Which sounds more appealing, getting up in front of a group of strangers and talking, while they all sit there looking at you like a dog watching a ceiling fan...or gargling with Drano? It's no surprise how many would choose the Drano.
Public Speaking has been ranked as the "number one fear" among thousands of us. The anxiety is overwhelming, you start to sweat profusely, your knees are knocking so hard you might break a kneecap, hands tremble like you dipped them in a fryer full of hot oil, voice starts quivering like someone dumped a bucket of ice water on your head and you can't remember what it is you are supposed to be talking about. Why? Because you are scared to death.
I want to share with you some tips on overcoming this fear of Public Speaking.
1. Picture yourself doing it, go ahead picture yourself standing in front of all these people saying what it is you are going to be talking about. Picture yourself from start to finish. Begin with walking up to the microphone or podium, all the way thru your speech, and then finally wrapping it up to a successful outcome.
2. Practice, practice, practice...do your speech 'out loud' over and over again. Now, do the same thing to a real live person..(just make sure they will be honest with you about your presentation).
It's been said: "Repetition is the mother of all skill"...it really is and you do it everyday in your real life, because you have done the same thing over and over again. You can just about overcome any fear you have by doing it over and over again. Sports are a good example...you see NBA players almost never miss a free throw, PGA players make 20 foot putts, NFL kickers put it thru the uprights. It's not because they were born with some special skill...it's because they practiced and practiced and practiced some more. The same holds true for Public Speaking.
3. Whip out the camcorder and tape yourself giving your speech. That way you will be able to see what the audience will be watching and listening to.
4. Get a grip...just before you give your speech, RELAX. Take some slow deep breaths and remind yourself that all these people are here to listen to what you have to say. They don't know (or really care) what your personal life is like. Honestly, they could care less about anything going on in your personal life that YOU feel is adding to this anxiety.
The more prepared you are, the less anxiety you'll experience, which in turn, will boost your confidence sky high. Then after you are all "said and done"...you will never look at a can of drano the same way again.
Mark Kessler is a 26 year radio broadcasting veteran and the current stadium voice of the NFL's Washington Redskins, continues to have numerous Public Speaking engagements across America and is the owner of Public Speaking 411 - a comprehensive free resource on Public Speaking, offering tips and techniques and a wealth of information to help you overcome your fear of Public Speaking.