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Public speaking doesn't scare me unless...


I work with a lot of professionals on their speaking and message development skills.

There's something I hear time after time from people that are typically fearless when presenting to clients or public audiences.

Presenting to colleagues scares the hell out of them.

And it freaks them out. Because many of them haven't felt that fear of speaking in years.

So why now?

We usually know the topic better than our audience does (why else would we be presenting?).

Most of the time.

But when we're presenting to peers, they know more about our topic. They aren't as forgiving of small errors or missing details.

Or at least that is the way it feels. And that can punch the ANXIETY button in our brain.

It doesn't matter who you are. Nobody likes when that happens.

So what to do? Here are some quick thoughts:

  • Realize it's not just you. It's the context of the situation. And most people experience anxiety when they present.

  • Watch and read the amazing work from Amy Cuddy... and then practice your power pose.

  • Recognize your anxiety will start dropping once you start speaking. You just need to get through the first few minutes until you hit your groove. So practice, practice, practice your opening to the point you feel you could do it in your sleep. And have your notes (not a script) ready as a guide.

I get that this is little consolation when you're in the middle of an anxiety fog. But being prepared helps.

Of course there are more tips that help. Let me know if you want to discuss further.

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