Harness nerves and speak with confidence

confidence

Quora didn’t like this answer about speaking with confidence, for some reason, so I’ll share it with the world this way. I think it’s helpful, and I’d like to put it where it can do some good.

The original question was “Tomorrow I have a presentation and I don’t know how to start it. I feel afraid in front of people. What can I do?”

Here is my answer (and I can’t see a thing wrong with it, but it got “moderated”). It has only been edited to use more active voice. (I would have edited it more there, but I didn’t get the chance.) Continue reading “Harness nerves and speak with confidence”

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You may find you like it!

Chimp with a mic.

I’m in the middle of a regular gig I love: training leaders for my college’s New Student Orientation leaders. We’ve already had our first event of the season, and we haven’t completed all of the training yet. Part of that training involves using a microphone effectively. Because of the timing of events in relation to training, we still have several leaders who have yet to have the microphone training.

During the first event, though, one of the folks who had not yet gone through the training wound up needing to speak on a microphone during a question-and-answer session. She later commented that it was the first time she had ever in her life held a microphone, much less used one–and she was pleasantly surprised that she really enjoyed it!

Continue reading “You may find you like it!”

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Graphic helps with public speaking fears

Glossophobia

Lydia Bailey, content coordinator of Masters Programs Guide, has shared with us a handy graphic that pulls into one place many useful insights in dealing with the fear of public speaking. (Full graphic at the end of this post.) Continue reading “Graphic helps with public speaking fears”

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Three misconceptions that sink presentations

sinking

Lots of people speak these days. TED.com has sparked a revival of interest in both giving and hearing speeches. And while most TED speakers provide a good model, plenty of misconceptions still float around about speaking.

Here are three. Continue reading “Three misconceptions that sink presentations”

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Bonus: The Anatomy of Fear

It’s a bit dated at this point, but it’s a great infographic about the anatomy of fear. Public speaking made #9! Enjoy. (Click the image for the original and a larger image.)

Halloween Infographic
Sortable Anatomy of Fear Infographic

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Eye contact helps overcome stage fright

I’ve read a few posts lately mentioning that eye contact is hard for a speaker, even experienced ones. (One place I just saw it is in the very good article “5 Public Speaking Tips that Build Relationships.”) I agree! But I also want to push a little beyond the initial resistance we have to it.

As Dr. Michelle observes, “Making eye contact allows you to connect with your audience.” The emphasis here is on genuine contact. The old saws about picking out a spot on the back wall or looking at their foreheads do not work simply because they don’t establish contact. While the idea of contacting a stranger that intimately seems threatening at first, once you do you’ll discover something very pleasant: there is no such thing as an audience! Continue reading “Eye contact helps overcome stage fright”

photo by: @Doug88888
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The components of confidence

Confidence
Photo by Flickr user gerriet

I’ve noticed the last few years that students seem to bring a slightly higher degree of beginning presentation skills into the classroom. I suspect this comes from growing up surrounded by hundreds of cable channels and YouTube.

It has even reached the point where the old saw about public speaking being the number one fear is no longer true. I thought perhaps it was, indeed, a steady trend of increasing confidence. If so, this semester doesn’t fit the trend. In fact, students have generally had more trouble with the second speech round than the first speech round. Continue reading “The components of confidence”

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Guest post on stage fright

I have a guest post up on SpeakingAgent.com about Stage Fright. Check it out, and the other posts on Saul Farber’s blog as well.

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