• 28/11/2023

Public Speaking – A Fate Worse Than Death!

Public Speaking – A Fate Worse Than Death!

You may be wondering what a Lifestyle Training Company and a retired magician have to do with Public Speaking.

For many years at our Lifestyle Centre we trained therapists in all aspects of complementary medicine and ran courses in Personal Development, including NLP and Public Speaking.

We found that one of the main causes of health problems today is STRESS and one of the most stressful things and one that creates tremendous fear and trepidation is the act of Public Speaking. So a popular part of our courses was, “How To Conduct Effective Public Speaking.”

It is very interesting to note that in a list of the things people fear most, the ultimate catastrophe, DEATH, came way down the list at No. 7. Can you guess what came top of the list? Yes! – PUBLIC SPEAKING.

Apart from our main course on public speaking, we have put together some articles and information that we hope will make a difference. We want to help you overcome that major fear and help you take advantage of the many opportunities, which present themselves to those who can express themselves in a confident manner.

There are not too many hard and fast ‘rules’ in public speaking, as it is very much an art, rather than an exact science. However, there are certain guidelines, which are followed by all effective speakers and we hope this series of short articles will direct you along those lines, and encourage you to stand up and ‘say your piece’ with confidence, in all circumstances.

Let’s first of all consider the horrible elements of stress or indeed distress that seem to affect all of us when asked to utter a few sentences in public.

Some examples – nervous churning of the stomach; nausea; sweating; trembling; dry mouth; blushing, dizziness, rapid, pounding heartbeat; fast breathing, even breathlessness and often the mind goes completely blank.

So, you’ve all been there! Unfortunately, those who have had a distressing experience never forget it and in some cases the fear of speaking in public becomes a phobia, and that “Audience-Phobia” prevents them from taking advantage of many opportunities in life.

It may be that we have to express our expert opinion at a works meeting, or to make a report to our bosses, or vice versa (to make a report to our workforce), to give a vote of thanks at a formal gathering, or to express ourselves at an important interview.

A phobia is a very real and intense feeling of fear generated by something, which does not actually pose any genuine threat to us. Yet it is so intense that it often prevents us from doing even some very simple things, which may in fact, have a dramatic effect on our lives.

The response to our fear or phobia is mainly a mental one: – Our thinking becomes confused; we somehow cannot recall even the simplest well-remembered facts; we often have the sensation of blind panic. You’ve heard the expression, or indeed you may have experienced it –“When I stood up to speak my mind just went blank and I froze” – often called “Stage Fright”.

If any “Audience Shy” person was asked by their workmates, or colleagues in the pub, or their family and friends gathered round the fire, to explain their job or favourite hobby, favourite football team or television program, they would go on at great lengths, and often speak with great enthusiasm and wit.

However, if most of us were to be asked to stand up in front of even a small gathering and formally present ourselves to them, things suddenly feel different. Transport the situation and same person from small gathering on to the platform of a large hall and he is struck dumb.

Yet there is no fundamental difference between a large audience and a small group of friends. It is the reaction of our minds to the situation, which causes us to “freeze” and experience the horrible feelings of “stage fright”.

We often refer to these feeling as “Nerves” and state that we are far too nervous to speak in public.

Well I hope to help you overcome those dreaded nerves with a few short articles with information and tips that I have gained from my experiences as a magician, entertainer and speaker.

So look out for the articles on “Overcoming The Dreaded Nerves”.