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Overcoming Fear Of Public Speaking
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Overcoming Fear Of Public Speaking

Most people I know shun away from public speaking - for one reason alone - fear. But why would fully functioning adults fear one of the simplest and basic of activity, which is simply talking? Certainly, public speaking is directed at a larger group of people and apparently this alone is enough to cripple a grown man.

The reason is simple – when the human body is in a stressful situation, it naturally produces adrenalin. You see, when the body perceives itself to be in a stressful or in dangerous situation, it experiences the fight or flight syndrome. Either option we choose, our bodies will need the extra oxygen and blood in the muscle to help us stand and fight or run as fast as we can. This extra surge of adrenalin is responsible for the sweaty palms, cold sweat, racing heartbeats and all the other all too familiar signs of fear.

Since you already have the butterflies in your stomach, how about making them fly in formation? Instead of allowing the fear to entrap us, we can channel it to our advantage. Do you know that everyone, from the amateur to the most experienced speaker experiences the fear of public speaking every single time? But is such fear of public speaking necessarily all that bad? Research has shown that an optimal level of stress is essential for performance, so it is with public speaking. That fear and nervousness is essential to achieve the feeling of “getting psyched up” which in turn results in the energy, zest and confidence which is physically demonstrated by the speaker though body language. Ironically when I do not feel the nervousness and anxiety, somehow I just do not perform.

You may have read about many various methods of overcoming fear of public speaking, and I would encourage you to try them and see which works for you. Learning to be an effective speaker requires loads of effort and time, trial and error. I know because I have personally tried various methods and finally found a few which have worked to my advantage and I use them all the time.

I believe one of the first steps to speak effectively in public is to take charge of your own emotions as our outward behavior is a mirror image of how we feel on the inside. In other words if you feel confident and prepared, your actions will reflect that. Once you are able to find effective methods to help you overcome the fear of public speaking, you are certainly on your way to captivate your audience.


Street Talk

I think I've gotten used to speaking in front of a lot of people. You just need the mindset of stepping up for the better and standing for what's important.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Yea Seth, but for the vast majority of the population, even the mere thought of speaking in public can send shivers down the spine. But once we do it and get past that introduction/opening phase, it's so much easier. It's great to know that you are pretty used to it and it doesn't pose any problem for you. Care to share how you do it?

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I enjoyed your article. I think you're right on all counts. I sometimes feel the same about playing an instrument in front of others. I probably have enough talent to play the piano in front of friends at church when the pianist is ill, but I can't muster up the courage. Even when I'm at home practicing, I freeze up or mess up just thinking about it.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

So becky, next time when you have such an opportunity to play the piano, seize it! The more you do it, the more familiar you are with how you feel. You can click on the link in my article to go to my site and have a look at the 4 ways you can help control and master that fear/nervousness. It's not about eliminating it, it's about controlling it so you won't feel handicapped and crippled by public performance.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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