As many of you know I have a background that is rooted in public speaking. I was a debater in high school and have continued to stay in the judging pool for tournaments since collage for state and regional qualifying tournaments. I have always been told how well-spoken I am and many times complimented in interviews this as well. In the last year many have advised they believe I should be doing something to share this skill as I am so passionate about education and helping others. So let’s talk about and see how it goes.
The fear of speaking is more common than many would realize. As I have talked to people over the years, I had no idea it was so prevalent. As I started doing research and talking with so many, it is a real concern for many and many are striving to look for ways of improvement. I find myself asking what the fear is, where it derives from and what the top two or three largest concerns are. I tend to be analyzing most times and always seeking solutions so it was natural for me to find myself wanting to assist outside of judging. The official term is glossophobia and per www.glossophobia.com, 75% of people suffer from this.
In an article found at www.anxietycoach.com titled Fear of Public Speaking the Fear that Stalls Careers they list a number of fears that people have shared.The list was complied with it being hard to make eye contact, speeding up during the speech, clinching fist under the podium, and some tell themselves it will be over soon. I know all of us have different things that come with being nervous or anxiety, but we have to individually start with those before overcoming the problem. Is it the size of the audience, lack of knowledge, the peers in the audience, concern of sound inadequate? I also hear people being unsure what they can consider public speaking. In my opinion, it doesn’t have to be defined by the amount of people in a crowd. Anytime you are giving or sharing structured knowledge on a program, situation, or something of that nature, no matter if it is formal or informal, can be a form of public speaking.
My first line of defense is to ask you not to look at it as public speaking for rather an educational tool. Most of the speeches or synopsis that are being shared are really to inform or persuade a crowd and either way they are gaining pertinent information. I believe it is equally important, but it relieves some of us from that pressure that we feel when we view it only as a speech. Keep in mind that a speech is more than just the words flowing out of your mouth. You need to think about your nonverbal cues, tone, and if you show any emotion or passion for the topic. As you prepare you speech, yes I said prepare J make sure to make clear points that you can reference back to. For those that get distracted easily, this will help pull you back in if you hear someone cough or someone walks in during the middle of you speaking. You want to be able to engage your audience. You won’t be able to hold everyone’s attention in all of these, but you should capture most of them. Find a way when making eye contact to scan the audience and if you want to make eye contact, do it with the party that seems into the topic. If you find yourself concentrated on the party that is not listening or is playing with their phone while you speak, it will most likely throw your focus off. You can always use a small note card if need be when speaking. It does not change the value or the content of the speech because you have a note card in hand. You won’t want to read off the note card nor find yourself playing with it during your speech. If you stumble over a word, no reason to apologize, the crowd has no idea what you were going to say. If you find yourself out of sorts and unsure where you are in your speech and tweak it some to get back on track, that is ok too. The same applies for a short pause or taking a quick breather. I would advise that you need to practice your speech as being familiar with the material does help ease the nerves and if you can run it in front of people you know, this will help as well. They don’t know what comes next or your exact These are just a few things, I believe can help with lowering the concern for speaking in front of 2 or more people.
I do believe the things above can make a difference in you speech. However, if you find that you need help, reach out for assistance. Most of you are in positions in one way or another that you may have to present even if it is in a team meeting or huddle or your boss may ask you to work on a project. Be honest with yourself and know when you need to reach out to others. We all have something that we need to ask for coaching on and there is nothing wrong with that. I had a debate coach for 3 ½ years that focused on communication. One of the fondest memories was when he shot water on us out of a water spray bottle to help us talk through distractions and not get caught up on stumbling over our words. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor and coach at the time. I want to share two other links that share helpful information http://web.stanford.edu/dept/CTL/Oralcomm/Microsoft%20Word%20-%20OvercomingSpeechAnxiety.pdf and http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/phobias/expert-answers/fear-of-public-speaking/faq-20058416
I have decided to share this skill and am now offering tutoring in public speaking. If you are anyone else you know are interested, please have them email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or they can locate me at www.wyzant.com under Kandace J.
Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you can take something away from this blog today as being able to communicate comfortable makes a difference in the way we interact.