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Category Archives: Overcoming the Fear of Speaking

Learn the Dynamic Power of Persuasive Speaking and Watch As Your Sales Skyrocket!

Arvee RobinsonBy Featured Speaker Arvee Robinson

Great speakers seem to present to an audience effortlessly, without a drop of sweat on their brow, not a flutter in their voice, and no bungled words. They hold us in awe, captivate us, leave us hanging on their every word and easily persuade us to respond to anything they ask of us.

If you are one of these great speakers, you’re one of a tiny percentage of people who are not afraid to speak in public, one of the top four fears Americans acknowledge.

The tragedy is that, for most of us, our careers or businesses call upon us to speak every single day, to clients, suppliers, the Boss, fellow colleagues and conference delegates. Because we have no idea how our words and nonverbal communications impact our audience, we lose sales and fail to attract new clients or earn referrals.

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Perfectionism Breeds Fear of Public Speaking

perfectionismIn the first video in my series of public speaking tips videos, I talked about how perfectionism can stop you from getting started in public speaking. But perfectionistic tendencies can do more than that.

The desire to be perfect, to not make an mistake, can increase the fear of public speaking. There is an often-quoted statistic that basically says people are, in general, more afraid of public speaking than dying. I believe, this is, in part, due to the belief that when you speak in front of a group of people, you can be horribly humiliated by making a mistake.

This is a really bad way to think about public speaking.

1. Your audience is, for the most part, rooting for you. If you make a mistake, they feel bad for you. They are not looking to cut you down. Just accept you made a mistake and move on with grace. Your audience will go with you.

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Steps to Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking

Less scary than public speaking?For some reason, many people would rather die, hang out with snakes or play with spiders than get up and speak in front of a group of fellow humans. Funny, but as nerve-wracking as public speaking can be, for me it certainly beats the heck out of dying, snakes and most definitely spiders!

But it doesn’t have to be that way for you. Here are some things you can do to overcome the fear of public speaking and use this powerful tool for growing your visibility and your business.

Prepare Yourself

Often the fear of public speaking stems from the fear of feeling foolish when you forget what you wanted to say. So, if you prepare for your speech by practicing it until you know it well, you can allay these fears.

Another way to prepare is to know your topic so well that you can give the speech extemporaneously if you need to.

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The Importance of Public Speaking Skills

The King and I“If people cannot articulate their ideas in written and oral form,” says Stephen Cox, chair and associate professor of the Department of Organizational Communication at Murray State University in Kentucky, “then those people fail to exist in our social world; they’re invisible. The way you are known and come to know others is through communication.”

Despite the fact that we communicate every day of our lives, people still find doing so in front of a group — or even an authority figure — quite daunting (if not terrifying). This is why participating in a speech club or public speaking group such as Toastmasters is so important.

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