Part Three – Reducing Your Fear of Public Speaking

During your Speech:

  • speech coach Karen Cortell ReismanLook at energy givers and ignore energy zappers – Concentrate on all of those participants who are happy, involved, and interested in your message. Ignore those few that might be snoozing, even though it’s a natural tendency to focus on the disconnected. You don’t know what kind of emotional baggage they are bringing to your meeting. They could have stayed awake all night due to a cold, or a fight with a loved one. Think that they are just having a prayerful moment and don’t try to force them to love you. It will drain you and take away from the energy givers. (If everyone is sleeping, call me!)
  • Breathe deeply – Think yoga!
  • Be in control of your physical side effects – Nervousness shows up in physical ways such as sweaty palms, blotchy neck, shaking hands, and a quivering voice. Know which physical side effects may happen to you and do not wish them away. That just adds one more layer of misery. Instead, get ready for these physical events and figure out how to handle them. I get hot and sweaty when I’m nervous. Therefore, you’ll never find me wearing wool or cashmere when I’m giving a presentation.
  • Remember the “human being” theory – You might be undone with nerves because of WHO is in your audience or the SIZE of your audience. One CEO client said, “The Board of Directors will be there.” A VP client told us, “The CEO will be there.” Sales trainer client said, “The VPs and the CEO will be there.” They all have said at one time or another, “There will be 500 people attending.” No matter who or how many attend your presentation try to remember that you are speaking to a bunch of individual people who put on their pants the same way you do. No – I don’t suggest that you image everyone naked. That’s distracting! I do suggest that you remember why you’ve been asked to give the presentation (YOU are the expert that people want to hear), focus on your practiced and prepared message, and speak to all of the interested individuals in your room.

Next week’s blog: Final Thoughts – Reducing your fear of public speaking

Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with organizations on how to communicate to make more money. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog/

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