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Transcript of Conquer your Fear - STANDUP AND SPEAK · PDF file afraid of speaking in front of an audience,...

  • Conquer your Fear Of Public Speaking

    Stand Up And Speak, Inc. 2012

    Copyright 2012 Stand Up And Speak, Inc.

  • Being afraid to speak in front of an audience is normal

    Speaking in front of a group of people or audience is for most a daunting task that creates deep anxiety and a level of stress that is, for many, literally unbearable. It is said that the fear of public speaking surpasses just about all other fears including the fear of flying and yes, even the fear of death! Some people would rather die than get up in front of an audience and speak.

    Many of us take all possible precautions to avoid situations and circumstances that might require us to speak formally or informally in front of others. The problem with this is that it has negative implications that may effect several areas of your life. It is very limiting and can create a sense of regret over time for those who desire self improvement.

    The inability to break through the barrier of being able to stand up and speak in front of groups (both small and large) limits your opportunities for growth, connections, friendships, happiness and the quality of life. If you are genuinely interested in becoming the best you can be, learning to become more comfortable speaking in front of an audience is a must. 2

  • Can I really become more comfortable at Public Speaking?

    The good news is that we believe it is possible for anyone to become comfortable at public speaking! Many people have come to us at Stand Up and Speak believing that they are absolutely unable to overcome this fear and that they are the ONE who we will not be able to help in spite of all our efforts. Our experience has been quite the opposite. Those who take the first step in reaching out to us are the ones with the deep desire to improve and with our guidance we have had the pleasure of watching THEM overcome their fear. By using our methods and techniques you too can conquer the fear of public speaking. Is there a secret to conquering the fear of Public Speaking?

    There is really no secret or magical remedy to conquer the fear of public speaking. Like anything else in life that yields positive and rewarding results it does take time, preparation, practice, hard work and determination.

    To understand how to conquer the fear of public speaking you must first understand what the source of that fear is and begin to deconstruct that source so that the negative emotion associated with public speaking becomes more manageable.

    You are not alone

    It is important to understand that you are definitely not alone. The majority of those who get up in front of a group are gripped by this same 3

  • fear to varying degrees. While it is true that some may naturally feel more comfortable than others, everyone without experience getting up in front of an audience feels anxiety at one level or another. This is also one thing that age doesn’t necessarily fix by itself. People of all ages are affected by the anxiety that is caused by having to get up in front of a group and expressing themselves verbally.

    Where does the fear of public speaking come from?

    Speaking in front of an audience creates a level of exposure and vulnerability to others that most of us are naturally uncomfortable with. The sense that you will literally freeze, lose your train of thought or make a formidable embarrassing mistake in front of an audience overwhelms your senses and makes it difficult for you to perform and convey your message under this level of pressure.

    This is a completely normal reaction. The root of this fear is actually a key part of your emotional makeup. This fear is derived from your brain’s survival mechanism leading to fight or flight. Your mind, in a very archaic way, is interpreting this vulnerability or exposure as something harmful to your well being. Therefore your body is literally reacting by heating up (you begin to feel unusually warm and sweaty), your heart beat quickens, you may have trouble catching your breath as if you just finished a marathon, and your mind switches to survival mode: in a literal sense your fear becomes personified as: Forget Everything And Run (F.E.A.R.). 4

  • It doesn't have to be that way. You can actually learn to reduce your anxiety, reduce or eliminate that survival mode and become focused, calm and more relaxed in front of an audience as if you were speaking to your family and friends in your own living room.

    Here are 3 simple tips to help you conquer the fear of public speaking.

    Important note: these tips are not overnight remedies, however, if implemented over a period of time will help you face the anxiety that comes with standing up and speaking in front of an audience. Once you are able to face that anxiety, each time you get up in front of an audience it will become easier and easier, and before long it will become second nature. Though it may be difficult to believe for you if you are extremely afraid of speaking in front of an audience, public speaking will actually become an enjoyable experience and something you look forward to instead of something you dread.

    Tip #1: Prepare.

    “Before anything else preparation is the key to success” Alexander Graham Bell The irony is, the more you fear speaking in front of others the more likely you will fail to prepare effectively. When you are given an opportunity to speak you are so focused on the anxiety and stress leading up to the event 5

  • you do not prepare in any way that might lead to a level of competency and therefore success.

    If you lack confidence in public speaking and are forced into having to speak in front of others, and are unable to avoid it, because its either its a requirement within your education or job this is likely the most dreaded thing you could be called upon to do. Unfortunately, what exacerbates the problem in many cases is that you are so afraid of having to get up and present in front of others, you spend little time on preparation. In a state of avoidance and procrastination, you focus instead on everything that could possibly go wrong with your presentation.

    What you may not realize is that public speaking like any other discipline, whether it be a chosen profession, music, sports or an important area of study, can be prepared for in advance and like any of these other areas the more you prepare the more likely you will achieve an acceptable level of competency.

    Proper preparation will reduce your anxiety because through this preparation you are essentially facing this fear head on. In fact, your level of preparation will be directly correlated to the amount of anxiety you will experience when you are public speaking. The more you prepare the less nervous you will feel while you are actually speaking.

    On the other hand, you can spend a lot of time preparing but not preparing the right way. While you may attempt to prepare for a speech or verbal presentation in your own way or the way you were taught at a very young age, you are probably not preparing in the most effective way. In preparation, you can easily get caught in the trap of focusing on either gathering more information then you could possibly utilize to get your point across or spend a great deal of your preparation time on memorizing the content rather than formulating and thinking through the content that would be required to achieve the outcomes expected from the delivery. 6

  • Recommendation: Do not attempt to memorize your presentation Memorization takes hours of intense time and energy and in spite of the noble effort will not actually ensure you will be able to recall the information when you are under the pressure of the spot light. In fact, memorization as much as it appears to be the safest route to success while speaking in front of an audience, is one of the greatest sources of nervousness and the most prominent reason for freezing on stage.

    The reason is simple.

    Because your mind becomes so focused on recalling the exact words of your speech, which is an intense process for your brain, the distraction of trying to recall words and phrases as opposed to trying to deliver a message actually increases your level of stress. Your emotions take over and simply shuts down your ability to recall and you essentially draw a blank. This is actually one of the greatest fears of public speaking realized. We do not recommend trying to memorize your speech, instead focus on capturing the key points and communicating them in your own words as naturally as you can. The key to not having to memorize your speech starts with the method of preparation. Tip #2: Prepare the Right Way

    When preparing for a speech or presentation, rather than starting with gathering content, focus on what you want your audience to take away from the presentation. For example, in preparing for a speech on the 7