Public speaking Demons

I so often come across people who, when I tell them that I am a speaking coach, tell me about how much they hate having to speak in front of others or they tell me about the team they are in charge of at work and how they all need help with speaking.

Why do we hate or fear speaking for others so much? Maybe because we forget we are speaking for others.

When we focus on how speaking makes us vulnerable to criticism, rejection, judgment and failure is it any wonder we get in a stew about it.

People are hungry to be moved and inspired, to be nourished intellectually and creatively. If you can have at your heart a generosity of spirit for your audience combined with some knowledge, training and preparation then you have access to the magic of connecting and inspiring.

Speaking is not an inbuilt talent. It is a skill that can be cultivated by anyone. I don’t know if I was born with a gene that makes me more comfortable getting up in front of people but even so I still get really nervous. I prepare and prepare and prepare.

As a voice coach I teach people not to get rid of nerves. You can’t. It is part of our human makeup to fight or flee when facing perceived threat.

So what can you do so nerves don’t ¬†incapacitate you ?

Treat yourself as a vocal athlete;

  • Gain knowledge of how your voice works and what stops it.
  • Learn how to train and develop your voice.
  • Investigate your personal speaking demons and their origins.
  • Learn how to relax and warm up so you are calm focussed and energised before speaking.
  • Find a way to be connected to and passionate about your content.
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare like an All Black

Your job is to give to the audience, not take.

Thanks for reading and happy speaking.



Comment ( 1 )

  1. ReplyReatha
    Nice post. It's so true. I have never been too worried about public speaking but I do get nervous. What trips me up is when I stumble and lose my place or my train of thought. It makes me feel a bit stupid which then of course throws me off balance for the rest of what I have to say but with practice it's easier to compose yourself again and keep going.

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