Are you afraid of spiders? Snakes? Heights? How about fear of speaking in public? Fear of public speaking, better known as ‘stage fright ’is one of the most common fears people experience.
At some time in your life, you’ll probably be asked to speak in public. Are you getting anxious just thinking about it?
Whether you’re giving a toast at a wedding, conducting a business meeting or speaking to a large audience at a social event, you’ll want to be prepared to do your best.
Let’s start with the worse possible thing you can do to overcome your fear of public speaking. It’s diving head first into the situation without preparation. This way of dealing with your fear is guaranteed not to work. However, for some people, it works, but for most of us, it doesn’t. Prepare, prepare, prepare.
There are better ways to overcome your fear of public speaking.
As soon as you are asked to give a speech, you should determine if the topic you are asked to speak about would take the form of a motivational or educational speech. A motivational speech inspires the audience to make some kind of change in their life. An educational speech could be on a wide range of topics from politics to baseball.
After you determine what type of speech you’ll be giving, start planning the details.
Key Point: Your audience wants one thing and one thing only. They want to know ‘what’s in it for me?” If your speech does not meet your audience’s needs, your time will be wasted.
Before you start writing your speech, use a planning checklist and ask yourself the following:
- Is my speech motivational or educational or a combination of both?
- What’s the goal of my speech?
- Is the title of my speech compelling and address the needs of my audience?
- What is one action item I want my audience to take away
Answer these questions and you’re on your way to reducing or eliminating your fear of public speaking.
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