Fear of Public Speaking – Get Rid of the Fear

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The chances are fairly high that most of you already know that public speaking or giving a presentation in front of a group is the Number One fear in the US.

Your presentation skills are an important part of you career path.

To take you career to the next level, you need to overcome that fear. You need to master the art and skill of speaking to others.

I’m a “Whys Guy.”

Let me tell you “why” so many people fear speaking in front of a group.

I believe this fear started at a very early age. What do parents tell their children?

“Children should be seen and …”

“Speak when …”

“If I want your opinion, …”

From an early age we’ve been taught that, “… is golden.”

Then, when we entered the school system, we met classmates who make fun of us if we gave wrong answers.

Even worse, we faced teachers who chided us for not answering fast enough and ridiculed us for wrong answers.

All this negativity added up to a reluctance to offer answers or become involved in class discussions. This traveled with us through our formal education and became a handicap in the business world.

Do you offer comments or questions in meetings? For years, I kept my mouth shut in business meetings for fear I might “make a fool of myself.”

Then I started to realize that what I was thinking or the questions I wanted to ask could have proven valuable in the discussion.

So, I started to contribute my thoughts and feelings at meetings.

Guess what? They were welcomed and sometimes actually acted upon. Not always. But if I never spoke up, none of my ideas would become known.

If you have ever experienced similar feelings, you are not alone. You are good people with good ideas. Let your ideas or questions be known.

And, lose your fear of speaking in front of a group or giving a presentation.

My friend, Mike McKinley’s father used to tell him, “Nobody knows your script.”

That’s true. No one is going to know you made a “mistake” except you.

Think about it this way.

If your are giving a presentation, the chances are very high the people that attend your presentation are there because they are interested in you or your topic.

So, get rid of your fear. Welcome and even look for opportunities to speak in public or at meeting.

Watch your confidence and career grow.

Al Borowski, MEd, CSP, PP, is a communications skills image consultant. He helps business professionals protect or improve their images when they speak, write, or listen. He is an author, speaker, trainer, and coach.

Al has been a popular seminar leader for The American Management Association, Dun & Bradstreet, and several top universities. He also speaks at conventions, conferences, and meetings.

His website, http://www.connectallthedots.com offers free audio, video, and written tips as well as a bi-weekly UseLetter, to help you take your career to the next level.

Al Borowski, MEd, CSP, PP, is a communications skills image consultant. He helps business professionals protect or improve their images when they speak, write, or listen. He is an author, speaker, trainer, and coach.

Al has been a popular seminar leader for The American Management Association, Dun & Bradstreet, and several top universities. He also speaks at conventions, conferences, and meetings.

His website, http://www.connectallthedots.

One Response to “Fear of Public Speaking – Get Rid of the Fear”

  1. Nick1254367 says:

    Thanks for this great advice. I agree, we’ve all been there, situations like going in front of the stage and making a speech to a faceless crowd! But what I just kept in my mind are these things:
    Speaking in public is not inherently stressful.
    Don’t fear the fear. Don’t fight it.
    Don’t put pressure on yourself to succeed:
    - It’s not about you.
    - You don’t have to be perfect or brilliant to succeed.
    - You are not the only one with this problem.
    Be yourself.
    Don’t over-prepare or prepare in too much detail, but do rehearse if possible.
    Make sure you have a message to share. Focus on your audience and on the message itself during your presentation.
    Don’t believe something bad will happen.
    Don’t think your audience does not want you to succeed.
    Get practice to see firsthand that all the points above are true.

    Recently, I made an effort to put up a comprehensive diagram for this, please take a look!

    http://www.spreadinghappiness.org/2010/01/analysis-of-public-speaking-anxiety-and-proposals/

    Thanks, Nick

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