Let’s face it – fear is real. Most of us can easily experience fear just by thinking about getting up in front of a group of people and trying to give a speech. Our blood turns cold, we start to sweat, and our knees may even start to knock. This is not something that we enjoy doing. However, there is good news for us. There are things that you can do that will allow you to face your fears. We can learn to overcome what holds us back. We just need to understand what we need to do and when we need to do it in order to be able to give successful speeches.
Dealing With Negative Inner Voices
One of the biggest problems that every speaker has to deal with are those voices inside of our heads. You know the ones that I’m talking about. They tell us that we’re no good, that we’re doing it all wrong, and that we’ll never be successful. These voices can become very loud as we start to try to put a speech together. We need to find ways to get them to be quiet.
In order to release the power that these voices can have over us, we need to take steps to cast them off. One way that we can go about doing this is by practicing the speech that we will be giving. As we practice the speech our inner voices will start to speak up. What we need do is to stop giving our speech when the voices start talking to us. We need to give voice to the self-doubt that we are feeling at the moment that we are feeling it. Right after we do this we need to, in a very firm voice, tell that critic to leave us. The result of this will be an empowering experience for us as we put our doubting voices away.
Dealing With The Fear Of Forgetting What We Want To Say
One of the biggest fears that we all face when we are giving a speech is the fear that we are going to forget what we want to say next. We can picture ourselves on the stage delivering our speech when all of sudden, what we wanted to say just goes away. Since this is one of a speaker’s biggest fears, we need to come up with a way to deal with it.
What we can do is to create a virtual “roadmap” in our mind for our speech. What we are going to want to do is to give names to each of the major parts of our speech. This can consist of one or two easy words to remember for the introduction of our speech. You’ll also want to assign words to the two or three main points that make up the body of your speech and then a few more to the conclusion of your speech. Making these words easy for you to remember will allow you to always know what comes next in your speech.
Why Do Speakers All Of A Sudden Become Fearful?
There will be cases where we have been giving speeches for a while and everything has been going well. Then, all of a sudden, we will develop this sense of dread about speaking that was never there before. We’ll have no idea where this feeling came from; however, now when we are asked to give a speech we will all of sudden have a deep feeling that we really don’t want to do it.
What is generally happening here is that we have been listening to negative criticism about our speaking over and over. This criticism can come from audience members, coworkers, or even from within ourselves. The more that you hear it, the more you will start to believe it. Your ability to give good speeches will start to decrease the more that you hear this type of talk. You are going to have to take steps to deal with the negativity that surrounds you. Do not allow it to have any power over you. If you allow your inner voice to start to distract you, then you won’t be able to connect with your audience.
What All Of This Means For You
Giving a speech is a hard thing to do. If we have to deal with fear, than all of sudden something that is hard to do just became a lot harder to do. Fear has a nasty way of sneaking up on us. We can be doing fine and then all of sudden we will start to feel apprehensive and fearful about something that we used to be able to do easily. When we find ourselves facing fear, we need to have strategies for how we want to deal with it.
One all too common source of fear are the inner voices that we all have to deal with. These are the voices that are telling us that we are no good and that we are poor speakers. When we are dealing with these voices, we need take the time to practice our speech. When the voices speak up we need to give them a voice and then tell them to go away. One of the greatest fears that all speakers have to deal with is the fear of forgetting what we want to say next. One way to deal with this fear is to assign names to the different parts of your speech. This way you’ll be able to remember what comes next. Fear is something that can sneak up on us. If all of a sudden you find yourself dreading your next speech, you need to take the time to deal with your fears directly so that you can overcome them.
All speakers need to understand that fear is a normal part of giving speeches. However, when fear shows up and takes over then we have a real problem on our hands. This is something that can happen to any of us at any time. We need to realize what is going on and then take steps to deal with it. The good news is that no matter what form your fear takes, you can overcome it. Use these suggestions to put fear back into its place the next time that it shows up.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™
Question For You: Do you think that having some level of fear is a good thing for speakers?
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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
The goal of any speech that we give is for us to find a way to connect with our audience. If we can do this, then we’ll be able to clearly communicate our message to them. An interesting question for you is if you were in your audience listening to yourself speak, would you rather hear two people having a conversation or hear a summary of what they said? I think that most of us would agree that hearing the conversation would be more interesting. What that means for our speeches is that if we can find a way to work conversations into them, then we’ll have a better chance of connecting with our audience.