1) Always say yes to a speaking opportunity first, then figure out what you will say.
2) Think of something that scares you even more than public speaking. Is it heights, death, driving on the freeway, holding a snake? My challenge was to go skydiving. Now I can say, “I’m not afraid of these people. I went skydiving from 12,000 feet.
3) Find a Toastmaster’s Club in your area—You can look on the internet. Remember all the people in Toastmasters have joined to become more confident speakers. You will never sit still and listen in Toastmasters. You are a part of the group and will be asked to participate in some way.
4) Put together an outfit that you know looks good on you, so that when you get up to speak, you aren’t feeling self-conscious about how you look. Make sure you hair is fixed, your shoes are comfortable etc. You want all of your concentration on your topic and your audience.
5) Know your material. Be well prepared and know about the topic you are speaking about. If you know your topic it won’t matter if you say everything in the right order. Each time you tell a story it may come out a little bit different, but that’s okay.
6) Don’t depend on notes. When speaking with notes it’s easy to lose your place. When you lose your place it’s hard to get back on track. With simple bullet points and key words, you can glance down periodically and jolt your memory if needed.
7) If you rely on a PowerPoint, the same thing can happen so make sure you know your talk forward and backward in case something goes wrong with the PowerPoint. I relied too much on a PowerPoint and the principal of the school kept clicking the button ahead of me and had to keep going through all the pictures to get back to the one I was on.
8) If you feel nervous in the beginning, use something to break the ice. You could have each member of the group introduce themselves. That takes the fear away from you, because each member is nervous about what they are going to say when it’s their turn to talk. –From Barry Maher, contributor to Shaking Behind the Microphone—business speaker and author of The Glass is Half Full
9) Throw in an exercise in the middle of a talk or have audience members pull out a speaking topic from a bowl and come up to speak. This gives you a break to make sure you’ve covered everything in your talk, and get a drink of water.
10) Watch videos of great speakers until you find your own style. Several contributors to Shaking Behind the Microphone suggested watching YouTube videos of Steve Jobs, or watching TED X Videos of great speakers.
A portion of this books proceeds are donated to Jr. Achievement
Do you suffer from the fear of public speaking? You are not alone. In the book, Shaking Behind the Microphone: Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking, Jill Vanderwood shares her story of being terrified to speak in public. She now speaks to groups and teaches workshops without fear. You will read about others who struggle with this common fear; those who had a choice to either learn public speaking or risk losing their job.
Learn tips from experts; read about kids who learned public speaking at an early age, and stories from performers who tell others how to perform without fear. You will also acquire untraditional solutions for overcoming fear and anxiety. Taking steps toward overcoming the fear of public speaking will put you on the road to living a better life.
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Genre - Adult Nonfiction
Rating – PG
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