Managing FEAR! 10 Tips To Help Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

Laurie Krauz has helped men and women from all over the world and all walks of life achieve their own personal and professional styles while developing their ability to offer dynamic, compelling presentations. Her seminars and lectures have been presented at law firms, corporations, financial institutions and universities. Krauz has been featured internationally on BBC Television, and in numerous publications throughout the U.S. To learn more, please visit: www.lauriekrauz.com.

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fear public speaking

Written by Laurie Krauz

There are many techniques that I use in my work with clients to help manage the fear experienced when giving presentations, speeches or interviews.  Following is a list of what I like to call “Miscellaneous Factoids” – a short, random list of some of the helpful hints and facts I’ve accumulated over time that clients have found useful:

  • Put pictures of your children, grandchildren, dog, etc., in your notes to help relax and ground you.
  • Find the friendliest face in the audience early on and focus there whenever you need to feel more comfortable (this one is my personal favorite).
  • Remember that nervousness doesn’t show nearly as much as one would think.
  • Remember that the audience is filled with people more concerned with their own internal drama than yours!
  • Know what you’re talking about!  Practice, practice, practice.  The positive impact on emotion of feeling prepared is enormous.
  • You do not need to be perfect.  In fact, that would be a turnoff.  The audience will stay right with you if you joke and say something like, “hmm, senior moment, let me check my notes.”  That could even be funny for a 25 year old.  Studies show that audiences care much more that a speaker is genuine rather than perfect (or even funny!).
  • The ability to retain the information you are providing is very limited.  Years ago I was told that if I knew 2% more than my audience on the topic, it was all I needed because that was all they could retain.  Just remind yourself that you know at least a teeny bit more than the audience and that’s all you need.
  • Start your presentation in a way that makes you feel at ease.  It could be with a question, a story, a joke (appropriate!).  Whatever tricks you into thinking that they love you and therefore helps you relax.  This is one of those things that you’ll have to experiment with over time.
  • For some, it helps to dissipate anxiety if you meet and mingle somewhat before you begin (for others, this increases anxiety – experiment and find what works best for you).

And, always remember, practice, practice, practice!

The Support Center provides workshops and customized training in Communication and Staff Development in the greater New York area. To find out more about the Support Center’s services visit our web site at http://supportcenteronline.org/.

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