fear of public speaking

Toastmaster or Terrorist?

bombImagine walking into a conference room and finding a strange device. The device has a timer attached to it and three lights – red, yellow and green. You’ve never seen such a device before so you wonder what it is. Could it be a bomb?

Well a few days ago at a corporate building for Chase Banks in Columbus, Ohio, such a device was found and it caused quite a scare. Thousands of people evacuated the building while police investigated. What was this device? Well if you’re familiar with Toastmasters, you may recognize it as a set of timing lights for speeches. In fact, an employee of Chase hooked up the device to use to time a presentation. Who would have thought that someone simply trying to time a presentation could have caused such chaos?

Why People Don’t Like You

despairNone of us like the feeling of being rejected but it’s even more difficult to swallow when something like friendship, which has a relatively low social risk, is rejected. With much of our social interactions moving on-line and the anonymity of the internet, this type of rejection is becoming especially common. But it being common doesn’t necessarily lower the impact it has on our self-esteem.

Public Speaking Success: Four Ways to Keep Your Audience Interested

It’s no secret that most people feel some sort of discomfort when it comes to public speaking and one of the root causes of that discomfort is the fear of boring the audience. It’s every presenter’s nightmare to give a speech that causes snoring and glazed eyes.

So how do you keep your audience awake? The key, obviously, is to not do anything that might make them disinterested in your talk. Keep in mind that sometimes an audience is tired because of things beyond your control. These reasons can include the timing of your presentation (either too early or too late in the day), the physical environment of the room or the audience consuming too much food and/or alcohol before your talk.

Public Speaking Success: Why You Shouldn’t Practice Your Speech in Front of a Mirror

You’ve been tasked to give a speech and you want to do a good job. So you ask for advice (or advice is given to you) on how to best prepare for a speech and someone tells you to practice your speech in front of a mirror. On the surface, it sounds like a great idea – after all you can see how your body movies and what you look like when you speak. But in reality, speaking in front of a mirror can actually cause you to develop bad habits and can add to your discomfort if you already find speaking to groups difficult.

Public Speaking Success: Scared of Taking That First Step? Here’s How to Do it

So you’ve heard (or read) me say it over and over again that the only way to overcome your fear of public speaking is to get up there and speak. Like telling someone not to rub their eyes, it’s easy to say but not so easy to do. Just keep in mind that the hardest step to take (and the most terrifying one) is that first step. After that step, everything gets easier.

Taking that first step:

Have a Communication Fear? Here’s What To Do About it

If you’re like most people, you probably feel some sort of discomfort speaking to groups or going up to someone you don’t know and introducing yourself. As you can imagine, you’re certainly not alone as you’d be surprised at how many people are deathly afraid of either of these situations. But the good news is that there are things that you can do to deal with your fears – and they’re not as scary as you might expect them to be.

Practice makes perfect:

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