Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fear of Public Speaking? 3 Vital Questions to Help Smash Your Fear!

By Claire Carpenter

Fear of public speaking is extremely common. If you have been asked to deliver a public speech or give a presentation, spend a few minutes asking yourself the following questions. By answering these questions you will ensure that your speech content is focussed and relevant to your audience.

1. What is the Purpose of My Speech?

Before you begin writing your speech or presentation, you should ask yourself why you have been asked to speak. What knowledge or experience do you have that the event organiser wants you to convey? Be very clear about this, as it is vital in ensuring that your speech content is relevant.

Find out from the organiser exactly what they are looking for. For example, is it a formal business presentation intended to convey some specific information to your audience? Or maybe it is less formal and intended purely as entertainment.

2. Who Is My Audience?

Another crucial question. You must spend the time and find out exactly who your audience are. A fascinating and witty speech to one audience could be dull and confusing to another. Is your audience young or old, are they new to the subject, experienced in their field or complete experts? Will they be there voluntarily or involuntarily? What are their expectations of your speech? What do they want to get out of it?

Your speech should be tailored to suit their interests and expectations. Know what sort of language your audience uses and tailor your own words to match theirs. That way they will feel you are really talking to them.

Try to work out your audience's needs and interests, and tailor your speech to meet these needs. For example, do your audience need to fully understand a new subject by the end of your presentation?

3. What Are My Objectives From The Speech?

If you are clear about this from the outset, it will help you compose your speech in a way that naturally leads to a great result for you.

Of course, you should always be thinking about your audience and focusing on their needs and expectations. But you should have objectives too. It may be to get your audience to sign up to a new program you are offering? Or to entertain and amuse your audience, for example at a wedding? Do you want to provoke thought and discussion amongst your audience? Do you want to inspire or educate your audience?

You may even have a specific call to action at the end of your presentation. Whatever your objective, write it down and keep it in mind when you are writing your speech - you are more likely to achieve it.

By answering these questions your fear of public speaking should lessen and you will have a great foundation to begin writing the content of your speech.

Anyone can deliver a fantastic speech with the right training and preparation. Check out more tips on public speaking at and learn how to deliver your presentation with total confidence and WOW your audience every time!

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