The Life and Times of a Public Speaking Trainer Part 3

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‘Taha, is everything ok? Would you like to get some water?’

The Life and Times of a Public Speaking Trainer.

This is the question my English teacher asked me when I coughed more than a few times in the lesson.

Whoever asks you this, the normal response to this is just to say ‘yes, I’ll get some’ or ‘it’s fine’ or any set of words that make sense. But no, not me. I just froze and stared at my teacher. I am not sure what she was thinking but I know what I was thinking – I was thinking nothing. My mind went blank and, with my heart beating faster and faster, it felt like an eternity that no one had spoken. No confidence, no courage, no thoughts, no words.

‘Mm’.

That’s all I produced while shrugging my shoulders. I couldn’t even muster a word. Why was I so nervous? Why did I think the entire class was watching this epic of a conversation? No one cared. No one would benefit from this exchange of words and yet I became so nervous that it destroyed my ability to string words together. Kindly, my teacher moved on with the lesson.

The scene described above highlights one important point for me:

 

The need for anyone to speak in public to any sized audience can arise at any time so better prepared than ill-prepared.

 

I mentioned in the previous chapter that to become an effective speaker, you need to do two things. One, remove the fear of speaking and two, connect well with the audience. I will be focussing first on removing the fear of public speaking with an in-depth look at the topic of fear in the next chapter.

For now, I leave you with two scenarios involving Eliza, our friend who is aspiring to become a brilliant and effective public speaker. What I would like you to do is to think about the scenarios, notice the differences and how they link to the fear of public speaking.

Scenario 1 – 

Between Eliza’s workplace and her home was a side street. It was ok to walk through this side street during the daytime but at night it was a different animal altogether. Eliza, on her way home from a long and hard day’s work, approached the side street.

Eliza edged forward slowly. There was nothing to be afraid of – no one was there but why was her heart beating faster? Why was she getting hot and sweaty? It was as if she was standing in front of the audience and about to speak. Her mind was creating a number of scenarios and her adrenaline levels were escalating rapidly. There was nothing to fear yet she was so anxious. Finally, Eliza reached the end and entered her home.

Scenario 2

Between Eliza’s workplace and her home was a side street. It was ok to walk through this side street during the daytime but at night it was a different animal altogether. Eliza, on her way home from a long and hard day’s work, approached the side street.

Eliza edged forward slowly. It was then, that she saw it.

Eyes. But what she saw next, she couldn’t believe. Whatever it was had whiskers and it was just humongous.

No time to think, Eliza just ran. She glanced back and all she saw behind her was an orange animal with black stripes with menacing teeth. A tiger?! Eliza didn’t care – she just ran for her life. Her heart was beating at a pace it had never beat before. Her adrenaline levels were at an all-time high. She really feared tigers. Ever since the time she went to the zoo and she stared one in the eyes. She frantically put the keys in the door and entered her home. Phew.

 

The question that arises from these scenarios is – do we have a fear of public speaking or do we have an anxiety of public speaking?

Learn the top ten tips on how you can become an effective speaker. Click on the link below to have instant access now.

https://www.youthworknews.com/top-ten-tips-effective-speaking/

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