Afraid of Public Speaking? Consider Changing Your Approach

The mere suggestion of public speaking can leave many people petrified. Most of our fears are content-driven. What if I say something wrong or forget what I want to say, I don’t want to sound like an idiot; what if my topic is really dry, I don’t want to bore people to death; what if my listeners don’t care and don’t want to be there, they won’t even listen to what I have to say. We also have fears related to our presence (or lack thereof). We want to look professional and in control but then we worry – what do I do with my hands, should I walk around, should I look at people or will that distract me. All of the concerns we have around public speaking are enough to make us a nervous wreck, no wonder a lot of people have a “let me just get it over with” mentality.

First of all, know you are not alone and that even the most experienced and seasoned public speakers have similar concerns. They also experience anxiousness and nervousness. The difference though is that they don’t walk into their speaking situations ready for it to be over. They see a public speaking situation as a rare opportunity to connect with people. Not just connect with them but influence their thinking, motivate them to action, and even inspire them to change. It can be incredibly empowering when you change your approach from rushing through to get it done to taking time to show them I want to be there, that I care about and respect them, and I want them to feel that their time was well spent. It’s changing the negative energy that is associated with nervousness, anxiousness, and stress to positive energy moved from you to your listeners. It’s available to all of us, you don’t have to be an experienced public speaker to do it, but you do have to change your approach.