By Paul Evans
Like most pubic speaking consultants, I usually hammer all the
reasons a person should not be afraid of presenting. However,
the more coaching I do, the more I realize the fear is legit.
People should be afraid of getting in front of a group.
While there is a lot to gain from speaking publicly, there is
also a lot to lose. Here are seven reasons to be scaredÖ
Number One: No skill.
Would you want someone repairing your car that knows nothing
about mechanics? The average speaker receives no training,
takes no classes, and doesnít read one book on presenting. He
or she expects to do an adequate job with no experience.
Number Two: Not Fearing Death
The OLD adage is that public speaking is the #1 fear. If you
would RATHER die than speak, then you donít need to be
If you spillover Niagara Falls walking a tightrope, youíre
going to die and it will all be over. When speaking you wonít
die. Youíll live to face the embarrassment, the whispers, and
the snickers. But youíll still be alive. If you look forward
a Niagara, yet look away from speaking then put on your swim
trunks and stay away from the podium.
Number Three: Failing to Organize.
One of my services is critiquing the outlines of speakers. On
average the format and structure is elementary at best and
confusing at worse. Itís as if the speakerís brain spewed out
on a sheet of paper and left it at that. Organizing does not
take long, nor is it difficult, but only a handful do it
successfully. Without a proper outline the fear is
Number Four: Confusing Writing and Speaking
Writing is formal. People rarely forgive errors in spelling
grammar. From this article Iíll get several people attempting
correct me. However, there is room for error when speaking.
ears are very forgiving and the brain is sharp enough to fill
in the blanks.
Speakers get tripped up when they try to talk like they write.
They become more academic and antiseptic and who wants to
listen to someone like that. How many college professors did
you find hypnotizing? Do you remind yourself of a monotone
bore? Frightening, yes?
Number Five: Trying to Survive.
ďI just want to get through the speech and get it over with.Ē
If that is your attitude then be afraid. Chances are extremely
high that you will not do well. ďSurvivalĒ causes you to do
say things you wouldnít without the duress.
Number Six: Lack of Commitment
This ties into the first point. The majority of speakers do a
single presentation and thatís it. No problem. A book can help
them. On the other hand, there are thousands of monthly, or
even daily presenters who fail to make marked improvement.
You canít take one class and do brain surgery. You canít
one seminar and suddenly become a tax expert. The same with
speaking. One book, class, or course will not create
excellence. To become the best you have to commit yourself to
long term achievement.
Number Seven: The Freeze Factor
Chances are high that you will forget something and freeze
during your speech. Unless you know how to play it off, or use
the moment, you will look uncomfortable, or even stupid.
will talk about it afterwards. They will mention how they felt
sorry for you.
It seems that folks are always looking for ways to be afraid.
Well, you just got seven reasons. The question is: What are
going to do about it?
About The Author: Paul Evans is the executive creator of
Instant Speaking Success. His company has helped over 35,000
speakers avoid the fear and strengthen their skills. If you
just want to survive one speech go to
wwwGreatPublicSpeaking.com If youíre committed to
becoming a speaker visit www.InstantSpeakingSuccess.com
and click the speaking success zone.