Public speaking anxiety is something which affects all of us to some extent. In fact, I believe that Mark Twain was right when he said,“There are two types of speakers: those who are nervous and those who are liars.”
Barbra Streisand, the 72 year old singer and actress is one of the highest-selling female recording artist of all time and even she still gets nervous.
Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor was once terrified of speaking in public and says he used to avoid college classes where he had to get up in front of people.
Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Reese Witherspoon, and reportedly even Winston Churchill, JFK, Margaret Thatcher, Barbara Walters and Johnny Carson are believed to have had some anxiety about public communication at some point.
Even the late great, Elvis Presley once said, “I’ve never gotten over what they call stage fright. I go through it every show.”
If that doesn’t shock you then perhaps this will.
I believe that even Aristotle, Isaac Newton, and Charles Darwin all had stutters and were nervous speakers at one time in their lives.
The list of famous, successful, influential and powerful people is as surprising as it is long. If you have an important speech coming up and are feeling a little nervous about it then you can take comfort knowing that you really are in the very best of company.
For many people it can be a very scary prospect but the good news is, however nervous you may feel it’s not life threatening. To my knowledge no one has ever died from either speaking in public or worrying about speaking in public.
Personally, I quite like the idea that so many hugely talented and famous people have felt and still feel nervous when performing in some way. It tells me they are human, just like the rest of us and that if they can achieve so much despite feeling that way then there must be hope for all of us. It’s my belief that it really doesn’t matter who we are when we stand to speak in public we are somehow hard wired to feel some level of anxiety.
Here are 20 things you can do to manage your anxiety when presenting and speaking in public:
1. Enlighten your audience, don’t just inform them.
Make sure that you know a lot about what you will be speaking about and that you care about what you have to say even more. Don’t however craft your presentation with the assumption that just because you know what you know your audience will understand you. Your job is to make the complex simple to understand and to convert what some may perceive as boring into interesting. If you invest your time focusing on turning information into something your audience can relate to and remember you will be far less nervous.
2. Speak to your audience before you meet them
Make it about your audience, not about you. That means making it your business to get to know as much as you possibly can about them and prepare Go to the full article.