Tag Archive | Public Speaking

12 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO OVERCOME THE FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKING.

Public speaking comes with its own fair share of challenges. One of the terrifying aspects of public speaking is addressing a crowd.

Public Speaking, Audience, Speaking, Effective Ways, Stage Fright

Many people admit to being nervous and developing stage fright of having to take a stand before others to make a speech, yet oratory skills are one of the most valued and profitable business skills.

If you want to develop your public speaking abilities, the fear of public speaking is controlled and overcome with practice and the right techniques.

A little thing I always say to myself that makes me smile and relax is, ‘while I’m here being busy worrying about not making a fool of myself before these people, they are probably busy admiring my new shoes and how good I look, they are just people like me.’

Expect to be nervous and admit it if need be

Bear in mind that even experienced speakers do get nervous. Don’t try to undermine your feelings. You can even admit to your jitters humorously to your audience. That way they are more accommodating to your errors and would not be expecting a World-class presentation. It gives you the opportunity to relax and be yourself to turn your jitters into energy that you can use to boost a delivery that surprises even you.

Redefine your audience

Our stage fright is usually based on self-preoccupied thoughts. Thoughts such as ‘I am going to suck at this, how am I doing, I am not good enough et cetera,’ keeps the focus on you and these thoughts only grow as long as your focus is on them. Take the focus off yourself and think of your audience. ‘Are you carrying them along? Is your voice projecting enough’?

Redefine your perspectives for assessing your audience. Probably, instead of seeing them as judges who are busy evaluating you, you could think of them as teammates who are genuinely interested in hearing your opinion and possibly learning something from you – what is that one thing you would want them to leave with?

Be Prepared

Every successful action requires preparation. This is your key to a successful presentation – speech. Knowing what you are going to say, who to, and why you want to say what you wish to say has a way of instilling confidence.

Practice does make perfect

Hone your skills through practice. These days opportunity presents itself in many ways. Start small. It could be through videos (vlogging) podcasting, speaking to small, supportive audiences where less is at stake. Find and join Toastmasters around you. Consider working with a coach or taking a Dale Carnegie course on Effective Speaking or working with a private coach.

Remember To Breathe

Minutes before you step on to that podium to begin your speech, take several deliberate, slow, deep breaths through your nose, filling your abdomen and exhale through your mouth, repeat silently to yourself, ‘relax, be confident and vocal.’ Read More…

The Art of Listening – From the talented Writer and Sewing blogger Nedoux.

I like to think that words hold each other’s hands like best friends, this might have explained the spasms that came when I opened my mouth to speak;  the uncontrollable repetition of words joined side-by-side not unlike Siamese twins.

For the most part, save for its reluctant shadow, my terrible stutter has left me but I don’t miss it as much as it misses me. Surprisingly, our destinies weren’t as intertwined as they seemed after all.  It had a field day when I was younger when the thought of addressing unfamiliar people would make my blood freeze even before my vocal cords froze.

There were meaningful words dancing in my head,  I just couldn’t contain their struggle when they arrived inside my chest. Carefully, I’d strung them together neatly but like children without home-training, I couldn’t control their unruly behaviour when they were let out to play in the open.

Now, I have learned to calm the whirlwind of words that get caught in my throat when I am nervous, excited, even at ease or simply tired. I have managed to suppress my stutter with the habit of speaking quickly. The outcome is a smooth rush of words that board a rocket ship and shoot past my lips.

Yes, I’ve conquered but there’s a price to pay.  I haven’t mastered the art of listening; that engaged silence that lets the person speaking know that they have my undivided attention, assuring them that I am hanging onto their every word.

The thing is this because I speak quickly, the words form just as quickly in my head and need to be released exactly as I’ve arranged them.  And because I am stirring my pot of alphabets rapidly, I place the hat of presumption atop my head, positioning it at a jaunty angle,  thinking that I know what the speaker is going to say even before it comes out of their own mouth.

So, I have my response ready, albeit prematurely and it keeps getting in the way until it becomes a confused symphony of voices, the speaker’s and mine, each trying to overpower the other. A battle of words armed with swords of tongues.

Sometimes, when I lose control of my word-children, I apologise for my now mild stutter. I am mostly sorry that the person that I am speaking with has to go through the pain of plucking out the sense swimming in the sea of jumbled up words.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so sorry, it is who I am, simply another silk thread specially woven into the fabric that is me.

I suppose we all have the various facets that interlock perfectly to produce who we are; that person that no-one else can be.

Still, I must learn to trust myself more and believe without a doubt that the ropes I have used to harness my words will not slip from my fingers. Then, be still and listen.

© ’Nedu Ahanonu 2016How to sew guipure lace

Nedoux can be found at her blog Nedoux where she talks about life, tailoring and so much more with brilliance and humour that leaves a reader chuckling. I doubt if I’ve missed any of her articles since I started following her 🙂


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Out of the silent breath

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