How to Overcome the Fear of Public SpeakingWritten by Scott Dreyer
Fear of Public Speaking
(This came in an email from Brian Flanagan, a man I had the pleasure of meeting when Zig Ziglar and his team came to the Roanoke Valley a few years ago.)
According to that great medical journal, The Readers Digest!, speaking in front of a group of people is still the number one fear in America.These three strategies might help you deal with that fear, whether speaking to a group of two, or 20, or 200
1. Preparation compensates for a lack of talent! Prepare the talk in advance. Organize your visuals, handouts, props, and material. Practice and rehearse not only the content, but also the delivery. Analyze the audience by asking yourself these questions: In what are the attendees interested? What is important to them? How do they want to feel or think about the topic at the end of my presentation?
2. Your "first burst" is important! You should practice, rehearse, memorize, and/or choreograph your "first burst." This is your opening sentence or paragraph. The purpose of the "first burst" is to grab the attention AND the interest of your audience. Using hilarious humor, quotable quotes, startling statistics, topical stories, and/or a focusing question can accomplish this. Use your imagination when creating your "first burst."
3. Your audience is more forgiving than you are! Loosen up, lighten up, and have fun when making a presentation. Don't take yourself too seriously. The audience is not expecting perfection and neither should you! Remember: angels fly because they take themselves lightly.
One more thing: when in doubt, just get in front of the audience and "let 'er rip."
This rhyme summarizes my point. It seems a 17-year-old boy was debating whether to kiss his girlfriend. He dropped to his knees and prayed. "Lord, Lord up above, should I kiss the girl that I love?" A voice came back saying, "Sinner, sinner down below, pucker up and let 'er go!"
When in front of an audience, remember to "just pucker up and let 'er go!"
Now, go sell somebody something!
A licensed teacher in the US state of Virginia since 1987, Scott Dreyer has been helping Chinese speakers improve their English since 1989. Dreyer lived in Taiwan from 1989-1999 where he learned Mandarin, met his wife, started his family, and realized he loved working with Chinese students. He became an award-winning author and started teaching ESL online in 2008. Dreyer and his wife and their four adult children make their home in the beautiful Roanoke Valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.dreyercoaching.com/en/about/scott-dreyer
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