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  1. 1. Pg 06 of 14<br />3.FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKINGAccording to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy. ~ Jerry Seinfeld<br />Fear of public speaking statistics prove what Jerry Seinfeld has said is correct. Death is, indeed, not the number one fear of people. Fear of public speaking beats all other fears. When I dug dip into the statistics, I too was dumbfounded with this information. But then I remembered the time of every elocution competition I participated in, in my schooldays. Rather than worrying about the subject or content on which I was going to speak, all I was worried and anxious about was the fear of whether I will be able to deliver in front of scores of people. Once on stage, the rush to get off it preoccupied my mind more than the speech in hand. Sweating, shivering, complete black-out or just standing there staring nowhere, were common occurrences. And I bet this must be the situation for most people going on stage to speak to an audience. Actually, nervousness and public speaking go hand in hand. The fear of public speaking statistics state that 3 persons out of 4 suffer from glossophobia (scientific term for the fear of public speaking). So, for the time being, feel sympathized with the knowledge that you are not alone who cannot match the elocution competition winner.The one thing all people, who are fearful of public speaking, should do is observe the great orators while they are in the midst of a heart-warming speech. Have you ever observed the current American President Barack Obama in detail while he speaks? What's the primary reason for him captivating a listener? His words, clarity of thoughts or the subject are secondary, when you see the conviction with which he presents his thoughts. Optimism, confidence and public speaking are interrelated entities. You got to be positive and confident when you are about to speak in public. Also, you should be convinced about your thoughts. Fear stems from lack of confidence and optimism. And even if you ask Obama in person, he will certainly say that every time he is about to speak in public, deep down somewhere there is a bit of nervousness and anxiety.I think we took a very big example to start with. Fear of public speaking can surface even in a small group of 4 to 5 people. Especially, if you are not familiar with that bunch of individuals, then the fear doesn't even allow you to make your presence felt, let alone asserting your viewpoint. Why <br /> Pg 07 of 14<br />does this happen? Let's have a look at the multiple causes for public speaking anxiety.<br />4.CAUSES FOR THE FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKING<br />Lack of interaction right through one's childhood with family or friends.<br />Lack of confidence and conviction in what one wants to say.<br />Fear that people may laugh owing to some prior experience.<br />Being more self-conscious than required about one's looks, body postures, etc.<br />Random thoughts leading to ill-preparation of the speech.<br />Insufficient knowledge of the language in which one intends to speak publicly.<br />Some inferiority complex or low self-esteem developed over the years.<br />Any speech disorder like stammering or phonemic or articulation disorder.<br />Fear of public speaking, or "glossophobia," is one the most commonly reported social fears, according to Many people try to avoid public speaking altogether, but for some of us it's unavoidable. People who have varying degrees of anxiety related to public speaking can find it difficult to overcome, making it nearly impossible to get through a public speaking engagement without great stress and nervousness. But there are many proven techniques to reduce and often eliminate public speaking anxiety. <br />5.INSTRUCTIONS To Follow WHILE DOING PUBLIC SPEAKINGJesse Jackson has said "If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it." This quote is applicable for every aspect of life. You just have to believe in yourself and the task at hand to get it done fruitfully. This can be applied to the fear of public speaking as well. Let's look at the ways to overcome the fear and anxiety of public speaking.<br />1. Remind yourself that the audience wants you to succeed. Most of the people in your audience are terrified of public speaking just like you are, says Morton C. Orman, MD, in his article "How to Conquer Public Speaking Fear." Your audience understands your fears of embarrassment, humiliation and failure. "They feel for you," Dr. Orman notes. Further, if you make a mistake or stumble during your presentation, your audience likely won't find it important.<br />2. Scope out the venue. Reduce your public speaking anxiety by becoming familiar and comfortable with the place where you will speak. "Arrive early and walk around the room, <br /> <br /> Pg 08 of 14<br />Including the speaking area," advises Lenny Laskowski of LJL Seminars. Practice speaking into the microphone and standing at the lectern. "Walk around where the audience will be seated. Walk from where you will be seated to the place where you will be speaking," he recommends. Also, practice using any audio or visual equipment that you'll use as part of your presentation. Ensure that the equipment works properly to avoid any technical problems during your speech.<br />3. Define two or three main points. Trying to stuff too much information into your presentation will increase your anxiety and could bore your audience.<br />4. Use relaxation exercises. Proven exercises can help to ease your public speaking stress and tension. Sit comfortably with your back straight, instructs Laskowski. Breathe in slowly, hold your breath for 4 to 5 seconds, and then slowly exhale. Relax your facial muscles by opening your mouth and eyes wide, and then closing them tightly. Another effective exercise is to visualize yourself speaking, according to Laskowski. "Imagine yourself walking confidently to the lectern as the audience applauds. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and assured. When you visualize yourself as successful, you will be successful," he assures.<br />5. Harness your nervous energy. Anyone who has experienced anxiety during or leading up to a public speaking event often experiences symptoms such as shaking, blushing, sweating, a pounding heart, a quivering voice and shortness of breath. These symptoms are a result of the "fight or flight response," which is a rush of adrenaline that prepares you for imminent danger, according to Your body is generating vast amounts of nervous energy due to this adrenalin rush. But "the same nervous energy that causes stage fright can be an asset to you," says Laskowski. "Harness it, and transform it into vitality and enthusiasm."<br />6. Learn to accept some level of anxiety. Remember that even the most seasoned public speakers usually experience some nervous excitement before going on stage, notes A little anxiety can actually make you a better speaker, because the added energy helps to keep your mind sharp.<br />6.HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR FEAR<br />.6.1. Face the Fear:The easiest yet the tricky solution to overcome any fear is to face it. Let me tell you, once you face your fear of public speaking, you will come to know that the thing which you were fearing was actually never as monstrous as you made it out to be. It's similar to overcoming the fear of jumping from a small height for the first time. Till you attempt to do it, you will always find it difficult. But <br /> Pg 09 of 14<br />once done, you will feel like Eleanor Roosevelt felt, when she wrote in her book 'You Learn by Living', "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself - I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along."6.2. Build-up Your Self-confidence:Marcus Garvey has quoted, "If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started." Keep this quote in mind every time you face a confidence-crisis. Ask yourself one question - do you wish to stay defeated in life? With no self-confidence, you cannot even win over a petty situation. Yes! Inability to face the public is not just a 'petty' situation but even pitiful according to me. Only the person who can conquer these situations can come up triumphant in the end. Remember, it's all in the mind!6.3. Learn to Ignore:There's a quote from Mark Twain which says, "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure." Why the need of ignorance? It's simple, because if you keep thinking of the people in front, what will they think of you, will they laugh at you, will they appreciate what you are saying, etc., then you will get bogged down by that pressure and eventually fail to express yourself freely. Learning to ignore what people will think, looking at them and maintaining the eye-contact, can go a long way in overcoming fear of public speaking.6.4. Have Belief and Conviction:Ralph Waldo Emerson has said, "The eloquent man is he who is no beautiful speaker, but who is inwardly and desperately drunk with a certain belief." As I noted in the example of Obama, if you are convinced about what you are going to speak, the words will just flow. As it happens when you have a simple conversation with your friend about your favorite football team, do you need to prepare before you speak? No, the words are straight from your heart. You back your words with concrete theories and examples. There's nothing different in what you should do while speaking in public. Stay with your words, if you are convinced with them. Eloquence is nothing but merely a product of conviction and belief in your own thoughts.6.5. Sweat the Small Stuff:First up, choose your public speaking topic wisely, selecting only those on which you feel comfortable to express your thoughts. Then, as the age-old proverb goes, practice makes man perfect; do practice your speech at least two to three times in front of some friend or even the mirror. Iron out those areas where you stumbled at the start. Try to introduce humor in some parts of your speech to keep the audience alive. If you can think of something interesting anecdote to add given the response, go ahead with it spontaneously. Try to be interactive. Ask questions to <br /> <br /> Pg 10 of 14<br />people understand their opinions on your speech and respond to their questions or criticisms. I assure you, this will not just have a positive effect but you will feel at home on stage. Lastly, even if the speech doesn't go as planned, don't let it bother you, simply because it happens with the greatest of orators as well.<br />7.TIPS & TRICKS<br />Practice your presentation and revise it until you can present it with ease, advises Laskowski. Being ill prepared can increase your nervousness and anxiety. Define a clear purpose. A common trap that many public speakers fall into is thinking that their presentation's purpose is to get the audience to like them. "Remember, the essence of public speaking is to give your audience something of value," says Dr. Orman. "The operative word here is give, not get." If you focus the purpose of your presentation on giving your audience as much as you can of what they want, you will have a successful experience and avoid public speaking anxiety. Use humor and humility. This makes your presentation more enjoyable and entertaining for your audience and will help you relax during your talk and connect with the audience.<br />Don't think of yourself as a public speaker. Just be yourself. "Many of us have distorted, exaggerated views of what successful public speakers do," explains Dr. Orman. "We often assume that to be successful ourselves, we must strive very hard to bring forth certain idealistic qualities we presently lack." But this means becoming someone you are not. Don't use a verbatim "script." Nothing is more mundane than listening to a presenter read from a script. Also, while your head is down, staring at the words on the page, you aren't connecting with your audience. This isolates you mentally, further enhancing your anxiety. Instead, use 10 to 15 3-by-5 index cards that outline the basic ideas and points you want to discuss, Dr. Orman recommends. Don't strive for perfection. You don't have to be brilliant, witty, or perfect to succeed in your public speaking engagement, Dr. Orman insists. "You can make mistakes, get tongue-tied, or forget whole segments of your talk," he says. "The essence of public speaking is this: give your audience something of value.<br /> Pg 11 of 14<br />8.CONCLUSION<br />Fear of public speaking is, thus, nothing but a state of mind. The German proverb puts it right - Fear makes the wolf bigger than it is. Don't make a trivial thing like public speaking shake you in your boots. How you conquer your fear depends on the courage you show. As Lt. John B. Putnam Jr. has said, "Courage is not the lack of fear but the ability to face it." Now, it's up to you to make a choice between courage and cowardice! What will you go for?<br /> Pg 12 of 14<br /> 9. BIBLIOGRAPHY<br />Material on these books, articles and websites has helped me a lot in preparation this report.<br />Books<br />10 Days to More Confident Public Speaking," by Lenny Laskowski.<br />ARTICLES AND DOCUMENTS<br /> Tips for Managing Public Speaking Anxiety" on, from Grice GL, Skinner JF. Mastering Public Speaking. 5th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon; 2004.<br /> HYPERLINK "" <br /> Overcome Speaking Anxiety in Meetings & Presentations," by Lenny Laskowski, © 1996 LJL seminars<br /> How to Conquer Public Speaking Fear," by Morton C. Orman, MD, © 1996-2002, M.C. Orman, MD, FLP<br />WEBSITES<br /><br />How to Overcome Anxiety in Public Speaking |<br />Public Speaking Techniques: Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking |<br /> Pg 13 of 14<br />10. GlossaryOf terms or words <br /> Glossary A:<br /><ul><li>1. Adrenalin: A hormone produced by the body when you are frightened, angry or excited, which makes the heart beat
  2. 2. Faster and prepares the body to react to danger,</li></ul>2. Anecdote: A short often funny story, especially about something someone has done<br /> Glossary B:<br />3. Bogged down: To be/become so involved in something difficult or complicated that you cannot do anything else<br /> Glossary D:<br />4. Dumbfounded: So shocked that you cannot speak.<br /> Glossary E:<br />5. Elocution: The art of careful public speaking, using clear pronunciation and good breathing to control the voice<br />6. Eloquence: Giving a clear, strong message.<br /> Glossary G<br />7. Glossophopbia: Scientific term used for the fear of public speaking.<br /> <br /> <br /> Pg 14 of 14<br />Glossary P<br />8. Phonemic Disorder: One of a small set of speech sounds disorders that are distinguished by the speakers of a particular language.<br />9. Pounding Heart: A regular thumping sound of Heart.<br />10. Public speaking anxiety: An uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or worry about something that is happening or might happen in the future while doing public speaking.<br />Glossary R<br />11. Relaxation Exercise: A feeling of refreshing tranquility and an absence of tension or worry.<br /> <br />Glossary V<br />12. Verbatim Script: using exactly the same words as were originally used.<br /> <br />