Public Speaking: From Know Fear to No Fear…Part Uno

Does the idea of public speaking scare the boogers right out of you? Do you start to get nervous? Does it feel like your brain shuts down and you can’t think? Well… I get it! I recently reached out to some friends on Facebook and asked the question to those who “fear public speaking,” “what causes that fear”. The response varied. Some people fear what others will say. Others fear what they will say. Some feel judged while others feel like they have nothing to say. It was very interesting as I read through the comments. Therefore, I want to share with you the first of two categories that everyone who responded fell into and how to address them. Meet Preparation!

Preparation: So here is the thing. NO ONE feels prepared enough. Even when speaking on a topic that one has spoken on hundreds of times there are always doubts that go through your head. No matter if you fear the importance or relevance of what you might say or what you look like the following is a checklist with some associated thoughts.

Prepare – Know your subject. Sometimes asking some questions will help you organize your thoughts so that you can better present your thoughts. Here are some questions you may want to ask:

  • Why are you giving this speech? Is it persuasive? Is it informational? Are you pushing for an action?
  • Ask all the questions…. “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “how,” and the most important AGAIN… “WHY”.

Practice – If you can practice in the area that you are going to speak that is the best. This will give you confidence in the space you are working in. If you can’t practice there practice somewhere. Imagine what it will be like in the space you will speak. (Great segue for the next thought.)

Visualize – Take some time to visualize the entire message. How will people respond to you? How do you want them to respond to you? How will you best facilitate that response? Do any changes need to be made after practicing once or twice or three times or…? Visualize a response ~ THE response that you are looking for! How will they do it? In what way could they respond? How will you help them get there?

I want you to know that you can do this! You have been given the ability that is needed because you were created with purpose (Check out this blog on being created on purpose and with purpose). Part 2 to this blog will address “looks” the second category that most people fall into!