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Glossophobia | WBRC Solutions


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Public speaking is a proven method to introduce yourself to potential clients and for them to get to know you in what is for them, a very non-threatening environment. Well and good if you like public speaking.

If, however, you suffer from glossophobia (fear of speaking in public) or feel threatened by the thought of standing up and delivering your message in front of others, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity. Here are four tips to help you improve your public speaking skills:

1. Rewrite your script — No, this doesn’t mean your subject matter. It means the script running inside your head that’s saying, “I don’t like getting up in front of people.” “I hate speaking. It never gets me anywhere.” “No one will show up to hear me talk.” I’m a terrible speaker.” Those negative messages aren’t doing you any favors. It’s time to make them work FOR you, not against you.

You’ve probably heard of the power in affirmations and may even use them regularly. But are they connected to your goal of being an effective public speaker? Use your limiting beliefs to adjust that script in your head by reversing the statements: “I love public speaking!” “Speaking provides me with all of the contacts I need!” “I always pack the house!” Turn those negative thoughts about speaking into positive affirmations.

2. Communicate, don’t perform — If you have experience with the theater or are a stand-up comedian at heart, do bring it to your speeches, but don’t let it drive the experience. People are attending your speech because they are interested in the subject matter, not in watching you on stage. Of course, you want to capture and keep their attention, but focus more on the subject and less on your own stage antics.

3. Practice makes perfect — You want to appear polished as a presenter. The best way to do that is to know your subject matter inside and out. Be adept at pulling away from your script. Know your material so well on presentation day that you can focus on your audience, not on yourself. You’ll want to include questions to get your group participating. Preparation time is key here. Give yourself plenty of repetition with your materials so that when people do ask questions, you can encourage it rather than try to rush your answers to them so you can get back to your topic. Allow your audience the flexibility to take your information where they need it to go.

4. Focus on a positive outcome — What’s the purpose of your speech? Determining your purpose will help you to picture the results you desire. Are you looking to gain new clients? Picture a room full of your ideal perfect customers. Are you seeking referral sources? See yourself having lunch with a center of influence who is opening their address book to you. Are you establishing your reputation as an expert in your topic? Imagine how you will look speaking at a local college commencement. Are you speaking to provide yourself an opportunity to follow up with everyone in your audience? Picture in your mind a full appointment schedule.

Use these tips to make public speaking work for you. And be sure to check out next week’s blog, which will share some ideas on how to structure your speeches and presentations.

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