Public Speaking has been my personal development path to phenomenal growth for more than twenty years now. I am not alone. There are millions of people all over the world who engage in some form of speaking to the public every day as a means of earning income and most of them enjoy it.
Yet I continue to hear such utter rubbish about this activity from normally intelligent members of this place called earth. It makes me sad that they would just embrace this information, internalize it and let it take them to a place where they are ever so happy to be afraid of public speaking.
Are you holding any of these myths in your mind? Then you are certainly limiting your own growth and getting in the way of your best fabulous life! What if these myths did not exist for you? Can you imagine how free and exciting your journey through life could be?
Well, today I’m starting your new journey with you. I will debunk five of your myths for you and you will begin to accept that yes you can stand up and speak before an audience and sit down and smile.
Myth # 1 – Public speaking is a gift that you’re born with.
It is the skill of expressing your thoughts, convictions and ideas in an orderly manner, to an audience, so as to interest and convince them about a particular subject.
Notice first of all, that it is a skill. This means that it can be acquired and with practice, it can be improved. Practice is the key activity here. Can you imagine reading every book you can about swimming and then expecting to represent your country at the Olympics? Well you can’t read about speaking to an audience and expect to be good at it either. You have to acquire and practice the skill.
Myth # 2 – Speaking in public is so stressful.
Speaking in public is no more stressful than anything else you do in life. Like everything else it’s your interpretation of the circumstances that makes it so. Thousands of people who were initially terrified of speaking to an audience (like me!) have learnt to eliminate or reduce this fear. With the right approach and practice, you can too.
Myth # 3 – You have to be brilliant to succeed as a public speaker.
Who ever told you that? I am living proof that that’s not true. The essence of making presentations is that your audience walks away with something of value. You don’t necessarily have to be brilliant, witty or perfect to deliver a presentation. Admittedly, these things help, especially if you want to make a career of speaking to people. Essentially what you need is to be clear on your purpose for speaking and that it adds value to your audience.
Myth # 4 – You have to have lots of information in your speech.
All you need are two or three main points. Research shows that people remember very few of the mountain of facts that some (inexperienced) speakers throw at them. Your audience basically wants to walk away with one or two main points that have meaning for them, so the degree of complexity that we think is necessary, is not.
Myth # 5 – Every time you make a presentation in public something “bad” is sure to happen.
I know that the belief that something awful, terrible or publicly humiliating will happen to you when you speak in public is at the source of many public speaking fears. This is simply not true. Think about all the presentations you have seen. How many times did something “bad” happen? Why should it happen to you? Moreover, everything “bad” that happens can be used to your advantage. For example, if the microphone does not work, this should give you a chance to get closer to your audience.
There you have it! Five myths about public speaking that were holding you back and they came with five facts that will take you forward. Now every time these fears come up immediately focus on the facts, acquire the skill and step out there and speak.
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Lorna Barrow’s training in public speaking spans twenty years and include training and coaching thousands of people to achieve their public speaking goals. Before your next speech, download her Basic Steps to Public Speaking Handbook from the Purchase Zone at http://www.itds-training.com so that you can stand up and speak and sit down and smile.
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