No Need to Fear Public Speaking

It is often said that the biggest fear that most people have is the fear of public speaking. The Seinfeld joke is that at a funeral most people would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy. But, if we are thrust into the role of speaking in front of a group what can we do to make the experience positive? Below is a list of ideas taken from Susan Cain’s article “10 Public Speaking Tips for Introverts.”  

Read them and never fear again.

  • If you’re an introvert who must give a speech, seize the opportunity. Start by going online and viewing videos of speakers taken from their vantage point. This helps you visualize what it’s like to look out at a sea of people.
  • It also helps to get acquainted with the room where you’ll speak. Arrive early and get comfortable standing at the podium.
  • If possible, deliver your speech aloud where you’ll give it.
  • Whenever you see great speakers (either in person or via online clips), obtain a transcript of their speech. Analyze how they structure their talks, such as the connection between the introduction and conclusion and their use of evidence or experience to support their claims.
  • Don’t keep reminding yourself of how much you dread public speaking. Instead, focus on what you do well and harness it. Example: If you are a precise scientific thinker, lace your talk with fun facts and other interesting tidbits
  • Most important…if you are not  particularly funny, skip the jokes.
  • If you feel stiff reading from notes,devote more time to engaging in Q&A or interacting with the audience

About Jeffrey Berson

40 years in and around the industry has made Insurance a part of my DNA. I have had the pleasure of working with and for some of the greatest minds in our industry. My "Bersonal" View is an attempt to capture some of the best ideas, the best concepts and the best practices in a way that can lead to success for others. It will certainly be my point of view, so please...don't take it "Bersonal".
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