Thursday, April 21, 2011

How to Eliminate Your Fear of Speaking

How to Eliminate Your Fear of Speaking
Dr. Stephen Jones
Deciding to become a speaker can be one of the most exciting aspects of a professional’s career. It’s amazing how something so enjoyable can ignite fear at the same time. Your fears can come from many different directions. Some speakers feel overwhelmed by the size of their audience while others feel pressured in a smaller setting. Fear can come from not really knowing your audience or from feeling unprepared. Other times looking at all of the other presenters in the conference can increase your desire to be perfect. Some speakers say it’s difficult to identify the reasons for their fears.

The key is identifying ways to reduce your fears and anxieties. I always say a little anxiety is healthy. It acts as the adrenaline that propels you to have a successful speech. There are people who are sitting in the audience who want you to succeed. They selected you to provide a challenging message that will cause them to take action. They are excited to have you as their guest speaker.

There are some steps that you can take to overcome your fears. One of the most important activities that you can do is practice. When you practice you can clarify the direction of your speech. When your speech is well organized people will be able to follow your major points. You can overcome your fears by doing the following:
1. You can quietly use deep breathing exercises before you give your speech. It will calm you down.
2. If possible go to the room where you will give the presentation and practice your presentation.
3. Focus on the smiling faces in your audience.
4. Identify a coach who can give you positive feedback when you are preparing for your speech.
5. Practice, practice, practice
6. Find a good environment that’s free of clutter to review your speech
7. Don’t tell the audience you are nervous
8. Expect success before your speaking event actually happens

Your speech has tremendous potential to be everything that you desire. Start with a positive confession indicating the good results you expect to happen when you speak. Allow yourself to be relaxed and in a state of confidence. Remember it’s time to take action steps that will help you to overcome your fears. There are a lot of things that you will need to do to get ready for your presentation. You should be innovative in the way that you approach your speech. You can be creative if you do not wait until the last minute to prepare. Remember you are the expert on your topic.

Your confidence will increase as you invest time to research the organization that asked you to speak. Some presenters feel trapped because they have not asked for enough information from the conference leaders. It’s good to get the history of the organization. You want to know how the organization has maintained success over the years. Good preparation should be a part of your plan to reduce your fears and inspire your listeners. You should be well equipped to make small changes that will make your message clear.

One of the secrets to overcoming your fears is involving your audience at the very beginning of your presentation. You can make a connection with them by sharing a story that demonstrates how you are connected. It’s amazing how your audience will connect with you when they feel that you are in their corner. Before you give your presentation take the time to listen to other motivational speakers. Listening to others will raise your feelings that you can deliver a great speech.

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