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“There are certain things in which mediocrity is not to be endured, such as poetry, music, painting, public speaking.”
- Jean de la Bruyere
The above quote expresses the importance of good public speaking skills. You certainly should not be ordinary when it comes to public speaking. What is public speaking really? Public speaking is a procedure of transferring information to a crowd of people, usually a big crowd of people, such as in a school and/or workplace. Public speaking is different from other types of communications because in public speaking, information is calculated with the purpose of informing, impacting, and even entertaining listeners.
The five aspects of public speaking include:
You must understand that public speaking is an extremely crucial type of communication.
It enables you to establish relations, impact conclusions, and stimulate change. It will be impossible for you to grow in life and in the working world if you have no commination skills. It may be easy for you to sit at the back in class when in school, not raising your hand, avoiding class discussions but the same attitude becomes damaging in the working world. Public speaking is an essential skill in the working world. It influences simple, daily dealings with colleagues, employees, bosses, and clients. On the whole and in essence, it can have a great influence on your career and your achievements and your successes.
It is no doubt that public speaking is true of immense importance in your life. However, you must note that public speaking is not an easy task for a lot of people. Many people experience fear when speaking publicly. So public speaking and the benefits of public speaking come with certain costs namely the overcoming of the fear of public speaking. The terror of public speaking has been given a special name that is, glossophobia. Glossophobia is really speech anxiety. It is a word that has been derived from the Greek words glōssa which means tongue, and photos which mean dread. A lot of people experience anxiety when putting forward information and ideas.
You must keep in mind that there are numerous reasons why you can be scared of public speaking. You can be scared of public speaking because of your physiology, because of the thoughts that come to your mind when you face the audience, because of the situation you are in such as when you really have no experience of being in the situation, and because of the limited skills you possess.
You may have by now, identified your problem that is, whether you have fear of public speaking or not, and the areas you need to focus on so as to overcome your fear of public speaking. You would certainly have also understood the importance of overcoming your fear. Fear should not stand in the way of your achievements and successes. There are many ways by which you can overcome your fear of public speaking and some of these ways are described below:
How ironic this statement is! What else would you do to overcome your fear of public speaking than cool yourself down? However, you must observe that the statement is nonetheless clever and full of wisdom. The method of calming yourself down doesn’t work as effectively as it should and this has been proven by a research done by a Harvard professor too. People who try to calm themselves down end up delivering speeches that lack strength and conviction. As such, instead of repeating “I am calm” to yourself, repeat “I am excited” instead, for this will enable you to give a better performance.
It is crucial for you to understand that just the existence of listeners can raise your excitement levels. Rehearsing on your own, all alone, doesn’t let you accommodate to the excitement. You must rehearse in situations that are similar to the situations of the performance you are required to give.
To decrease your anxiety while giving the speech, you can also turn off the lights. Darkening the room makes people’s faces less visible decreasing your excitement levels. There are advantages to turning the lights off. The listeners not only laugh more but they are also likely to fall asleep in darkness. You can try turning the lights off to see the advantages of this trick.
The more you get to know about your listeners from before, the less anxious you will be when speaking in front of them. This trick has added benefits; not only does it decrease your anxiety; it also enables you to adjust your information according to your listeners.
Starting your public performance with a puzzle makes your listeners concentrate on the ideas you present as opposed to you. Asking a question at the very beginning also has the same impact. It throws the listeners into thinking rather than judging your presence in front of them. Starting your performance with a story enables the listeners to get engrossed in the tale, concentrating on the story-line as opposed to the one telling the story.
In conclusion, you must keep in mind that the reality of public speaking is far less than perfect. Fears usually take over people even the ones who are proficient in public speaking. There are numerous incidents of people who are confident public speakers and who are able to give spotless performances but who also have in some instances stumbled and fallen. Great, extraordinary people can fail at public speaking. If you have had a few hideous experiences, you need not worry and just continue working on building your public speaking skills.
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