Posted on Apr 17th, 2006

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An excellent way of being recognized as an expert in your field is to speak in public. Unfortunately most people are terrified at the thought of it. They may also be afraid of using improper grammar, or forgetting what they wanted to say.

Some speakers sound like they have something to say, and some sound like they have, to say something. I believe this is the key to overcoming your fear. If you focus on getting your message across it will take your mind off being in front of all those people. Write out what you want to say on a wordprocessor and check the grammar. Speak it out loud several times. Record it and listen to how you sound.

One of the difficulties of public speaking is learning how to use notes. What works for one may confuse others. Some speakers put the notes on cards they hold in their hand. This works best if you are going to roam with a wireless microphone. Others write it out. If you go over it enough, you can memorize most of it. The main purpose of notes is to remind you what comes next. Sometimes you can write down a word or more for each point you wish to make. Seeing the word will remind you of the rest of it. If you are going to be behind a podium stand, you can print it all out and put it in a notebook. Keep your finger on the paragraph you are on and move it to know where you are. If you forget what is next, you already have your finger on it.

A little fear can be channeled to emotion that will emphasize points. The trick is not to be paralyzed by fear. Take several deep breaths before you start. This will help to calm you down.

I overcame my fear in High School plays. The first time I got up in front of people; I couldn’t hear my knees knocking for my teeth chattering. I did, however, manage to say my lines. We presented the play on Friday night for rehearsal, and again on Saturday, but many came each night. After the first night I tried to reason why I was afraid. I thought, “Either I can do this or I can’t, and I know I can, so why all the butterflies?” I decided to go out there and do the best I could and not worry about it. I had such a ball that I wanted to be in more plays.

Ask yourself why you are afraid. The usual reason is just panic clouding your mind. Almost everyone can talk. That’s all you have to do in public speaking. If you are not a professional speaker, no one expects you to be a great orator. The main thing is to get your message across in a manner that can be understood. Pronounce your words slow enough and loud enough for everyone to understand them. Most people have trouble understanding someone speaking fast. Take your time. Talk in your normal tone and place emphasis on important things to get your point across. You can make gestures with your hands to emphasize points. Some speakers lean forward slightly for this purpose.

Speak into the microphone so that you can be heard distinctly. Speaking too close will pop your p’s and too far will result in not being heard. Different setups may require different distances from the mike. It is best to test it before anyone else arrives.

Lynn Bradley is the author of the book, “Climbing the Heavenly Stairs.” The requirements of salvation and the steps after conversion are given. Learn how to fit in with your congregation and live life to the full. Discover what Jesus said about accomplishing seemingly impossible things. Learn more by clicking on the following link.

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