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Looking for your best advice about overcoming fear

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Hi gang!

I'm looking for tips about how to beat my fear of public speaking! I know, ironic that someone with this fear would choose to teach public workshops... I'm having a lot of anxiety about getting up in front of the large groups I'm teaching lately.

So, what are your tips and tricks for getting yourself to do something you're afraid to do or dread? How do you get past the fear and push on into success??

I'll wait here while you think about it....
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  • GIANNA345
    How are you doing? How did it go?
    2232 days ago
    I'm a shy person but ironically I've never had a fear of public speaking - however, I would advise that you talk to them as if you were talking to a friend, not as if you're giving a speech. Like Mike said, make a general outline of what you're going to cover and then work from the bullet points. The more you write out a lengthy, prepared speech, the more flustered you're going to be when you lose your place or get sidetracked by a question (and you will). Just make an outline and have a conversation with the audience. You're such a warm person, I'm sure you will do a great job. emoticon
    2235 days ago
    When I was younger, I used to be really uncomfortable with public speaking too. I've done a fair amount of it: training seminars, sales presentations, emceed a lot of dog club events. The more you do it, the easier it gets. But there's always the butterflies in the stomach as the hour approaches.

    I generally try to avoid scripts. I use an outline to frame my major points, and fill in the details on the fly. I've found the more I have on paper, the more I worry about forgetting something.

    More likely than not, you are going to know your material better than anyone in your audience will. Keep that in mind, and try to relax and let them learn what you have to share.
    2235 days ago
    I loved Penny's comments. What you have to share is too important to keep to yourself, so take a deep breath and spew! I know you do your homework, and would never do this unprepared, but that would be my best advise.

    Is this a new anxiety? Did someone ask you a question recently that had you guessing or stumbling for an answer?

    2235 days ago
  • GIANNA345
    I used to feel really awful doing it. I wouldn't say that I enjoy it now, but it doesn't cause me any particular angst. For people like us, I think it just takes lots of practice. I never tried Toastmasters, but a lot of people I know speak highly of it. My best advice is to prepare well, and then rely on your material to get you through. If you can take a few moments for breathing and meditation right before you have to speak, that might help too. Let me know how you do. emoticon
    2236 days ago
  • TIGGER622
    Kirsten, you are so personable and terriffic, you were MADE to do this! My advice, talk with each person individually as they walk in, introduce yourself so it starts out as more of a one on one, that will not only make your students more comfortable, but once they are all seated, you already know them! Not a room full of staring strangers, more like a room full of comfortable friends!
    2236 days ago
    I agree with Penny-I am NOT very good in front of people. But, Kirsten,you have SOOO much energy and knowledge that you'll be such an asset to people. Maybe, while 'offstage', visualize yourself speaking in front of a crowd but you're calm and in control. And then, like Penny said,'just do it'! Sorry, I'm of no help but I'm confident that you will do very very well!!!
    2236 days ago
    I HIGHLY recommend looking for a local Toastmasters club. I joined this organization about 3 years ago and it's a life changer for people who want to get over their fear of public speaking or even to improve their public speaking skills!

    Go to www.toastmasters.org and select Find a Club and plug in your zipcode and it'll show you the closest clubs. Good luck! If you have any questions, just let me know!
    2236 days ago
    Just do it.... and keep doing it. After 5 years of instructing the HM clinic I still get ill on the first night BUT I just push through it. I have to. I love getting people hooked on running too much to keep that to myself. If you really care about what you're speaking about, it'll happen easily. Let the words flow.
    I have faith that you'll knock 'em dead.
    2236 days ago
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