YOU Magazine - April 2006 - The Solution to Stage Fright By Lance Miller, Toastmasters' 2005 World Champion of Public Speaking Subscribe to YOU Magazine and other timely market alerts from Your Name Here .

YOU Magazine
Your Name Here     Your Name Here
Mortgage Consultant
Your Company Name
Phone: 800-555-1212
Fax: 800-555-1212
Your Company Name
April 2006

March 2006

The Solution to Stage Fright
By Lance Miller, Toastmasters'
2005 World Champion of Public Speaking

The Solution to Stage Fright - By Lance Miller, Toastmasters' - 2005 World Champion of Public Speaking

There's a story about a man who is asked to make a choice between speaking in public or having a serious illness. He contemplates the question and then asks, "How serious is the illness?"

According to surveys, fear of public speaking ranks higher for most people than fear of a serious illness or even fear of death. Yet, being an effective public speaker capable of educating, motivating and inspiring a group is a key ingredient when it comes to good leadership and good management.

We've probably all had the experience where we've told one person a story, or presented a solution to something, and then were asked to repeat it to a group of people. Remember what a different experience it was delivering the same message to a crowd?

It's not surprising that we can speak to one person without any difficulty. We can give them our attention. We can watch their body language, expressions, and reaction to our communication. We can easily adjust our delivery according their reaction. But add just 1-2 more people to the equation, and the dynamic changes dramatically. Now we need to spread our attention over 2-3 people, watching 2-3 sets of body language, expressions, and reactions. It becomes more difficult to have the same level of communication that we had with just the one person. Add 50-500 more people, and the dynamic shifts exponentially.

There are numerous theories regarding why stage fright occurs. The how and why can be debated among the experts, but one thing is certain. It is not caused by a fear of a hostile audience, as stage fright occurs with even the most friendly and sympathetic audiences. It is something that exists on the speaker's side of the equation.

Over many years of speaking and personal coaching, I have been asked for magic cures and secret solutions to address people's fear of public speaking. They hoped that there was some "thing" they could do privately at home, without having to speak in front of a group, which would forever cure their stage fright. This is like saying, "Teach me to be a great basketball player, but I don't want to touch a basketball."

After 15 years of public speaking and delivering over 1,000 speeches in more than 20 countries, there is only one solution I know of for stage fright. That solution is frequent public speaking. There is no silver bullet, no magic pill, or self-actualized-mental-exercises that I've found to resolve speaking jitters and the tongue-tied mental blankness of stage fright.

Speaking is a skill that you will lose if you don't use it. Even after years of speaking, if I don't speak for a few months, I find the pre-speaking jitters and the on-stage mental molasses creeping back in. But after a few speeches or presentations, I'm back on top of my speaking game.

Here are some tips that I use to assist with public speaking anxiety:

1. Accept that being nervous about speaking before a group is natural.
Don't think it's "only you" and that you shouldn't feel that way. This only increases your existing anxiety. Just look in the mirror and say, "I am nervous, therefore I am normal!"

2. Practice and drill your speech or presentation until you know it completely.
If you're unsure about what you want to say, or how you will say it, you will be unsure when you are speaking. This will come across to the audience. You should have your attention on the audience rather than on what you're trying to say.

3. Get excited about your message!
Know its value to the audience. If you have doubts about your message or feel that it's not of interest or importance to the audience, it can cause problems in your delivery, and create anxiety and nervousness. I use the analogy, if the room were on fire, would you be able to speak to everyone and tell them that they need to leave? Most people easily say "yes", they could do that because it is a matter of life and death. So create the same amount of importance and excitement about your message; know that the audience needs to hear what you have to say.

4. Get comfortable with the room where you'll be speaking.
Get there early, walk the room, stand in each corner. Stand at the front, at the back, sit in the seats, and just get comfortable with the room. Stand in the location where you'll be speaking for 5-10 minutes, until you are comfortable being in that location. Imagine that the room is filled with people and you're speaking to them. Rehearse your speech in the room where you'll be speaking if at all possible.

5. Speak to one person at a time.
Look at one person and speak to them for 3-5 seconds, and then speak to another person for 3-5 seconds. This way your communication is personal, and you're not overwhelmed by a large group.

To handle stage fright permanently, find a speaking group or club so you can speak on a regular basis. The best organization I know of and the one that I personally use is Toastmasters. This is an international organization with over 10,000 clubs in 90 countries. The clubs are fun and friendly environments that teach and practice communication and leadership skills. You can locate a club in your area by visiting their official website,

Hopefully you've gained some tools from this article that will assist you the next time you're speaking before a crowd. Remember, everyone in your audience is pulling for you, and best of luck!

You are receiving a complimentary subscription to YOU Magazine as a result of your ongoing business relationship with Your Name Here . While beneficial to a wide audience, this information is also commercial in nature and it may contain advertising materials.

INVITE A FRIEND to receive YOU Magazine. Please feel free to invite your friends and colleagues to subscribe.

SUBSCRIBE to YOU Magazine. If you received this message from a friend, you can subscribe online.

UNSUBSCRIBE: If you would like to stop receiving emails from Your Name Here , you can easily unsubscribe.

Your Company Name
2475 Townsgate Road, Suite 150
Westlake Village, CA 91361

Powered by Platinum Marketing

© Copyright 2018. Vantage Production, LLC.