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Employment Tips

What to Do If Speaking in Public is Holding Your Career Back
By:Tony Jacowski

If your answers to these questions are in the affirmative, then you can attribute your success to your ability to speak in public without fear. But if your answers are in the negative, then chances are that your fear of speaking in public is holding your career back. You are not alone in suffering from what is called speech anxiety, stage fright, shyness, speech phobia, etc.

How can you free yourself from these crippling symptoms, which are believed to be affecting the careers of millions of Americans today? Thankfully, this is not a neurological disorder but a form of surmountable psychological weakness.

Remember, Your Audience Is No Different From You

Much of your fear comes from the feeling as if the people in the audience are better public speakers, and are capable of judging you.

The truth may be far from this. Tomorrow, when they are making a presentation and you are in the audience, it will be their turn to feel nervous. In actual life, your roles are interchangeable.

The most important thing to remember is that a certain amount of fear while speaking in public is a natural instinct common to everyone. You should not let it stop you.

Your Nervousness Is Too Personal To Be Visible

When you stand in front of your audience nervous and tense, and find them staring at you, don't imagine they are able to observe your sweaty forehead, fast heartbeat and the butterflies in your stomach.

In fact, these sensations are too subjective and personal to be perceptible to the public.

Don't Depend On Your Memory

Most people mistakenly believe that to be on the safe side, they should memorize their entire speech by rote.

The golden rule of public speaking is: say what you want to say, not what you wanted to say. When you memorize a speech, you put words and sentences in sequence; forgetting even a single word or sentence may upset the whole sequence.

Naturally, the very thought of forgetting a word or a sentence frightens you to death. It has been observed that those who overly depend on memorized text become speechless with embarrassment the moment they forget the missing link of a word or sentence.

Therefore, you should only hold a slip of paper in your hand with important points or ideas scribbled on it.

Speak Via Anecdotes

Insert anecdotes in your speech. Whenever you talk from experience rather than memory, you communicate effortlessly and with confidence - but also effectively.

It also gives your audience the impression that you actually understand all the implications and subtle nuances of your subject.

Try the above simple tips while speaking in public; and your fear will gradually melt and catapult your career to great success.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solutions - Six Sigma Online ( http://www.sixsigmaonline.org ) offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

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