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Overcoming Your Fear

What’s your number 1 tip for overcoming your fear of public speaking?

Which one method has been most effective for you in overcoming your fears (whether it’s public speaking or sports related)?

What’s your number 1 tip for overcoming your fear of public speaking?

Please leave your comments and tips in the Comments section below or on the Linkedin group.

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  1. What I have found personally useful is a relevant joke or a small story to ease myself into a presentation. It also helps me to put the audience at ease and connect with them. I have found it very necessary to ‘feel’ what energy the audience is sending back to me. Thats the key to a good day at training.

  2. I just let myself feel the fear! This creates cortisol (fight or flight instinct) which contributes to higher memory function. As someone with a lot of speaking experience, I use my fear to put me on top of my game!

  3. Prepare your speech throughly. Rehearse it often by speaking in front of a full length mirror or videotape it in the clothes you will wear. Bringing books or materials with you are fine, especially when showing then to your audience, but don’t rely on them. Leave at the dais or desk, and use cue or index cards with brief notes. It helps a lot to practice in front of family, friends or associates who can constructively and honestly critique you. Use a little humor and involve your audience. The night before get a good sleep, a cup of coffee before the speech doesn’t hurt, and anticipate questions or comments. Remember, rehearsal is vital. These tips work for me.

  4. My #1 tip is also the one that my clients avoid the most, and are most surprised at the impact it has on their results: preparation. This includes both the gathering-organizing part and the practicing (out loud, in front of a mirror) part. People look at professional speakers, feel the ease with which they present, how the information flows effortlessly, then they judge themselves for their need to prepare. So they do a little, try to wing it, get nervous because they don’t know what they are going to say, and feel bad about the outcome. The key reason those professionals look so comfortable and the information flows so easily is because they have invested W-A-Y more time preparing than people realize. Their presentation has become a part of them, so they can smoothly and effortlessly offer it to the world. Preparation – my “hands down” number one tip.

  5. Hi Akash,

    Well done on the bungee jump (rather you than me !). My 2 top tips are to be dressed appropriately and be prepared. There’s nothing worse than being distracted by feeling you’re not dressed for the occasion. Being prepared is about knowing my material inside out, so even if I go ‘off script’ for a minute, I can still get back on track.


  6. The best way to relieve nerves when speaking is to confront your fears directly. Here’s more in a brief tape: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFDyTknjwgs&feature=youtu.be

  7. I remind myself that I am the only one who knows what I am going to say.* In that sense I am the expert.

    *If I don’t know what I am going to say, I have not prepared sufficiently.

  8. My favorite trick in tackling the ice breaking ceremony is to launch right into an appropriate joke or funny question which makes the audience giggle or respond without having to think much about it. For instance, when speaking on overcoming learning barriers to a crowd of social worker students at Loyalist, I begin by saying: “So… speaking of learning barriers… are we all going to be ready for a test when I’m done speaking???” The audience laughs, I smile, and the moment of pending awkwardness is long behind us – I say “us” because… believe it or not, the audience, too, is nervous when seeing a dressed-up person they’ve never seen before stepping up to the podium. Once you have actual interaction with your audience, the dialogue makes you feel like this is a more personal conversation rather than a sermon… The audience will ultimately be more receptive, and you will be more at ease and will deliver a better product.
    I found this out very early in life when preparing for those daunting Royal Conservatory of Music solo piano exams. There, its just you and the examiner in a tiny room and the piano is about to tell the examiner if he’ll let you move onto the next grade or condemn you to playing the same routine for yet another year. Rather than just sitting down quietly and sweating it out, I began by taking control of the examination room by cherrily greeting the examiner, and then following his response, saying…”I promise not to make any mistakes…” in a kind of naughty way just to see the examiner smile… then, I didn’t get so uptight about the performance part of it – this was now a human being I was playing for, not an executioner…!

  9. Radha Suresh says:

    Do not have a single point agenda of impressing people. Believe in what you are presenting and present it with confidence. successs is sure to follow.

  10. Sona Thomas says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing my 3 free books on improving communication.

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