A famous motivational speaker and writer said that the average person ranks the fear of public speaking higher than the fear of death. That sounds a little far-fetched to me but it’s true most people have at least a bit of glossophobia, speech anxiety. If they know they have to get up in front of a crowd and talk they get real nervous. Their stomachs are gurgling, their knees are weak, and they wish they were anywhere else but where they are. I have found that every good speaker was once a bad speaker. Virtually anyone can master the art of public speaking and anyone can get there by doing what it takes to master any other skill, and that is by first deciding you are willing to take the first steps necessary to achieve your goal and then just do it. How do you think masterful guitarist Keith Urban sounded the first time he picked up the guitar? What I’ve told fledgling radio announcers is to learn how to lean into that microphone and visualize you’re talking to one person rather than the thousands that may be tuning in at the moment. Don’t visualize a mass audience and speak to the whole. Speak as though you are having a conversation at the kitchen table one on one. Same thing applies in front of a live audience. Understand the audience is composed of a bunch of “ones”, each person listening and watching by themselves. Relax and speak to that “one” person. Trust me, it works. I’ve spoken in public hundreds of times but there was a first time. I’ve forgotten how I felt but you can bet my knees were knocking, my tummy was flip-flopping and my mouth was dry. But, somehow, I lived to see another day.
That’s Coffeetalk. I’m Vic Dubois.