If you still are plagued by fear of public speaking, re-examine your beliefs and rid yourself of the following anxiety-inducing misconceptions:
- “I have to be perfect.” No speech is flawless. Replace unrealistic expectations with a firm commitment to doing the best you can.
- “I will look foolish if I make a mistake.” Don’t forget: Your purpose in speaking is to give your audience something of value, such as information, motivation or inspiration. If you concentrate on meeting your listeners’ needs and focus less on yourself, you will be more effective.
- “I am not good enough.” Stop serving as your own worst critic; that leads you to project a critical attitude onto your audience, and you will act as if your listeners are criticizing your presentation or expecting you to fail. Expect that they want you to succeed, because they do.
— Adapted from “Help for a Shaky Voice,” Susan Berkley, The Voice Coach Newsletter, www.greatvoice.com.
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