What scares you about public speaking?

Postby frydways » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:25 pm

Hi everyone!

New to the forums. I'm looking for help with my public speaking, but I'm curious what other people struggle with when it comes to public speaking. I'm hoping that finding out what other people are afraid of that maybe I can learn some tricks to overcome issues/fears I maybe don't recognize that I have myself.

I get nervous and postpone preparing for my speech, which only makes things worse when the time comes. I also struggle to let moments of silence happen naturally. I feel as though silence is bad and I ALWAYS need to be talking. So I need to learn to use silence as a tool and not be afraid of it.

What scares you most about public speaking?
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:35 pm

I give speeches all the time.

My biggest fears, which have basically never become reality are "the heckler" or being asked a question that I can't answer, making me lose credibility or "look stupid" in front of the audience. I have techniques to deal with these fears, but they are my fears nonetheless.
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#2

Postby frydways » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:04 pm

Richard, what are your techniques to handle those situations? I hate silence so I start off my presentations with a VERY elongated pause. Until everyone looks up from their phones because they're wondering what's going on. Seems to be very Effective at grabbing attention.
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:10 pm

frydways wrote:Richard, what are your techniques to handle those situations?


-1- I greet and interact with people as the room fills. I mingle and ask questions, make a few connections. This gives me some go to people that will usually be more engaged.

-2- With tough questions, my technique is simple. Be okay with saying, "I don't know." You can follow that up with, "great question, let me look into it and if you want to give me your information I will get back to you."

-3- For any heckler, which I have never had, but maybe a "joker", I laugh and am self-deprecating. Laugh, give them credit for a good one and move on.
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#4

Postby frydways » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:18 pm

Great advice! Self-depreciation seems to be very endearing to an audience. I have taken it too far before, so it's like anything. Needs to be used in moderation. Haven't tried interacting one on one in larger settings yet. That's a good call. Thanks again!

Anyone else have other fears?
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#5

Postby Matt_TacticalTalks » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:06 pm

I think public speaking is our worst fears all rolled into a single experience.

1) Fear of failure
2) Fear of fumbling (making mistakes and looking foolish)
3) Fear of criticism

This puts you at risk to all of those things in one spot! And with a live audience is staring right at you. Yikes. It was the single greatest struggle I had to deal with in my life.

The advice of "Just do it" didn't do it for me. It got worse and worse with each speaking opportunity. Which really pissed me off lol. The internal critic does not mince words since he knows your sensitive spots.

The good news is that it can be conquered. When I finally overcame this fear I was inspired to write a book about my journey and how I was able to do it. I didn't want anyone to go through that! Not even my worst enemy.

The book is called:

The Perfectionist's Guide To Public Speaking: How To Crush Fear, Ignite Confidence And Silence Your Inner Critic
Author: Matt Kramer

It's available on Amazon and the eBook is free until Thursday 1-26-16. Take a look if nothing else has helped you.
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#6

Postby laureat » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:50 pm

I try to make sure how I approach one situation
the expectations that I have from myself

there has to be reasonable expectations from ourselves and others so we can feel free to do few simple things which can lead us to success instead of bothering for everything and lead us to nowhere

so its about giving oneself a longer leash, to allow myself to make mistakes, there is no need for popping my eyes out what a heckler is about to say, these questions are not made from gold so there is no need to bother if something is missed

and the experience that you have with the audience, if you have good experiences, you build confidence, you start to believe that public speaking can also be a good time, you can enjoy it, you can have fun with, so you start to change how you feel about public speaking
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#7

Postby evenflowcc » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:56 pm

As someone else mentioned, self-deprecation is a very powerful weapon in a) diffusing a room (when they laugh) and b) removing any type of ammunition a heckler might possibly have although I've rarely ever seen anyone heckled at a speech that was not some sort of political function or stand-up comedian. If you can make them laugh, you know they're listening which is an incredible confidence builder. However, not everyone has that skill to be funny. If you don't, do not use it.

When I teach public speaking, I make the students give little impromptu speeches every single day in addition to their main informative, persuasive, special occasion speeches, etc. This helps them gain confidence and develop their style. If you're taking a class, you might suggest this to the instructor. Another very valuable tool in my opinion is to film yourself giving the speech, even just a practice speech. You are your own worst critic and that can give you great insight into what you yourself would like to work on. All of this has the potential to give you confidence. I think even the greatest orators of our time get/got nervous before a speech though. Embrace it.
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#8

Postby PalmaNova » Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:15 pm

I am scared that I will forget crucial part of my presentation. No matter how much I prepare myself and learn material, the fear is still here. So the start is important to me. If I start with confidence I will keep it till the end of my presentation.
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#9

Postby JuliusFawcett » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:00 am

Fear is just a thought choice, courage is also.
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#10

Postby evenflowcc » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:28 pm

Agreed, once you can train your brain to choose courage over fear, it's a very powerful tool.

Someone mentioned pauses or silence earlier. In my class yesterday, we watched Ronald Reagan's Challenger speech. He uses several strategic pauses that add gravitas and sincerity to his words. He had an acting background which I'm sure helped, not to mention the somberness of the occasion but still worth a watch.
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#11

Postby PalmaNova » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:39 pm

evenflowcc wrote:Agreed, once you can train your brain to choose courage over fear, it's a very powerful tool.

Someone mentioned pauses or silence earlier. In my class yesterday, we watched Ronald Reagan's Challenger speech. He uses several strategic pauses that add gravitas and sincerity to his words. He had an acting background which I'm sure helped, not to mention the somberness of the occasion but still worth a watch.


Yes , you are right. You must train or learn your brain how to choose courage, and yes you should have an "acting skills " to cover even a little bit of fear. :)
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#12

Postby Tiku » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:54 pm

I'm scared to forget the material of my presentation and sometimes to loose the performance thread. So before speaking I make some deep and slow breaths, that really helps to get myself together))
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#13

Postby PalmaNova » Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:39 am

Tiku wrote:I'm scared to forget the material of my presentation and sometimes to loose the performance thread. So before speaking I make some deep and slow breaths, that really helps to get myself together))


Yes this is a normal fear, but when you study hard, your confidence is stronger, so the percentage
of failure is minimal. But nevertheless there are people who have stage fright, so yes you are right deep breaths always help.
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#14

Postby evenflowcc » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:59 am

The deep breaths definitely help and in addition to calming you, it can help you speak slowly. Our natural tendency is to speed up when we're nervous. Big fan of the breathing.
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