Public Speaking

The Fear of Public Speaking

According to The Book of Lists, the fear of public speaking ranks number one in the minds of the majority of people. Far above the fear of death and disease, comes the fear of standing in front of an audience – large or small!

For many people, public speaking anxiety is very real and very debilitating. It can pose a major detriment to career advancement or business success. Overcoming the fear of public speaking is available to all. There’s no real ‘trick’ to public speaking, there is only self-confidence. The building of one’s self-confidence is about expanding our comfort zone. Expansion of comfort zones requires the creation of a safe environment in which to do so. Creating safe environments in which comfort zones can be expanded is just one feature of our expertise.

Your career success, to date, has almost certainly been created by your

  • Leadership skills
  • Business acumen
  • Entrepreneurialism

And now, you’re expected to be an outstanding presenter as well!

We`ve all been to meetings, presentations and events at which we were uninspired by the speakers.

Take a look at this diagram. It’s a survey of people who attended a range of conferences and the impact the speakers made on them. The chances are we can all relate to this information!

Source: The Wall Street Journal

If a survey was conducted of your audiences, how would they describe you?

  • Boring?
  • Sleepy?
  • Stimulating?

Want to / need to get yourself to ‘the next level’ as a presenter, so you can…

…speak to groups with more confidence?
…influence audiences to take action?
…be known as an outstanding all-round communicator?

Now, take a look at this diagram. The Study tells us what works – from the audience’s point of view – when we captivate our audience.

Source: Dr. Albert Mehrabian, UCLA Professor

So, what is the first step to becoming an outstanding presenter? It’s simply recognising that we need to deliver our message in the format that ensures we attract and retain the audience’s attention by focusing on

  • the Sound of our Voice
  • how we Look/Act
  • and NOT the Words!

Take a moment to think about why the data in the top Diagram reveals that 84% of audiences found presentations to be ‘Boring’ or ‘Sleepy’. It’s probably because the presenters were only focusing on the words. 93% of their ‘message’ failed to connect with the audience.

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