How Do You Actually Eliminate Public Speaking Fear... For Good?

5 Easy Steps to Eliminate the Fear of Public Speaking

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Step #1: Identify the Cause of

Your Public Speaking Fear

Public Speaking Fear comes from either a perceived past failure or an anticipated future failure in front of a group.

"Perceived Failure" is an important phrase. Public speaking fear is created when a person has either a "failure" or a "perceived failure" when attempting to deliver a presentation. So, even if the presenter does a fantastic job, if he or she believes that he or she didn't do very well, the fear will still be generated. Fear comes from a series of perceived failures, but confidence comes from a series of successes. So, if you have a challenge in front of a group, it is important to "get back on the horse" and have a success as soon as possible. 

For many, this self-consciousness develops at an early age. In elementary school and, most often, in high school, young people are often asked to stand up in front of their peers and deliver presentations or recitals before a highly critical audience (their schoolmates). In these situations, they are often asked to present about topics that they know very little about. By the way, we are not suggesting that young people avoid speaking in front of a group. We are just identifying the most frequent cause of public speaking fear.

Step #2: Understand How

Skills are Developed

This image was created to read like a clock, and it shows the stages of skill development. Basically, if you start with the right attitude, gain some knowledge, put that knowledge into practice -- and have a success--, you will gain confidence in the new skill.

Attitude: In the attitude phase, the new skill has to be something you want to develop, and you have to perceive that you have a need for the skill.

Knowledge: At this point, you look for information or knowledge about the skill.

Practice: The practice phase is the most important part of the cycle. If you have a positive practice, you gain confidence. If you have a perceived failure, you gain fear.

Skill: Once you have a little success, the cycle starts over. Your attitude will likely be better, so it is easier to complete the cycle again and again with successful practice.

A good example of how this cycle works is learning to drive. A parent or driving coach will likely take the student driver to a controlled environment (like a parking lot). The coach will help the student improve his/her attitude by focusing on just a single thing that the student can master quickly (such as parking). The coach will give simple instructions and then let the student practice until his/her comfort level improves. After a series of successes, the coach will increase the level of difficulty.

Step #3: Reduce the Risk of Failure

During the skill development process, the higher the risk of failure, the higher the chance that you will increase your nervousness.  Student drivers often start in a parking lot -- not on the highway. A good public speaking class can create a controlled environment to learn.

  • Design Your Presentation, then Your Visual Aids
  • Create an Outline of Most Important Points
  • Great Speeches Don't Require any Memorization
  • Great Speeches Don't Require Any Notes
  • Use Only a Few Bullets
  • Speaking Quickly Adds Enthusiasm
  • Reducing Nervousness Reduces Ers and Uhms
  • Practice with a Partner, then Make Alterations

Many of the Things that We Do to REDUCE Public Speaking Fear Actually CAUSE Public Speaking Fear

  • Creating Your PowerPoint Slides FIRST
  • Writing a Presentation Word-for-Word
  • Memorizing a Presentation Word-for-Word
  • Relying on Presentation Notes
  • Making a Bullet for Every Item (so we forget)
  • Slowing Down Your Delivery Pace
  • Trying to Eliminate the Ers and Uhms
  • Practice, Practice, Practice, Practice...

Step #4: Practice the RIGHT Skills

Practice These Ideas Instead

Biggest Presentation Mistakes

The Fearless Presentations ® Class Shortens Your Learning Curve by Focusing on Just the Things that Give Positive Results -- FAST!

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