Does anyone know the most common fear in adults between the ages of 18 & 50?
I will give you a couple clues; it makes your voice shake, your palms sweaty, your heart race, and sometimes even causes shortness of breath. It’s public speaking! Approximately 75% of adults in America have a fear of giving speeches. Now you know that you are far from alone, you can work on getting past this built up fear. The easy part about this is that the more you practice public speaking, the better you get. We have done some research to create a guide that will help you beat your panic attacks and deliver the speech of the year!
10 Steps to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Deliver a Great Speech
1. KNOW YOUR MATERIAL WELL: Pick a topic you are interested in. Know more about it than you include in your speech. Use humor, personal stories and conversational language – that way you won’t easily forget what to say.
2. PRACTICE ALL DAY LONG: Rehearse out loud with all equipment you plan on using. Revise as necessary. Work to control filler words; Practice, pause and breathe. Practice with a timer and allow time for the unexpected.
3. KNOW THE AUDIENCE: Greet some of the audience members as they arrive. It’s easier to speak to a group of friends than to strangers.
4. KNOW THE ROOM: Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.
5. RELAX: Begin by addressing the audience. It buys you time and calms your nerves. Pause, smile and count to three before saying anything. (“One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand. Pause. Begin.) Transform nervous energy into enthusiasm.
6. VISUALIZE YOUR SPEECH DELIVERY: Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and confident. Visualize the audience clapping – it will boost your confidence.
7. REALIZE THAT PEOPLE WANT YOU TO SUCCEED: Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They’re rooting for you.
8. DO NOT APOLOGIZE: for any nervousness or problem – the audience probably never noticed it.
9. CONCENTRATE ON THE MESSAGE: Focus your attention away from your own anxieties and concentrate on your message and your audience.
10. GAIN EXPERIENCE: Mainly, your speech should represent you — as an authority and as a person. Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective speaking. A Toastmasters club can provide the experience you need in a safe and friendly environment.
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