Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking

 

 

This month I am stepping out of my comfort zone in many ways. On October 12, 2017, I am hosting the first Business Marketing Workshop with 25+ vendors, 8 breakout speakers, and a dynamic keynote speaker. October 16 (which is also my birthday,) I am speaking to my Southside Marketing group.  On October 17, I am hosting a Nygard clothing show. On October 19, I am speaking at the Carmel Coffee in the Neighborhood meeting. When I shared my plans for October with some of my colleagues, one of them responded, “This is your ROCKTOBER.”

“Be sincere; be brief; be seated.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

I have been in business 7 years and I feel like I have truly grown as a person and a businesswoman. I look forward to meeting new like-minded business owners. I am not afraid to express my opinion when asked. And, when I look at my life, I am completely happy. My marriage is strong, my husband is supportive, my sons are healthy and successful, and my business is growing. But, even with all of these positives in my life, there is still one thing that weighs heavy on my heart, and that is my fear of public speaking.

This month, I plan to tame the fear that lurks in my head. I have scheduled two public speaking events, I’m running the workshop and I’ve joined ToastMasters. With preparation and prayer, I plan to overcome this fear. It all started my junior year of high school when my planned and rehearsed 5-minute book report was completed in just 48 seconds. To this day I cannot tell you what I said. I practiced and practiced in the mirror at home. My mom timed me and my report was just over 5 minutes. But, when I stood in front of my classmates, 5 minutes turned in to 48 seconds and my grade dropped that nine-week period.

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Winston Churchill

I know I am not alone. Many suffer from “glossophobia’ or the fear of speaking in public.  This week I am going to discuss ways to work on overcoming this fear. I have read books and articles galore on this subject and hopefully, this will help someone who is also having trouble speaking in public.

Being Prepared

One way to reduce anxiety is to be prepared with your presentation. Organize your thoughts and materials in advance, have a clear and concise plan, and be prepared to give a great speech. Write out a script of the main points of your speech but don’t read the script word for word. Prepare so well that if any questions are asked, you are ready and able to answer them.

Record Yourself or Watch Yourself in the Mirror

Recording yourself giving your speech or practicing in front of a mirror will show you your facial expressions and gestures, your body movements and whether or not you are speaking in a clear and concise manner. You will be able to watch the speed of your delivery and work on being able to relax during your presentation.

Breathe

Focus on your breathing. You will appear more relaxed and your voice will be calmer as you speak. When you practicing breathing, you are able to calm yourself down.  This may also work to reduce stress in other areas of your life.

Eliminate Negative Self-Talk

I think it is important to remind yourself that you are not alone. The fear of public speaking is real. It has been reported that as many as 75% of people suffer from glossophobia. Stay confident. Know your subject. Be prepared. And, always speak from your heart. Don’t worry about how your audience is going to react.

“All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of my goals for 2017 was to overcome my fear of public speaking. I speak really well in a group setting if I’m sitting with my peers and simply having a conversation. My fears start when I am standing in front of a crowd and all eyes are on me. After reading article after article and discussing this fear with colleagues and friends, I have been told over and over again that the best way to overcome fear is to face it head-on.

So, this October, I am going to ROCK IT. I am going to stand in front of the room on three different days and confidently share my message. Will I be nervous?  Of course, I will. But after reading books and articles on this subject, I know that 3 out of every 4 people sitting in my audience have the same fear. I will be so prepared that if I stumble, I’ll be able to get right back up and continue. Most importantly, I plan to continue to grow as a woman and business owner. When I review my 2017 goals in December, I plan to be able to check off “overcoming my fear of public speaking.”

Have a blessed week!

Cindy

I own a promotional products company, Gardner Promotional Solutions, where I offer over 1 million different products to meet your promotional needs. In addition, I also have a complete wedding line that includes ‘save the dates’, invitations, napkins, imprinted stemware and attendants gifts. I’d love to schedule an appointment or a phone call with you to see how I can help you with your promotional items! www.gardnerpromos.com

 

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