The Importance of Public Speaking
The ability to deliver an effective talk is one of the most valuable skills you can possess. If you want to be a leader in school, public speaking is often essential. As a class officer, head of the student council, or president of a club, you are often called on to stand up and speak to a group. Public speaking is also important in the workplace. As career counselor Rozeanne Burt explains, "The people who can stand up and give a talk stand out and are set apart from other employees." Yet most people are afraid of public speaking. In fact, recent polls indicate that they fear it more than death itself.
Stage fright is not uncommon, even among good speakers. But they generally don't react the way Jim did. Instead, there are several approaches they use to conquer their fears.
Remember, the people in the audience genuinely want you to succeed. They've come to hear you speak. They want to know what you have to say to them. They may be experts on the subject of your talk or they may know nothing about it; regardless, they want to hear what you have to say about it.
Top 10 Fears Among Americans
Make eye contact with an individual in the audience who is a friend or acquaintance. As you begin to talk, speak only to that individual. Or if you don't know anyone in the audience, pretend you are just sharing information with a friend. By turning a speech into a one-on-one conversation, it will seem less intimidating. If you are still nervous when it's time to deliver the speech, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you don't have to be so serious. Imagining the audience in their underwear usually helps people lighten up and put speeches into perspective. The people in the audience genuinely want you to succeed.