Fear of Public Speaking and what to do about it!

Walt Disney was terrified of it. James Earl Jones couldn’t even think of trying it early in his career and Bill Clinton –after being booed off a stage learned to master it. What is it?


The book of lists rates public speaking as the number one fear in America, ahead of snakes, spiders, flying and death. Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, Dan Rather, Margaret Thatcher, Sir Alec Guinness, and Tom Brokaw all were terrible speakers before they learned how to communicate more effectively with confidence. Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.”

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Powerful speaking skills are learned.

To rise to the top in any field, you must be an outstanding public speaker.”

Aran Bakshian: Corporate speech-writer, executive, coach and former Director of Speechwriting at the White House for President Reagan quotes:

“Speaking is critical in today’s business world. The spoken word is not what you say or how you say it. It’s the power you receive by connecting with your audience.”

This is a very important skill to have if you want to make it big in your business.

Lee Iacocca saved Chrysler from ruin by revealing his secret that he knew how to talk to people, plain and simple.

Remember A U D I E N C E.

Analyze – Who is your audience? What is their job? What amount of people will be there?

Understand – Does the audience have knowledge of your subject? Ask in advance.

Demographics – What are the ages, genders ad educational backgrounds? Community organizations, local sports teams, recent news events or hometown traditions.

Interests – What are the interests of the audience? Are they being forced to come? What driving forces will bring the audience into the room – fear, money, relationships? Know what will make the audience listen. You need to adapt to what they want to hear.

Environment – What arena will you be presenting in? Will there be a platform to the left of a screen, a wireless microphone and AVsupport. Will your space be small so you will need to adapt?. Will the audience be able to see you?

Needs – What are the information needs of your audience and what are your needs as the speaker? Ask the host ad the audience members you poll what they want from your presentation. Try and get real world stories from audience members and get some sense of what the audience is feeling.

Customization – Use specific examples of problems they experience and offer solutions. Use a questionnaire to gather these bits of information that will make your presentation like a personal coaching session.

Expectation- Determine what the audience expects from you and deliver what they want. Be ready for the Q and A section. Consider what questions may be asked beforehand.