Let’s be realistic! Everyone has some level of public speaking discomfort. It ranges from mild to severe, a fear to phobia. We all want to be thought of as intelligent, articulate speakers having value to our words. We don’t want others to laugh at us when we speak. There are many strategies for overcoming the fears associated with public speaking from visualization exercises, deep breathing and taming your invisible tiger technique. They all help but truthfully, they work best when combined with applying the skills of professional speakers. It is through understanding and applying the techniques used by professional speakers that our confidence begins to increase and increase.
Practice does make spectacular speaking easier but only if the practice is using skills of professional speaking. If speakers continually practice the wrong gestures, voice dynamics and presentational style techniques then they are reinforcing the mistakes over and over again until they become deeply entrenched as neural pathways of poor presentation style. They are not well received. The feedback is poor and the fear escalates.
That’s why public speaking training and coaching is so important. It regulates, maintaining a level of professionalism giving clarity of skill and performance. Self confidence increases with each new talk as the ladder to successful speaking is in place. A little public speaking fear is necessary for all speakers. It energizes, focuses and helps speakers reach a higher level of proficiency. There’s little worse then listening to a boring speaker with no juice, no enthusiasm for his topic or the audience. He’s probably just too relaxed and puts the listeners to sleep. Don’t be afraid of being afraid. Learn the strategies and skills for keeping the fears of public speaking in balance, in check so you can be an animated, exciting professional speaker.