Video: Fear of Public Speaking

Fred Miller is a humorous, practical and highly influential expert who shares his knowledge about why so many people are terrified to speak in front of an audience and what to do to minimize and overcome that fear. After helping the audience understand the many reasons people experience anxiety when speaking in public, he shares many practical tips every person can take away and employ to be successful. Here are a few of the key points in this presentation:

  • Three legitimate reasons to be afraid of public speaking
  • Why every person has a unique message to offer
  • Taking a closer look at failing because it gets a bad rap
  • Conditions that increase fear and discomfort
  • Tips for what to do and not do to increase success at speaking events
  • The learning is in the doing

Fred E. Miller is a local Speaker, Author, and Presentation Coach. The title of his first book is, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” Businesses, Individuals, and organizations hire him to improve their public speaking and presentation skills. For more information, contact Fred at: Fred@NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com

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Video: Recipe for a Great Presentation

Presentations normally scare us even though they are the doorway leading to business, career and leadership opportunities. Get your recipe for confidence and success

Speaker, author and presentation expert Fred Miller is as delicious in his speaking delivery as the cake he discusses and shows you at the opening of his presentation. He packs a wealth of valuable ideas and practices into this brief topic on creating a repeatable, successful presentation every time you speak. In it, he addresses the importance of:

  • Compelling your audience to be open, charmed and curious within the first minutes
  • Crafting your title and slides using images and text effectively
  • Impacting your audience immediately with an introduction that speaks to the needs and desires of your audience and gets their attention
  • Using questions to make a strong bid for audience participation and engagement
  • Providing valuable points and reinforcing them with powerful and humorous stories to make you irresistible to your target market
  • Using your presentation slides as a support tool without them being a crutch
  • Demonstrating cohesiveness in your message through a solid construction of your topic
  • Managing audience questions strategically with timing and composition of your invitation
  • Ending on a positive, memorable and engaging note so your audience remembers what’s best about you and your services.

Fred E. Miller is an entertaining, intelligent and thought-provoking speaker, author, and presentation coach. His website iswww.NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com and you can contact him at Fred@NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com

The Fear of Public Speaking: Why Many of Us Have It

Glossophobia is Fear of Public Speaking. 75% of people experience this phobia. Expert Fred Miller addresses the causes and cures for glossophobia.

Glossophobia is the Fear of Public Speaking. It is derived from a Greek word, glosso, meaning tongue, and Phobus, fear. Up to seventy-five percent of us have it, to one degree or another. It holds many people back from reaching their potential.

It is a fear worth confronting and overcoming because, as my mantra says: “Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

People who take and make Speaking Opportunities:

  • Grow their businesses.
  • Advance their careers.
  • Increase their leadership roles.

The first step to lessening the fear is to understand why so many people dread giving public speaking and delivering presentations.

My first response is, “Why not!

Think about it. Most of our conversations are one-on-one. Many of those are on a phone where we don’t see the person we’re communicating with. Increasingly, we communicate by texting or email. Those mediums eliminate seeing and hearing the other person.

It’s reasonable to assume standing in front of, and speaking with twenty, forty, or one hundred sets of eyeballs, is ‘out of our comfort zone.’ That’s a big reason we’re uncomfortable giving a presentation.

That un-comfortableness will, if presenting on a regular basis, ultimately lessen. (You did learn to eventually not fall off your bicycle, didn’t you?)

There are several very real reasons to have a Fear of Public Speaking.

  1. If you don’t know what you’re speaking about!
    Don’t get in front of an audience and talk about something for which you have little or no knowledge. That activity, rightfully so, will give you anxiety. You’ve got to know your subject and know enough to have ‘confidence in your competence’ on your topic. That knowledge lessens anxiety.
  2. If you don’t know the structure of a presentation.
    I’ll bet you, like me, have heard speakers talk and talk and talk without there being any rhyme or reason to their presentation. The topic might have been covered, but because a logical structure wasn’t followed, the audience didn’t GET IT! Just as the recipe for a delicious cake dictates specific ingredients are added in specific amounts at specific times; there is a proven structure to a great presentation.This, like most skills, can be learned.
  3. If you haven’t practiced before the event.
    Practicing is not optional!

    • Bands who have been together for many years and play music they’ve played hundreds of time, rehearse before big concerts.
    • Professional ball players attend spring training and show up before games for batting practice.
    • Actors and actresses continually rehearse their roles.

    Why would anyone think they could “wing” it when delivering a presentation?

  4. Sometimes the Fear of Public Speaking is Situational.
    • Size of Audience.
      Speaking one-on-one is something we do all the time. For most of us, it’s very natural and easy to do. What about speaking with five people? Ten people? What number in the audience makes someone nervous? A good analogy is a Fear of Heights. Standing on a stool or step stool is not a big deal. A stepladder is okay. Climbing a twenty-four foot extension ladder to clean out my gutters - not me!
    • Specific People in the Audience.
      Maybe speaking with audiences is easy until - your boss, coworkers, or spouse is seated in the front row. - “Yikes!” Example: A financial advisor I know regularly speaks without fear, to audiences of hundreds of retirees. However, if several of his colleagues are in the seats, he feels he is under a microscope and nervousness raises its head on him.
    • If a Request is Made.
      Presenting might usually produce little angst unless the attendees will be asked to do something the speaker is uncomfortable asking. This could be appealing for a donation, asking to sign a petition, or inviting people to pledge something.
  5. Then there are the “What Ifs?”
    • What if the audience doesn’t like me?
    • What if the speaker they had last month was really, really, good and compared to him or her I stink!
    • What if I forget something? I must be perfect!
    • Then there is, perhaps, the biggest What if? What if I’ve got nothing to talk about? What could I ever present to an audience that anyone would have an interest in hearing? (I often hear this in the public speaking classes I teach.)

Here’s my response: Everyone has experiences and knowledge people would love to hear about and could benefit from. The problem is often we are ‘too close to ourselves’ and ‘looking in the mirror’ for answers. As a good friend once told me, “We don’t know what we know!”

One of the best ways to find, ‘What to talk about’ is to work with at least one other person.

When I coach clients, “I Listen and Ask Questions, so they hear themselves!” You can do the same when working with others to discover ‘What to talk about.

Ask questions like:

  • What did you learn from that?
  • What will you do differently next time?
  • So what?
  • Why would anyone want to hear that story?

From now on. . . No more, “Nothing to talk about,” excuses for not giving a presentation!

A great way to get started on your presentation is to use a Speaker’s Template.
It’s available FREE here: http://www.nosweatpublicspeaking.com/go/freespeakerstemplate/

Fred E. Miller is a local Speaker, Author, and Presentation Coach. The title of his first book is, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” Businesses, Individuals, and organizations hire him to improve their public speaking and presentation skills. For more information, contact Fred at:
Fred@NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com
www.NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com

Entrepreneurs Should Speak!

One important component an entrepreneur’s marketing plan should include is giving great presentations!

Here’s why:

Delivering superb presentations has the potential to catapult a speaker to Expert status. We perceive really good speakers as experts. Perception is reality, and we like to work with Experts. (This makes sense, doesn’t it?)

Furthermore, the research shows:

Speaking Opportunities are Business Opportunities!”

Business owners who take and make those Speaking Opportunities grow their businesses.

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs don’t Speak. They don’t for several reasons:

  1. They have a Fear of Public Speaking.
  2. They don’t do a very good job of presenting, and they know it.

Let’s look at each of these reasons for not using speaking as a marketing tool and what can be done to change them.

Speaking Opportunities are Business Opportunities!

 

The Fear of Public Speaking

There are reasons for having a Fear of Public Speaking.

  1. If you don’t know what you’re talking about you should fear speaking!
    • Don’t have a passing knowledge of your subject; be an Expert!
    • Research and study your topic. You’ll never know everything, but your mastery should be better than most people have on the subject.
    • There is a “confidence in your competence” that lowers anxiety.
  2. If you don’t know the structure of a presentation, or how to professionally deliver it.
    • An award-winning, delicious cake has a very specific recipe. If accurately followed, the “baker” will have rave reviews bestowed upon them.
    • If they have little knowledge of baking and merely throw ingredients together and hope for the best, the results will likely be disappointing. Disappointing to the people who expected a delicious dessert, and disappointing to the “baker” who didn’t take time to learn and follow a proven recipe.
    • A professional presentation, like a great cake, has a specific structure. When constructed and delivered like a pro, the results can be spectacular. The audience learns something, and the presenter’s message is received as intended.
    • Structure and Delivery can be learned. The results are worth the commitment, and time needed.
  3. If you haven’t practiced!
    • Do you think any of the athletes who participated in the Olympics just “showed up” at their event? Of course not!
    • Will any of the players who put on helmet, pads, and a uniform in the fall to play professional football merely “show up” at game time? No!
    • How about the next showing of Les Misérables? Do actors, the orchestra, and stage hands notice what time the musical starts and “show up” a few minutes earlier. Absolutely not!
    • All the above require days and days of practice and rehearsal. Why would someone think they could “show up” for an important presentation and “wing it?”
    • Steve Jobs is my presentation hero. He was a master at this and set the standard for delivering exceptional presentations. As good as he was, he still practiced ad nauseam before taking the stage. If he had a new product or service to introduce at an Apple Event, he would practice for weeks! (Weeks is not a misprint.)
  4. You’re very Uncomfortable speaking with audiences.
    • Of course it’s uncomfortable! Think about this:
    • Most our talking is one-on-one.
    • Much of our communication is on the phone, and we don’t see the person we’re talking with.
    • Increasingly our ”conversation” is an email or text message. We don’t “speak” to or see people we are communicating with.
    • It’s understandable that getting in front of ten, twenty, or fifty sets of eyeballs we might feel uncomfortable because we are out of our comfort zone.
    • The uncomfortableness will lessen each time we speak in front of an audience.

You’re a Lousy Presenter

OK, I believe you.

There is something you can do about it!

Developing and delivering great presentations is a skill. Skills are learned.

We weren’t born knowing how to drive a car, use a computer, or any of the many other skills we use daily.

There are plenty of great books on the subject. There are courses that can be taken and clubs, like Toastmasters that can be joined. There are people whose expertise is coaching public speaking and presentation skills.

Important:

A Presentation has Two Components.

  • Content - Your message.
  • Delivery - Presenting your message.

Each of these components is essential for a presentation. Neither can stand on their own.

Take note that Delivery trumps Content.

You may have the most outstanding content on your topic, but if it can’t be presented in a manner that educates, entertains, and explains it well, your audience will never GET IT! GETTING IT! is the goal of all communication; verbal, written, and visual.

Delivery, Content, and the Parts and Elements of each will be the topics of future Posts.

Till then, I hope your next presentation is - NO SWEAT!