There’s a few things you should know about public speaking!
Let’s talk phobias for a minute. Perhaps you’ve heard of arachnophobia (fear of spiders), claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces), acrophobia (fear of heights) and maybe even hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliaphobia (yes…it’s real….. the fear of long words). All of these have their merits in the most popular phobia contest. But when we look at the top ten phobias of all time, glossophobia (fear of public speaking) hits number one on most lists.
You might be tempted to think it affects one sex more than the other, but you’d be almost wrong with 75% of all females and 73% of all males suffering from the malady. It’s interesting to note that more men, than women, seek help.
Are you ready to face a truth or two? We are all public speakers already. It starts the second we speak to anyone outside our home and includes work colleagues, friends, staff of any church, association or other various entities.…and trickles down to the cashier you buy your milk from in the corner grocery store.
Why? Because public speaking is defined as the process or act of performing any type of speech to a live audience. That means, unless you’re talking to your teddy bear, you’re already a public speaker!
So now that you know that you’re a speaker…and that MOST of the human race is intimidated by speaking….where do you go from here?
Public speaking is unavoidable, but a few tips may help to make it easier.
Practice. That’s right…get out the old teddy bear and give him a talking to! Many speakers practice multiple times before you hear what they have to say to an audience.
Attend other speeches. Take note of how the speaker breathes, adjusts to his/her surroundings and the kind of energy he/she is transmitting. We learn from others naturally by observing. Take your impressions home and practice using them yourself.
Believe in yourself! The art of speaking is learned, often speech after speech, so you are starting out where everyone else before you has started. Take heart in the fact that you may not be a great orator in the beginning, but you can literally improve every time you open your mouth.