Leadership Tip

How to overcome glossophobia

This isn’t a dangerous disease or chronic condition; it’s the medical term for the fear of public speaking. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 74% of people have Glossophobia which ranks higher than Thanatophobia, which is the fear of dying. To reduce your fear of public speaking, use these tips

  1. Know your material. You will be much more comfortable talking about something about which you are knowledgeable. Give special focus to the introduction, because this is when you are likely to be most nervous.
     
  2. Practice often and aloud. You should continue practicing until you’re comfortable with what you’re going to say. Your confidence will increase as you realize that you know what you’re going to say.
     
  3. Prepare possible audience questions. Come up with a list of potential questions your audience might ask you, then prepare answers and even additional presentation slides to answer them.
     
  4. Don't memorise your speech. If you commit your entire speech to memory and then forget even just one line of it, things could spiral out of control and you may find yourself unable to remember the rest of it. You are much better off knowing the essence of what you want to say.
     
  5. Understand your audience. Will you be addressing a group of experts or one that knows little about the topic? Being aware of your audience will help you structure your presentation accordingly as well as prepare for it. You should always be more knowledgeable than your audience.
     
  6. Speak slowly. People tend to talk more quickly when they are nervous so make a conscious effort to slow down. You will be less likely to stumble over your words if you aren't rushing through your speech.

The above leadership tip...
was sent in response to a question from a participant on our acclaimed 10/10 leadership development and mentoring programme. Whether you're a first time manager or an experienced leader, straightforward, practical advice on best practice is hard to find. Until now. To find out how you, your team or your organisation can benefit, please join us on our next complimentary webinar or contact us.


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