One way to overcome the fear of public speaking is to assume the worst will happen when you speak…and prepare for it. Here are some of the common fears of speakers and ways to be ready for them.
1. I’ll forget what to say. Practice. Practice. Practice. Use notes as reminders. I prefer using props as reminders. Using the dreaded PowerPoint is a great way to remember what to say next. The slides are great reminders.
2. The technology will fail. Have handouts ready to use. Prepare a version of your talk that doesn’t need any technology.
3. The air conditioning won’t work. That happened to me once. What did I do? I ignored it and went on with my talk.
4. Only three people will show up. It doesn’t matter how many people are in the audience. You owe everyone your best.
5. A snow storm will create havoc with the conference. One speaker I know arrived at a conference a day in advance. A huge snow storm was due the next day. She looked at the list of workshops that were planned and emailed the conference chair with the titles of worships that she could do if the presenter didn’t show up. She ended up doing an additional workshop and was remembered for next year.
6. I won’t have enough handouts. Put your handouts online. Many, if not all, of the members of the audience can pull out their smartphones or tablets and follow along just fine.
The Boy Scouts say, “Be Prepared!” Public speaking requires you to follow their advice.