To Overcome Fear of Public Speaking (DOC)

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					To Overcome Fear of Public Speaking, You need to Understand the
Underlying Causes
To Overcome Fear of Public Speaking, You need to Understand the
Underlying Causes.
Once you can identify the causes that are underlying your public speaking
nerves and fear, you can choose the strategies you need to build your
confidence, use the fear and present successfully.
Most people suffer from some fear of public speaking. The survey that
identified it as America’s number one fear was accurate then and remains
so today. But the causes of that fear can differ from person to person.
One of the most important steps towards overcoming the fear of public
speaking is to identify the things in your life that have created the
fear and then choose the strategies that relate to those causes and that
will conquer the fear and allow you to harness it to enhance your
presentations and speeches, not destroy them.
So let’s list some of the factors that underlie the fear of public
speaking and see which ones apply to you.
1. The first on the list is the fact that fear of public speaking can run
in families. I’m not sure if there is a genetic cause for this but I do
know that if you have seen your parents or a family member speaking or
performing confidently in public, then you will most likely see it as
something you can do too. But if you see fear and aversion to public
speaking then you will probably adopt that as part of your culture as
well.
2. The second factor lies in the way your brain functions. It may be that
your brain is not functioning in a way that builds confidence. It is
possible that the neurotransmitters that allow your brain to transfer
information are not operating as they should.
3. Previous personal experience can affect our confidence in any
situation. Teasing of any sort can destroy confidence and if it was
associated with public speaking then any chance of future confidence in
public speaking will be shattered. Thoughtlessly expressed criticism can
do the same. A teacher, peer or parent can destroy confidence with
unthinking negative comments.
4. Beliefs. Many people’s fear of public speaking is founded in the
belief that they are responsible for always creating a positive
impression … and its corollary that if they do not create this wonderful
impression then they have created a disaster. Your family, your peers and
your associates, not to mention the media, can all contribute to this
expectation of any situation. So if you feel an unreal demand on you in
terms of the need to create a great impression then anything you do in
public will be fraught with anxiety.
5. Because people fear public speaking they then set up systems to avoid
it. Any opportunity is met with avoidance, rather than either a positive
expectation, or a confident attempt that could be the basis of
development. And then that avoidance becomes a habit – it self-
perpetuates.
So ... did any of those scenarios strike a chord with you and your
experiences? Did you recognise any of them acting in your life? It may
even be that more than one of these factors is present in creating your
fear of public speaking. Rest assured, though, that for each, there are
strategies that can be used to overcome it. Use them in conjunction with
some other processes and you have a strong, guaranteed basis for
developing confidence and skill in public speaking.
Bronwyn Ritchie is a speaker, writer, librarian and trainer and she
manages Pivotal Points - resources for the times in your life when you
pivot - change direction - towards a better you, a better life.
For more information - on public speaking - resources, tips, articles and
courses to help you overcome your fears and to polish your presentations
- visit http://www.consultpivotal.com/public_speaking.htm.

				
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