Public Speaking is A Public Domain

Public SpeakingPublic Speaking is an art. But is this art the prerogative of a selected few? No art is confined to be pursued by a specific population and public speaking is no exception. But most people today have inhibitions and social phobias about public speaking.


The prospect of talking to an audience frightens them. And surprisingly it is not the lack of knowledge on a topic that gives them goose bums.


To get rid of weeds, they must be removed from the roots. Thus it is important to understand the cause of this anxiety and fear of public speaking before taking corrective measures. Bertrand Russell said, “To conquer fear is the beginning of success”. We can conveniently talk about something standing in a group but speaking at a public speaking seminar, giving a business or financial presentation, going up on that dais, a little higher than others and trying to speak the same thing gives our heart palpitations.

Is this a reflection of lack of self-worth or the fear of being laughed at? We do not consider ourselves confident enough to make others listen to us. But the fact that others have gathered in large numbers to hear you, shows their confidence in you. They are ready to buy your credibility and take your word. They have faith in your professional speaking skills. Why have low self esteem in your own eyes?

The origin of this anxiety and fear of public speaking could be in our childhood. As a child we probably experienced being spoofed at by others at our first encounter on stage. Those teasing giggles and mocking faces might have left lasting imprints on our mind and even after 10, 20 or 30 years and stop us from facing the audience due to stage fright .. But in these years, we have changed and so has the audience. They are mature people, as human as we as are, who may not give us brownie points for our slight goof up but will also not underscore us.

But there is a set of people who never got or took the opportunity to speak publicly ever since their childhood. They never really faced approval or condemnation. It is not a bad encounter but lack of encounter that makes them unsure of themselves. But as we grow there will be unavoidable situations where we will have to talk to an audience, while giving a sales training presentation, speaking at a seminar , presiding over a meeting or else where. With passing time we developed a strong pre-conceived notion that we are not meant to be on stage and address the public .. A negative presumptuous outcome of an event is the worst thing you can do to yourself.

There is a pithy, “If you can’t convince them, confuse them”. This might work well in a classroom or a parliamentary debate but not when people come with anticipation to hear you. A great writer says, “Listeners are beggars, they expect something when they come to listen.” But it is not necessary that the audience may agree completely to your point of view. Even they are thinking individuals with their own opinions. But the disagreement with your ideas should not cow you down from voicing it at all. How well you send the message is in your hands, but how well it is received is not your domain.


There is also an envious psychology that comes into play when we are diffident while others speak up. Take for example, in a classroom when a teacher asks a certain question or to express a view on current affairs, we seem to know the answer or have a point but keep quiet while the other person stands up to say the same thing and receive a pat on the shoulder. There is a kind of jealousy that we feel because we could have been the recipient of the teacher’s pat instead our peer but for our tendency to self-doubt. The worst fear that can happen on putting our point forward is that others might find it wrong. In fact there is nothing right or wrong. There are only different points of view.

According to “Dale Carnegie” Public speaking is the most dynamic way of communication. You can send your message to millions in the world with one hypnotic public address. Do you note the TV anchors, news and current affairs and talk show presenters, Paralegal speakers who have become the professional public speakers .They are advised to even treat the camera as a person while facing it so that they can express humanly.

We all wish to be that orator, who confidently goes up on the podium, gives that charismatic smile, delivers the most influential public speech and leaves his audience spellbound. So what is stopping us from living this desire? Hitler is long gone and even under Saddam Hussein’s regime such acts of public speaking were not banned. But there is a negative perpetrator sitting inside us.

The vision of applauding audience is very motivating but our anxiety of failure and fear of rejection leave us with sweaty hands and dry mouth and shaking legs . To uproot this negative force self confidence is the most dominant player. It is not a question of ability. Public speaking is not some special talent with which specific people are born. It is only about sending your voice across with affirmation and believing in your words, each gesture cutting through their eyes.

Even Sir Winston Churchill had to make a very courageous effort while making his first public address.

Demosthenes said, “What we wish, that we readily believe”. But we have a contradictory approach. We wish to be influencing people, looking right into the audience’s eyes and captivating them with our voluble and articulate talk. But despite this longing we do not believe in our potential to achieve it. There is no external cure for self-doubt and there is no bigger handicap than it. Doubts are traitors and immediately remove them.

Abilities are within you, confidence is for you and with this, belief in you will come on its own from others. Give others the privilege and opportunity of hearing you far and wide.

TIPS: 1. Read your news paper and books louder.

2. Use Deep Breathing – Belly Breathing

3. Practice confidently in front of the mirror and appreciate your self.

4. Recommend visit Wendi Friesen.

Author: admin