Most of the people I’ve met during my journey have a fear of public speaking. If I had to visualize it, it’s something like this:
It doesn’t have to be this way. There are some pretty easy tips and tricks anyone can use to minimize and overcome their fear.
Drum roll please…
“Don’t give it away!”
I have actually heard people say “I’m nervous about being up here” and “I’m not sure what I’m doing”. The truth is that none of us are mind readers. We don’t really know what a speaker is going to say, or do, or how they will act. So if someone blurts out “My hands are sweating…how do you do this anyway?”. Now then they’ve let us know exactly what’s going on, haven’t they?
A friend of mine has been doing public speaking for just a couple of years less than I have. He is a very good speaker, he can enthrall you with some great stories, and he has won a few contests along the way. During the years I’ve know him, I’ve helped him and guided him through some tough times. But he tells me his palms still sweat! I told him the same thing I just told you… “Don’t give it away!”
If you get the chance to hear him speak, listening to his stories and watching him stroll around is a pleasure. Even if he is nervous, he won’t say it, and you would probably never guess otherwise. Does this make his speeches any less entertaining? No. Are the stories and anecdotes any less compelling? No.
Above I mentioned the phrase “to minimize and overcome their fear”. I have been privileged to meet many other professional speakers along the way, some of which make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year doing this. A lot of them still get nervous too! The plain truth is for me and most people who do public speaking often, we learn to minimize and control our reactions instead of having the fear totally disappear. After all, we are human too! My home Toastmasters Club, Speakers Connection, adopted a famous saying “The butterflies in your stomach will never go away, but you can learn to make them fly in formation”. Think about it…
All the best,