One of the best lay person's methods is taught in acting schools and by public speaking professionals. It teaches a person how to take a normal stressful public speaking event and turn into something pleasurable.

There are some important strategies to overcome a fear of public speaking. Each one is designed to train a person to deal with their fear and make public speaking easier to do. Here are the facts, tips and do's and don'ts that will help you overcome your fears:

Public speaking is a normal part of life

Public speaking does not just apply to politicians, managers or other high flyers, but to school presentations, charity speeches, wedding toasts and so much more

It is normal to be scared when doing this for the first time

It is also normal to have knees knocking together, hands shaking, voices trembling, thoughts getting jumbled, palms sweating and forgetting things

Professional public speakers appear clever, successful, witty, polished, calm and entertaining, but anyone can appear that way

It is normal to be just a normal nobody, make some mistakes, stumble over thoughts and words, tell unfunny jokes and/or even forget what is supposed to be discussed

Differences of opinion are normal and not a reflection of you, the person

Remember the 'KISS' principle: 'Keep it simple stupid'

Stick to major points (a minimum of 1+), break those down into finer points and so on, but not go off on a tangent; use an outline and cue cards; stick to the point

Your outline should follow who/what, when, where, why and how

Most of us would cringe at the idea of public speaking and panic

Pretend that you know the audience as if they were your friends, or that you are dealing with an audience full of school children, but not that you are a public speaker

Practice your speech beforehand, get a friend or confidant that you trust to listen to your speech as if you were already doing the presentation (learn it by heart); dress accordingly, do all the introductions, jokes and other things that you will do on the day of your speech

Create a list of possible questions that the audience may ask you and prepare your answers on cue cards - practice these

Feel confident in your own self and abilities

Prime yourself as you step in front of the audience

Project your voice to the back of the room, but don't yell

Focus on something in the room behind the audience that pleases you and make your speech to it

Maintain an air of humility and sense of humor during public speaking events

Don't tell a joke that you cannot pull off

Laugh at yourself if you make a mistake or forget something, and make a joke out of that - 'laugh and the whole world laughs with you'

Don't prime yourself for disaster - these don't usually happen

We all have experienced embarrassing results, whether from a public speech or just a conversation with a friend

Have a contingency plan available

If you become speechless, take ten deep breaths, count to ten and have a sip of water - start again

If the audience reacts badly, walks out and/or someone rallies a defense against you, ask for feedback from the person or persons involved in the situation

Public speaking is about sharing thoughts, ideas and information

Control yourself, thoughts, arrangements, preparation, practice, the room layout and any equipment that you may need

People are people - some fidget; others ignore you - this is normal

Ignore the non-listeners; talk to those who want to listen

Don't over prepare for things that may never happen

You are successful now because you are trying to learn strategies to overcome your fear of public speaking by reading this article

Believe in yourself

Audiences don't want to embarrass, judge you as a person/by your clothes, voice or anything else

Audiences want to learn something new, no matter how meager that might be

Most of your audience will hold you in high esteem because you had the courage to stand up and speak at all

Your listeners want you to be successful!

These strategies to overcoming your fear of public speaking have been proven successful by both professionals and other average people like you and me. Remember: practice, prepare, believe in you, and laugh at any mistakes. It is definitely not the end of the world!
About the Author
Gary Miller was so scared that he actually passed out during a presentation and couldn't talk after due to numerous social
anxieties. To learn more about his journey to recovery and weekly FREE Social Anxiety coping techniques, you can visit his web site at: http://www.Social-Anxiety-Cure.com
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