I’ve spoken several times recently on improving public speaking skills. Here are five quick hitters on ways to become “fearless:”

  • Think audience outcome. Stop worrying about how you are viewed; about saying the wrong thing; about being “found out” as not smart; or how your hair looks. Focus on what you want your audience to think, feel, or do when you are finished. What outcome should be achieved by your audience? When you focus on THEM, you worry less about YOU.
  • Your personal relaxing techniques. How do you normally calm your nerves? Whatever you like to do will work here, too. Might be music, meditation, or exercise. Everyone is different, so find “your happy place” and relax.
  • Talk with your audience before the event. 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking Darren LaCroix calls the “before rapport.” When you make friends of your soon to be audience, it helps your nerves. After all, you’re now just having a conversation with friends, right?
  • Memorize your open. If you can fall out of bed at 2 am and recite your open, then you have nothing to fear. You are at your most nervous at the beginning. Take that away by having your opening lines committed to memory.
  • Speak early and often. The more you speak, the better you get, and the better you get the less nervous you will be. Period. Never turn down an opportunity to speak no matter what your fears are. The more you do it, the more your confidence will grow and your nerves diminish.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

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