How To Speak Before An Audience When Youre Scared To Death

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This goes hand in hand with embracing discomfort, but again, you are aware that this experience may make you feel embarrassed. What better way to overcome that than by intentionally embarrassing yourself!

The Startup

Throw up an embarrassing photo in your slide deck, tell an embarrassing story, and do something that tells the audience that even though you are the expert, you are no better than them. You are right there with them. Your presentation is never about you.

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These are all important, but at the end of the day, they are important because they enhance the audience experience. Your message, your goal, your reason for why you are talking at all is because you want to influence the people who are listening to you. Once you cement this into your mind, public speaking will become easier and more natural. Public speaking is about getting comfortable with something we do every single day — talking to other people.

But even more so than that, public speaking is about listening. Focus on your presentation and your speech when you are chatting with others. Every conversation is an opportunity to practice your public speaking.

Be cognizant. Be poised. Be confident. If you want more advice on how to get comfortable with uncomfortable situations like public speaking, make sure to check out this page!

Sign in. Get started. Top Story Medium Things Submit. Embrace discomfort, focus on others, and embarrass yourself! Jordan Gross Follow. Follow to join our community. The Startup Follow. See responses 1. Discover Medium. Make Medium yours. Become a member. Praeger started quizzing him and learned that whenever he presented, he was asked about how he thought the overall market would perform.

How I overcame my fear of public speaking and why that sucks a little bit - Dan Norris

His fear manifested itself as anger. Once he confronted his feelings and came up with a response to the question he feared, he became affable and relaxed. Praeger asked him whom he knew who would think that of him and he realized that his father, a sharp trial lawyer, had always criticized the way he spoke. Praeger helped him populate his mental and possibly literal audience with buddies who thought he was funny and charming, and exorcise the memory of his father. He was finally able to make the presentation without falling apart. Analyze your fear. Talk to a friend, coach or therapist to uncover the fear that underlies your public speaking phobia.

Realize that the purpose of your presentation is not to convey information.


Pare facts and statistics from your presentation. Consider putting down information on a hand-out or into a follow-up email. Realize that your job is not to know everything about your subject. Praeger full disclosure: a friend of mine coaches corporate, non-profit and academic clients to make presentations on camera and in front of groups.

All we can do here is to offer you suggestions as to how best to prepare for your plunge. The real plunge no one can take for you. A doctor may prescribe, but you must take the medicine.

2. Recognize the autopilot factor

Do not be disheartened if at first you suffer from stage-fright. Dan Patch was more susceptible to suffering than a superannuated dray horse would be. It never hurts a fool to appear before an audience, for his capacity is not a capacity for feeling. A blow that would kill a civilized man soons heals on a savage. The higher we go in the scale of life, the greater is the capacity for suffering. For one reason or another, some master-speakers never entirely overcome stage-fright, but it will pay you to spare no pains to conquer it.

Daniel Webster failed in his first appearance and had to take his seat without finishing his speech because he was nervous. Gladstone was often troubled with self-consciousness in the beginning of an address. Beecher was always perturbed before talking in public. Blacksmiths sometimes twist a rope tight around the nose of a horse, and by thus inflicting a little pain they distract his attention from the shoeing process.

Public Speaking Tips: How to Eliminate the Fear of Public Speaking - Arvee Robinson

One way to get air out of a glass is to pour in water. Apply the blacksmith's homely principle when you are speaking. If you feel deeply about your subject you will be able to think of little else. Concentration is a process of distraction from less important matters. It is too late to think about the cut of your coat when once you are upon the platform, so centre your interest on what you are about to say - fill your mind with your speech-material and, like the infilling water in the glass, it will drive out your unsubstantial fears.

Self-consciousness is undue consciousness of self, and, for the purpose of delivery, self is secondary to your subject, not only in the opinion of the audience, but, if you are wise, in your own.