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Fear public speaking? Just face it

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

Public speaking is scary for many people, but what if you embrace your fear instead of avoiding it?

Fear can offer an incredible opportunity for change, says Karlin Sloan, author of Smarter, Faster, Better. Here’s what to do:

Before speaking, take note of how you feel. Focus on the feelings of fear, without repressing them. “When we focus on our fears long enough … we deplete their power,” Sloan says.

Consider whether the feeling is a shadow of some previous pain. What’s at the root of your fear? A past experience? Are you afraid you’ll be humiliated?

“What’s the worst that could happen?” she asks. “The truth is, no one ever died just from making a speech.” More likely, this is an opportunity for growth and change.

Sloan advises that we may well achieve our highest levels of performance, potential, and fulfillment by: asking questions, slowing down, and being of service. Take the time you need to prepare your speech and incorporate these ideas into your presentation. That should help you focus on your audience's needs, rather than your own fears.

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