Glossophobia or speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking.
“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking.
Number two is death!
Death is number two!
Does that sound right?
That means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy”.
As a former glossophobic myself very many years ago, I can relate to this totally. Now I’m comfortable speaking in front of any size audience and enjoying being at the front making people aware of my business, my services or a topic that I know people will relate to.
But how do we get to this point?
One of the ways is to treat your presentation just like you’re having a conversation with someone. As soon as you treat it as something different, the nerves and doubts kick in. Nerves are something we can manage and control, however, before we learn to do this, often learning some of the tricks of the trade can relax us first which also helps us manage our nerves.
Here are FOUR ways to make your presentations stand out:
- Aim to be yourself – I often encourage people to get over their fears by asking them to adopt a persona, to help them feel protected and give them more confidence, however, we do need to work towards being ourselves and letting our natural personality show through. This is what people love, remember and are attracted to. Being yourself is what you know and what you do everyday so try and make it count even when presenting
- Don’t admit to making a mistake – I always tell people that if they make a mistake just move on and say nothing as often people, or the audience haven’t even noticed. It just feels noticeable from where we stand, and the gap of potentially losing our way or losing our place in our notes if we use them feels longer than it actually is. Never draw attention to what we don’t want the audience to know about
- Your first and final words – The structure of a presentation is so important, it’s a story and has to have a beginning, middle and an end. The opening has to be an attention grabber to draw in the audience so they feel excited about what you are going to say, whilst the final words or conclusion needs to be a recap, remembering that the last words you say are likely to be the ones they will remember. Repeating the key points or call to action at the end is an invitation to the audience to do something with what you’ve told them
- Prepare and practice your presentation – All of the above is nothing without preparation and practice. Winging it doesn’t work, it shows, and if you want to ensure your presentation is professional and impactful then spending time rehearsing it will be a great investment of your time. Focus on what the key message is and ensure that each time you practice your speech this key message is clear, concise and memorable. Make sure you have practiced it sufficiently to feel comfortable you’ve done everything you can, and everything will flow on the day
If you need help with overcoming your fear of public speaking, then please do contact Debs to ask about the Success Factor Speech Coaching Business Programme for individuals or groups. You will be amazed at how much fun the journey can be and how much the fear will disappear. Email today!
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