The #1 Solution

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There is one secret rule that all successful professional speakers have. It is the one rule, or habit, or principle or strategy that binds them all together. Whether they come from Australia, Russia, India, America, France, or Nigeria… all successful speakers say the same thing. Now, I admit they all don’t apply this rule in the same way. Each individual has their own idiosyncratic, novel, or interesting way in which they apply this rule.

One of the reasons why I am highlighting this rule, is because it serves so many purposes. It can help with the fear of public speaking. It can help an individual to become a master of the speaking craft. It can also help a speaker to rid him or herself of little (or big) speaking deficiencies, weaknesses or limitations.

What is this rule that is applied by all successful speakers, trainers and seminar leaders? [amprotect=2,3,4]

They practice, practice, practice… and then practice some more.

At this time, I would like to apply this rule specifically to the fear of public speaking!

Fear is not embedded in the content of the speech…. but in the execution of the speech before an audience.  Here are the steps to follow to know the content and work on execution.   Thus, it makes sense to work on improving your execution!

First, write a speech about a topic that you know very well and one that also would appeal to your target audience.  It could be about outside gardening, wine processing or it could be an inspirational story.

Write a 5-7 minutes speech and then practice, practice, practice in front of a mirror until you have it memorized.    Now…  I don’t always suggest that people practice in front of the mirror and I will tell you why in another article. But when you are just beginning to deal with the fear of public speaking, using a mirror can be very helpful.

When you feel familiar enough with the speech begin to speak to your friends and your supportive work colleagues.

If you can’t give the whole speech, give pieces of it. Everyday. Find a way to embed the speech in a phone call… or a conversation on the train… or bus… or on Facebook!  Yes… even in an email! Instant message it if you can. So not only are you speaking it… you are writing it and referencing it. All of this will help with your familiarity with the information.

If you don’t already belong to Toastmasters, join now.  You can also contact Rotary and Kiwanis groups, women’s organizations, non-profit organizations, etc., who look for speakers for their weekly or monthly meetings.

Do this for the next 30 days.  Each time you present your speech, have fun with it.  Add gestures, change your voice inflection, add pauses and inflect humor.  Soon you’ll be focused on the content, and not worried about the execution.

Some experts say that it takes about 21 days for us to develop a new habit.  After 30 days of giving the speech over and over, you’ll feel extremely comfortable in front of most audiences.

Remember, it’s not the content of the speech that speakers fear but the execution of the speech.  With a well-memorized speech, you have the flexibility to focus on the execution and overcome fears of public speaking.

Proper execution comes from practice, practice, practice… and more practice!

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