Terrified of Public Speaking?"Five Steps To Fearless Public Speaking"
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It's quite often assumed that extroverts make great speakers. It sounds quite plausible as they feel comfortable in front of people and they seem to exude confidence and conversely introverts must surely make poor public speakers as they tend to shy away from group situations and voicing their opinions. However, this is a real misconception. Many of the world's greatest orators have been classified as introverts. The following makes for quite a list, Ghandi, Winston Churchill, President Barack Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
Channel Your Inner Superwoman I attended one of my favourite networking groups today, this particular group always attracts a high number of ‘newbies’ and by that I mean people who are new to networking, or just recently set up in business. They are usually people who have experienced little speaking in public and maybe this [...]
Public speaking can give you an advantage and differentiate you from your competition. Reaching a wider audience with your products or services has to be a wonderful thing. However getting around all your fears and apprehensions about pushing yourself out there can halt you in your tracks and thwart your potential.
“So here I am, all eyes on me…….my tongue feels too big for my mouth and I fear if I speak all that will come out is a jumble of sounds, like someone speaking under water. My brain knows what I want and need to say, but the opening line has gone! I had built up enough courage to ask for a ten minute speaking slot and now it’s here I just want to run away! It’s a sea of faces out there. Surely everyone can see these beads of sweat on my forehead? Surely they have noticed these patches of sweat under my armpits? They are just waiting for me to fall flat on my face, after all who do I think I am stood up here like I know so much?”
January arrives and we are all out there making an extra effort to get out and network. Two of the networking groups I regularly attend had a record number of attendees this past week. It reminded me of my Yoga and Pilates class which is always full to bursting with eager enthusiastic people in the first two weeks of the year. Then the numbers drop as the enthusiasm wanes.
How many of us who do some public speaking to one extent or another have a little dream, wait no a BIG dream. A dream of giving a TED Talk? Wouldn’t it be fabulous to be asked or to apply to speak and be accepted? Go on, imagine yourself standing there in the spotlight on that red carpet with the big black screen behind you, with the red words TEDx emblazoned across it. How would you feel…...Excited? Nervous? Fired Up?
If you hover on the introvert spectrum of the personality scale you might be avoiding public speaking, thinking it's only the extroverts who do it well. Introverts possess many skills a good speaker requires. It's not always about being the all singing all dancing entertainer.
The fear of forgetting what you want or need to say ranks high on the list of concerns for those new to public speaking. ‘The Mind Blank,’ is the term given to that moment when all you can think about is that you cannot think about what comes next.
“Sometimes I fantasize that when I speak I sound gloriously breathy and sensuous like Marilyn Monroe, but in reality when I have heard myself , I sound like Minnie Mouse!" We have all talked ourselves into a corner at one time or another, that internal dialogue that goes something like -“ My voice is so unpleasant, scratchy and unattractive.
This week I observed two firsts. Both were inspiring, both left me in awe. We forget so easily our first wobbly steps into the realm of public speaking. We forget after a while how daunting and even terrifying our first attempt to speak in front of an audience was.....