The Art of Public Speaking
A View from Impact Factory Robin Chandler and Jo Ellen Grzyb Impact Factory Copyright ©2003
Art of public speaking This document covers hints and tips on public speaking and presentation skill, dealing with public speaking nerves and anxiety, public speaking skills and public speaking techniques, public speaking training. Fear of public speaking Why do we get public speaking anxiety? How to overcome fear of public speaking Building confidence in public speaking Public speaking training Hints and tips for effective public speaking Common fears of public speaking What happens when you have to speak in public? Did you know that public speaking tops the list of phobias for most people? Not spiders or heights public speaking - speech in public! Well, if you didn't know that, we bet your body does. It will do all kinds of unpleasant things to you when you have to stand up and face a sea of faces with the hope of getting your message across in a compelling and interesting way. Your hands may sweat and your mouth goes dry. Your knees may shake and a quaver affects your voice. Your heart may race and those well known butterflies invade your stomach. When all that happens most people don't think of getting their message across in a compelling and interesting way; they just think of getting off the 'stage' as quickly as possible! Have we frightened you sufficiently yet? It's normal. We don't really mean to frighten you, just remind you that your body reacts 'in extremis' when put under pressure, and for most people, public speaking is just about the worst pressure they can be put under. It's normal to be nervous and have a lot of anxiety when speaking in public. In a way, it's less normal not to have nerves or anxiety; in fact, to feel you have a phobia about public speaking.
Why do we get public speaking anxiety? Fight or flight Our bodies are geared to fight or flight from ancient time - fight that mastodon or get the hell out of the way. We don't have too many mastodons around these days, but the body still reacts as though we do. So, if we have to get up and speak in public, all that adrenalin and noradrenalin goes coursing through our bodies - way more than we need. http://www.impactfactory.com/ +44 (0) 20 7226 1877 Copyright 2003
More than just training
We can't run away (well, we could, but we'd be out of job pretty quick if we did it too often), so our only option is to fight. But in terms of speaking in public, it can be hard to define just what we're fighting. Read on. Why does public speaking do this to us? Good question. You'd think that for most people, being given the opportunity to impress their audience would be a fantastic one. There you are in front of a group of people, the spotlight is on you and for the length of time you've been give, the world is yours. Or is it? The very fact that the spotlight is you is enough to trigger every fear, anxiety and phobia you've ever had about public speaking. Here's why You may be judged by all those people, and judged badly You may feel like a fool You might make mistakes and loose your way You'll be completely humiliated You'll never be as good as _________ (fill in the blank) 'They' won't like you 'They' won't 'get' what you're trying to say How to overcome fear of public speaking What good are Nerves Public speaking may not be comfortable, but take our word for it, nerves are good. Being 'centre stage' is not a good place to feel too comfortable. Nerves will keep you awake and ensure you don't get too complacent. Hard to feel complacent when your heart is beating so hard you're sure everyone watching you can hear it. If channelled well, nerves can make the difference between giving a humdrum presentation and giving one that keeps people listening. Get your attention off yourself It's very tempting to keep focused on how you're feeling, especially if you're feeling really uncomfortable. You'll start to...