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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Speaking in Public and Your Nerves

Before I begin on today’s topic I want to ask everyone a question. Those of you who have g-mail - are you pleased with their new format? I am not. I don’t need them to sort out my mail. I prefer to see it all at once. Just asking …


On to the topic. Do any of you have problems with public speaking? By public speaking I mean anything from a school meeting, a classroom discussion, a work related presentation or speaking for a cause or candidate. Does the thought of getting in front of people cause you to hyperventilate, sweat profusely or forget your name? It shouldn’t. If you prepare yourself both by knowing your subject and knowing how to calm your nerves, it should be a piece of cake.

I am not proposing that you imagine everyone in the audience is naked. That would be too distracting. I am proposing that you take stock of the situation, break it into manageable parts and practice.

First, the nervousness. No matter what, everyone is nervous before speaking. There is no escaping nerves but there are ways to keep the nervousness to a minimum. The best way is to breathe - deep breaths - slow and easy with your eyes closed. Preparing this way will lead you to calming and controlling your nerves. Doing this deep breathing for ten minutes before you speak will hold your nerves at bay and result in a relaxed, confident speaker.

Next, do your research and plan your speech. Plan the presentation and memorize the opening and closing. You must be completely knowledgeable in your subject. If you know about it you can talk about it. Practice using the electronic tools you have chosen. Being comfortable with the machines contributes to a smooth flow of speaking.

Before you go on, say to yourself, “I know what I am going to say; I am comfortable saying it; no matter what happens, I will do just fine and live to talk about it.”

If, while speaking, you find the nerves creeping in, take a deep breath. Your audience will not really notice and it will calm you down.

If possible, incorporate some storytelling in your speech. It is a comfortable way of putting a point across. By focusing on the story as you tell it, your nerves will be calmed.

Your preparation will give you the confidence to speak effectively. Your nerves being kept in check will give a smooth, flowing presentation. Your knowledge will capture the audience. You will be a winner.

Go get ‘em! Speak up!

Meanwhile …. Keep it simple and make it real.


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