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Overcoming your fear of public speaking may not be difficult

Overcoming your fear of public speaking may not be difficult at all, as long as you know and understand the nature of how that fear came to be.

For many people, the very thought of speaking in front of people or an audience is reasoning enough for them to be afraid.

These may be due to several reasons, the fear of committing a mistake in the middle of the process, public scrutiny, shame and not meeting up to expectations, are among the many and common reasons why people fear the thought of going in front of the public.

But for starters, the first step in helping you overcome that fear is to know how to study and prepare.

Nothing beats research and preparation, after all, if you sum up all the factors that make up the fear of public speaking is uncertainty. It is the general thought of uncertainty, that makes the fear more frightening and makes people feel anxious.

However, with research and careful preparation, it may not predict any uncertain circumstances that may come your way, but can surely diminish the fear of unpreparedness and inadequacy of information that you can surely remove from the fear equation.

First things first, know and anticipate what to expect.

Try to get information about the audience as to age, gender, occupation or personality levels or character.

This will give you basic information about how you may carry on with your presentation, what things to say or not to say or even ideas on how you may be able to win them over to your way of thinking or ideas.

As much as possible, get to know what the audience generally feels about the topic at large, which will provide you with good points to stress your ideas.

Also, take note of the audiences treatment of the subject for discussion, since it will provide you with an idea for the flow of your topic.

So before speaking in front of a crowd, avoid the notion that you are perfect and that you cannot make mistakes.

Always come prepared, since you need to make sure that you need to get your message across in the most concise and comprehensible manner possible.

You don’t need to be perfect, all that is needed is for you to be prepared and ready since this will make you less fearful of committing a mistake.

Having only two or three main ideas or points can aid in providing more meat and focus on any message, rather than a cauldron of facts and figures that may sometimes cause more confusion instead of driving home the message.

Making a mistake during the presentation process is nothing to be fearful about, nor should it be a cause for stress.

It is also important to know the key factors in making the presentation, first, know what may be expected since this will give you an idea on how you may address the audience.

Lastly, always try to buy yourself into what ideas you would like to convey since being uncertain about one idea and selling it to others can only end up in a variety of shameful or embarrassing experiences. So take these ideas to heart, since this is not rocket science and tell you that overcoming your fear of public speaking may not be difficult after all.

You Are Always Public Speaking So Be Prepared

The funny thing about presenting and public speaking is that the majority of people will tell you they don’t enjoy it and/or aren’t very good at it. And yet regardless of who they are and what they do, most of the speaking they do on a day-to-day basis IS public speaking.

You see, mostly when we talk to ourselves we keep it as an internal dialogue that nobody else can hear. But whenever we open our mouths and actually make a noise in front of another person we’re speaking in public – hence “public speaking”. So why do so many people find it so scary?

I think it’s the eyes. All those sets of eyes fixed on you….. BORING into you. It’s unsettling. So would it be any easier if your audience was ignoring you and all looking the other way? What if they all dozed off so it WAS as if you were talking to yourself? (Have you ever been a Rotary after-dinner speaker?)

Whatever the reason, the fact is that before getting up to speak, even the most seasoned professional will have some butterflies, whether they choose to call the feeling nervousness or excitement doesn’t really matter. Rest assured, we all experience it to some degree.

If I had one tip to pass on, if I was asked to tell you the most important lesson I’ve learnt over the years I’ve been presenting, it would have to be to stress the absolute necessity of being totally prepared.

Now this may sound obvious and I’m sure you’ve heard this before, possibly many times, and like a lot of important messages it tends to become diluted the more we hear it “Oh yes, I knew that, now what else?”.

And yet, knowing this, some people will be outside in the car park seconds before they have to deliver their sales pitch scribbling it out on the back of a business card. I know, I’ve been there.

When I talk about being prepared, I mean you should know your talk off by heart. You should be able to give it verbatim, standing on your head, without even having to think about what comes next.

Now some of you may be thinking “Yes, but I don’t work like that. I like to keep the spontaneity” or “Yes, but I want to tailor my talk to the occasion” or “Yes, but that would be boring because I’d just be on auto pilot.”

But actually, that’s not what happens. In effect, the opposite is true. When you know your talk by rote, it gives you the freedom to change it around, to add, to subtract without losing your direction. It’s like driving from A to B. If your route is set from the outset and you know it well, you can safely veer off and browse in a few antique shops and have a pub lunch in a picturesque village off the beaten track and still get back to where you were to complete your journey. But, if you’d just set off in the general direction with no main route to which to return, you’d soon get lost if you were to be diverted and you’d have difficulty picking up that thread again.

You see, there are so many things out there that can throw the speaker, and lots of unexpected things can occur when you’re dealing with the public. No matter how good you are, you will become distracted, so knowing your material to the nth degree is absolutely crucial.

If something happens that needs your attention, you’ll have to stop and deal with it, but you can return to your talk with barely a glitch and appear calm, collected and hence the ultimate professional.

You see we all get nervous. We all stick our feet in our mouths sometimes. We don’t ever operate in a hermetically sealed environment, especially when exposed to other humans. But prepare, prepare and over-prepare and not only will you enjoy the confidence of knowing that nothing can phase you because you know your material, but if you’re forced off your chosen route for any reason you can return smoothly and appear to be the consummate professional speaker.

And after all, if you can’t – or won’t – speak about your business, who will?

Public Speaking: I Get So Emotional

If you want to get real action out of your audience during a public speaking engagement, then tugging on their heartstrings can help make it happen. This is where your storytelling ability can really make you shine.

Great storytellers like Maggie Bedrosian and Thelma Wells can take a simple set of facts and paint moving pictures in the minds of their audience members with carefully crafted stories.

You don’t have to tell stories when speaking to get an emotional response. You can get another two-for-one happy hour special when you ask the right questions. Asking questions not only involves the audience mentally, it can also stimulate many kinds of emotion. Do you remember when you were a child and you could barely get to sleep Christmas Eve because you just knew Santa was going to bring you that special something? This question would stimulate fond feelings in most general public Christian audiences. It would not, however, connect so well with people who do not celebrate Christmas (remember: know your audience).

How about this question, Do you remember doing something really bad as a child? What kind of punishment did your parents give you? These questions would cause the audience to remember bad feelings.

Did you ever have a pet that died, or did you have a friend who had a pet that died? This would undoubtedly elicit sad feelings. If you want the audience to smile, ask them this, Can you remember the most embarrassing moment of your life? Most people will laugh when thinking back to an embarrassment that they felt was a tragedy at the time because one of the definitions of humor is tragedy separated by space and time. So, tell stories while speaking in public and ask the right questions to move the emotional state of your audience.

There are many emotions you can trigger in the audience just by your choice of words. Happiness, anger, sadness, nostalgia are just a few. Knowing your purpose for speaking to a group helps you to pick which emotions you want to tap. When your purpose is known, choosing words to get the desired emotional response is much easier.

Here’s an example of a simple set of facts that a speaker might convey:

“There have been eleven accidents in the past year at the sharp curve which is two miles north of Cherokee Lake on Route 857. Installation of guard rails, warning signs, and a flashing light will cost approximately $34,000. Even though we have not balanced the budget this year, I feel that we should appropriate money for this project. Thank you.”

Here is a little different version that uses emotional appeal to get the message across.

“On July 18th of this year John Cochran was found dead. The radio of his car was still playing when the paramedics got to his overturned vehicle. John’s neck was broken. It was snapped when his car flipped over an embankment. No one here knows John Cochran because he did not live here, but he died in our neighborhood. Most of you do know of the hairpin turn on Route 857 that has been the scene of eleven accidents this year alone and has injured many friends as well as strangers. We need money to put up guardrails, signs, and a flashing light. I know money is tight, but I hope you see fit to find the funds to remedy this situation before the unknown John Cochran becomes one of your loved ones.”

Can you see the difference in these two appeals? The first was simply a set of facts. Facts are important, but they rarely stimulate people to action. The action comes when emotions get attached to believable facts. You can bet the second version of the above story would have the best chance of securing that $34,000.

To create the emotional appeal in the second version of the story, words and phrases were chosen that had emotional power. … John Cochran was found dead. The radio of his car was still playing … John’s neck was broken. It was snapped … His car flipped … hairpin turn … He died in our neighborhood. All these phrases were woven into the original set of facts to create the emotional response of horror about this terribly dangerous turn.

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Ten Tips To Send Your Audience To Sleep

Have you ever fallen asleep when listening to a speech or presentation? Sometimes a little nap during a presentation can boost your energy for the rest of the day. Speakers- if you want to be the one to send your audience to sleep, so they will be fully alert for other people’s presentations follow these ten tips.

1. Make sure that your material is dry and boring. Make sure that your material is either highly technical or complex. If at all possible fill your speech with specialized academic content that is not easily understood without prior study and research.

2. Do not include any explanations or illustrations to make the content understandable to the average person in your audience.

3. Schedule your speech to be at the end of a long day or after a big meal. This will give added incentive for drowsiness and lethargy.

4. Speak softly and avoid any expression or vocal variety that might distract or interest your audience.

5. Stand still behind the lectern for the entire speech. Any movement or sudden gestures could wake up your audience.

6. Avoid any variation in style in your presentation. Do not change from talking to using a flip chart, PowerPoint or any other kind of visual aid or prop that will attract attention.

7. Do NOT include any humor or stories in your speech that might illustrate the important points you wish to communicate.

8. Do not keep to the topic of the speech. Spend a large amount of time rambling about subjects or personal experiences that are boring and totally off topic.

9. Speak about a topic that is very familiar to your audience. Keep your content to things that they already know.

10. Provide highly detailed handouts, so that your audience will not miss out on any important information during their snooze. Make sure that you do not say anything that is not included in the hand out. For best results, just read the handout word for word.

Hopefully, by following carefully the ten tips outlined here, you will have the satisfaction of seeing an entire audience snoring quietly and happily throughout your entire presentation. If you do not follow these tips you may be alarmed to discover that your audience is alert and interested in what you have to say.

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