A Guide to Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking
The Skill of Speaking Enthusiastically
You have been asked to make twenty prospecting calls, or you are giving a speech to a room of strangers and timidity and fear is taking you over or putting it another way the butterflies are gathering inside your stomach.
While emotions are not immediately subject to reason, they will respond to physical and mental action, particularly when preceded by reason.
If when talking to a prospect you experience timidity in any form of fear, you can immediately overcome it by speaking enthusiastically. Because when you speak enthusiastically you then act enthusiastically. When you act enthusiastically you become enthusiastic.
Here is what you need to do in order to speak enthusiastically and I do recommend you memorise the process.
- Talk Loudly
- Talk rapidly
- Keep a smile in your voice
Talk Loudly and Rapidly
When you talk loudly and rapidly, timidity and fear disappear. For many beginners are afraid, even tremble inside (butterflies) when making a presentation or a public speech. But when they talk loudly and rapidly the trembling and timidity immediately change to enthusiasm and courage. It works and is highly recommended when you are prospecting or giving a public speech. It is recommended to practice before doing it for real.
Keep a Smile in your Voice
Now when you keep a smile in your voice it is evident of a pleasant personality. But more importantly it avoids gruffness. This is particularly desirable when the beginner speaks loudly and his or her voice has a tendency to be gruff. You will find that when you put a smile on your face it will reflect in your voice.
A golden rule is to encourage your staff to physically smile upon answering the phone and throughout the call. Smiling changes the tone of our voice and instantly makes us come across as friendlier and more approachable.
You emphasise words that are important to you such as you…also…only etc. some techniques you could use to put emphasis on the point you are making in a speech or speaking to a prospect could be:
- Call it out by saying “listen here”, “listen closely”, “this is important”, “I want you to hear this” etc.
- Repeat the key point you are making
- Talk softly when you get to the key point you are making, bring down the tone of your voice
- Slow down when you get to the key point and pause after the point is made.
You hesitate where there would be a comma, full stop or other punctuation in the written word. And thus, you can speak with great rapidity and effectiveness. When you hesitate properly the mind of the listener will keep pace with the idea even though you present them quickly.
Life and Fire
When you speak loudly, rapidly, keep a smile in your voice, emphasise and hesitate properly, you will put life and fire into your presentation.
When experience proves that your presentation comes so naturally to you that you have control of your emotions, you can then modulate your voice. If you are speaking in a high tone, you can lower your voice and in parts of your presentation speak slower and hesitate longer. You may find this particularly desirable when talking to prospects. When you lower your voice, you can later raise it back again to its original tone.
Now beginners need not be concerned with modulation. It is the experiences person who is excellent at his or her job such as making sales who has the tendency to increase their rapidity until their presentation appears mechanical. They must emphasise, hesitate and modulate in order that their presentation seems natural even though it is given rapidly.
If you have a throat condition which becomes aggravated when you talk loudly, you can speak enthusiastically by talking rapidly, keep a smile in your voice, use emphasis, hesitation and modulation.
Be a good actor by following instructions and giving your presentation word for work in a manner that is so well learned that it becomes natural and part of you. Put feeling and personality into your presentation.
It never occurs to the listener that you have learned what to say and do any more that it occurs to you that a good actor has learned their lines and follows instructions. For a good presenter, like the good actor lives their part. Be a good actor and learn your lines well.
Management and Sales Training Specialist