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Category Archives: Overcoming the Fear of Speaking

When Nervousness Makes Your Voice Quiver

Nancy DanielsBy Featured Speaker Nancy Daniels

Has this ever happened to you? You stand to give your speech or presentation; and, when you begin speaking what comes out of your mouth is higher in pitch and quivering to boot. So what is to be done?

In most cases, nervousness is the cause of the quiver. (There are some voices, however, that quiver whether one is nervous or not.) There is a means of eliminating the quiver that works even when you are nervous.

Personally, I like nervousness. It is that wonderful rush of adrenaline that, if used to your advantage, can give you an edge in public speaking. What I don’t want, however, is for your nervousness to be seen or heard. The quiver is definitely telling your audience that you would rather be somewhere else.

A quivering voice is the result of stress and pressure on your delicate vocal folds (cords) and throat. Nervousness exacerbates the problem. By learning how to breathe with the support of your diaphragm and allowing your chest to become your primary amplifier, you will find the quiver disappearing automatically. It is truly amazing to see and hear this happen.

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Can’t They See I’m Nervous?

NOTE: I celebrated my birthday over the last few days so I took the weekend off from producing a video for this week. We’ll return to the weekly video on Monday, Sept. 5, 2011.

One of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked … after “How do I deal with nerves/fear?” … is “Can’t they tell I’m nervous?” And, frankly, the answer really is “It depends.”

The answer could be yes if you display any of these tell-tales signs of nervous energy:

  • Speaking too fast
  • Blushing
  • Your hands are shaking
  • You don’t look in the audience’s direction at all
  • You have too many filler words

That said, you can do all these things and still have no one notice that you’re nervous!

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Lose the Fear of Public Speaking

July is Freedom from Fear of Public Speaking Month. Not being afraid, anxious or nervous in front of an audience is a goal for many people, but I’m not sure it is the right goal.

What does “freedom from fear of public speaking” mean to me?
First, it does not mean the absence of fear. It is only natural to feel at least a little nervous when in public speaking situations. Some will tell you that they don’t feel nervous at all … I think they’re lying, even to themselves. I think the nerves are there, but they’ve learned to sublimate and harness those anxious feelings to the point where they don’t even recognize them any more.

Freedom from the fear of speaking for me is attaining a balance or equilibrium with your natural nervousness so that it no longer stops you from accomplishing what you set out to accomplish.

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Present Powerfully

Louis LautmanBy Featured Speaker Louis Lautman

So you got the job, the money is good, the co-workers are friendly your boss likes you and then it happened. You feel your throat hit your stomach and your heart skips a beat. You have been asked to do the last thing on earth that you would ever want to do…yes give a presentation…in front of you peers no less. Why did the boss pick me, you ask your self. Chances are you have been doing such a fine job and it has been recognized, that management wants you to share your natural talent with your peers so they can learn how you are so extraordinary.

Public speaking is the number one fear that human beings have; it ranks higher than death, heights and fire. Yes someone would rather catch on fire and fall to their death from a 30 story building than speak in front of a crowd…even worse if they know the people in that crowd. I have been speaking in front of groups for many years and the same thing that stops people from wanting to open their mouth, drives me to speak with passion. It is this speaking with passion that touches people and leaves you remembered long after your presentation is through. It does not really matter what you are speaking about, but when people see you are passionate about your subject, they will remember and respect you.

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Public Speaking Tip #7: Develop Good Presence

Public Speaking Tip #7: Develop Good Presence

Here is the third and final installment of excerpts from For the Love of Public Speaking, a 27-minute introduction to Toastmasters I produced during a Television Production Workshop at Santa Rosa Junior College in 1994. This week I cover “Presentation.” The information in this video is targeted to people who […]

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