Tips to Temper Speaking Anxiety

Tips to Temper Speaking Anxiety. People take it for granted that leaders have ac

People take it for granted that leaders have achieved some skill in public speaking. Yet anxiety persists because leaders face very challenging situations and have a great risk of embarrassment. Here are some tips for tempering those anxieties.


INTRODUCING A SPEAKER

When you introduce a speaker, answer three questions: 1) Why is this topic being addressed? 2) Why this speaker? And 3) Why now? For example, "Today the Federal Register calls for comments on proposed legislation to raise taxes on gasoline. Our guest speaker has worked in the industry for 10 years and is now legislative aide for Senator . . . ."

Most professional speakers will provide an introduction for you which will answer the second question. Simply lead into it with the answers to the other questions.

READING FROM A SCRIPT

Does reading a speech from a lectern without a TelePrompTer make you feel like you are bobbing for apples? You raise your head and quickly sweep the audience with your eyes and then plunge back into the script. You know that eye contact is essential, yet you cannot risk a misstatement.

To get rid of that feeling, have your speech typed only on the top half of the page and place the page as high up on the lectern as is comfortable. That way you need only raise your eyes and not your head to look at the audience. The distance between audience and script is shorter so there is also less risk of losing your place.

Type your speech large letters, double spaced. That way even in dim light you can easily read it. If time permits, read the speech aloud to yourself several times before you present it.

PRESENTING TO THE BOARD

Board presentations may be the most challenging public speaking you face. Usually the group is small, and you must be prepared to answer questions. You have certain advantages here: First, you have an opportunity to prepare. You may not be the expert, but you will probably know more about the topic than the audience does.

Second, you either know the members of the board or have an opportunity to learn about them in advance by reading biographies or profiles.

Third, you know the outcome you seek. It may be a favorable decision by the board or simply a better understanding of an issue.

To help focus your message, define its purpose in one sentence before beginning to develop it. As you develop the content, select key points leading to the outcome you want. Anticipate questions by putting yourself in your audience's position. Some questions can be answered in the presentation and, therefore, will not need to be asked.

Have supporting information at your fingertips to expand on a point if requested. This will raise your comfort level and enhance your credibility with the board. It is best to know the board's expectations before you finalize the presentation.

REHEARSING FOR SUCCESS

After the content and charts, if any, are to your satisfaction, rehearse your presentation a few times. Most charts will contain only key phrases and pictures or graphics, not complete sentences.

You may want to write a script to use during rehearsal but it is best not to read from a script during your presentation. Try mind-mapping, do an outline, and have only a few notes at hand to reassure yourself.

Schedule some quiet time prior to your presentation and mentally rehearse. If you are nervous, take a few deep breaths, visualize yourself at your best, then give it all you've got!

There is no need to fear public speaking. Anyone can hone their skills with a little practice and mental preparation. Understand your topic, learn all you can about your audience, decide what action you want your listeners to take, and motivate them to act!

Jo Condrill is a professional speaker who has experience briefing general officers in the Pentagon. Jo has held leadership positions at the Pentagon, and was awarded the Army's highest civilian award, the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service.

She is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and author of "Take Charge of Your Life: Dare to Pursue Your Dreams" and "101 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills Instantly." She provides unique seminar learning experience in leadership, team building, personal development, and success strategies.

You may also be interested in . . .

Comments

Post new comment

Similar

Depression (Mood or Behavioral Change) After Child Birth/ Baby Blues Due to Elevated Level of Copper

Depression (Mood or Behavioral Change) After Child Birth/ Baby Blues Due to Elev About twelve to fifteen percent of women develop postpartum depression. This involves more significant symptoms of depression which women begin to experience within a few days of giving birth, and

Cause of Lightheadedness/ Vertigo/ Imbalance/ Dizziness

Cause of Lightheadedness/ Vertigo/ Imbalance/ Dizziness Dizziness is not a disease. It is a symptom. Most often it is mild and temporary and a cause cannot be found. Sometimes it is a signal of some other problem. Feelings of dizziness or vertigo may be

Non Surgical Device for Snoring Treatment Option

Non Surgical Device for Snoring Treatment Option Snoring can be an early manifestation of more serious sleep-disordered breathing, so it's not necessarily a harmless condition; Dr. Nat Marshall, from Sydney's Woolcock Institute of Medical Research

Kick off your Sleepless Night and Have a Sound Sleep

Kick off your Sleepless Night and Have a Sound Sleep Many people have insomnia. People who have insomnia may not be able to fall asleep. They may wake up during the night and not be able to fall back asleep, or they may wake up too early in the morning

Benefits of Tonsillectomy in Children, Might be Prevention of Recurrent Strep Throat Infection

Benefits of Tonsillectomy in Children, Might be Prevention of Recurrent Strep Th Tonsils are glandular tissue located on both sides of the throat. The tonsils trap bacteria and viruses entering through the throat and produce antibodies to help fight infections. Tonsillitis occurs

Driving Skills Impaired by Antidepressant Treatment

Driving Skills Impaired by Antidepressant Treatment Depression seems to be related to a chemical imbalance in the brain that makes it hard for the cells to communicate with one another. Depression also seems to be genetic (to run in families).

High Doses Lithium Drugs Might Impair Neurological Function in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease

High Doses Lithium Drugs Might Impair Neurological Function in Patients with Alz Generally, antidepressant drugs become fully effective within three to six weeks after a person begins taking them. Physicians generally prescribe one of four major types of medication used to treat