Tip - Public Speaking Statistics, Quotes, and Tips            

Jerry Seinfeld got a big laugh when he joked about a survey that found that the fear of public speaking ranks higher in most people's minds than the fear of death. "In other words," he deadpanned, "at a funeral, the average person would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy."

According to national surveys, fear of public speaking ranks among Americans' top dreads, surpassing fear of illness, fear of flying, fear of terrorism, and often the fear of death itself.

Before speaking:

  • Visualize. Picture yourself in the classroom or in the meeting room, standing up, taking your notes to the lectern, and so on. Visualize a successful outcome.
  • Practice. Practice going through your presentation, over and over again. But do it with someone who is supportive, so that you learn to succeed rather than to fail.
  • Sensitizers focus on the little things. "Through visualization they can get all that negative stuff out, so when the real day comes, they can get that out of their system and focus on real issues," Witt says.
During your speech, deal with symptoms as they occur:
  • Dry mouth? Take a little sip of water.
  • Knees knocking? Shift your weight and flex your knees.
  • Hands trembling? Put them together.
  • Voice is quivering? "Pause, take a deep breath or two, and smile. It is amazing what a smile will do," Witt say.
  • Sweating? "Forget it, nobody sees that anyway," Witt says.

"Virtually every speaker gets nervous most of the time, or at least some of the time," Witt says. "We all deal with our nervousness in different ways. The important thing is it does not have to make us embarrassed or frightened or upset to speak in front of other people. We can deal with that. You may be nervous, but you don't have to be disabled in front of other people." http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=61158

Prepared by Brittany Schwartz


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