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Don't Fear Public Speaking

Updated on May 12, 2015

Pressure and stress can build up for days, or even weeks before giving a speech. If you're not used to it, the anxiety can be paralyzing. You have to think about what it is that you're afraid of. Are you afraid of being judged? Is it because you're up there alone? Does the audience know more about the subject than you do? There could be a lot of reasons you don't like public speaking, but usually the speech is going to happen whether you're ready for it or not.

Preparation is the key to a successful public speech. You can get ready in every conceivable way. A good place to start is with a healthy eating program, and a sensible exercise schedule that includes weightlifting. There's nothing like weight lifting to make you feel invincible. Next, a good haircut, and new clothes will go a long way to make you feel powerful. But, the most important thing is to know your subject well and practice it all of the time leading up to the speech. You should know everything so well you could talk about it with passion even in a causal setting. It should be like a favorite subject of yours that you tell people about whenever you get a chance. When you're comfortable talking about it you will relax. The worst thing you could do is to go up there with no intimate knowledge of your subject. So read and research everything you can. Then practice. Practice as much as you can. The more you hear the words come out of your mouth, the more you'll know you really have something important to say.

So when you get up the freshly rested and ready, you have to face them. You've always heard that it's a good idea to picture your audience naked. There is something about this idea that works. The notion is that they should be seen as fellow human beings, not people to fear. Another thing successful speakers do is to focus on someone in the first row. No one will know that you're only looking at her. It makes a big scary situation a little easier to take.

When you're up there in front of everyone it helps if you have something to do like give a Power Point presentation, or at least have story boards or something. In the theater they call this "business." It's all of the stuff the actor is doing while speaking. It gives the audience something to focus on, and it draws the attention away the words for a time. If the audience is small enough you can even pass things around so everyone can get a good look.

As you're speaking you might have a watch you set on the podium. It's a good idea to also place something small right next to it, to remind you of something that brings great joy into your life. It could be a photo, or a piece of jewelry or something. It's an effort to remind yourself that you're human too.


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    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 6 years ago from Georgia

      Speaking in front of a group of strangers is not such an issue for me. Speaking in front of family and friends is. Anyway, this was a good hub and I agree, it's all about confidence. If you don't really have it, then faking it is an option. But knowing your subject definitely gives you the confidence. Thanks for good information.