Who doesn’t feel their heart rate and blood pressure go up before giving a speech? You lie if you say you don’t! We all get a little dry in the throat and begin to sweat before heading out on stage. I used to sweat so much that I now wear nylon undershirts so it doesn’t bleed through.
The symptoms of Glossophobia are having an intense self-doubt prior to having to verbally communicate to a group. Another is when you go out of your way to avoid events where you may be called on to give a talk (hide under the radar?). Finally, intense Glossophobia can lead to nausea, and a real anxiety attack.
So how do you overcome it? If you want to succeed in the world – your platform has to include speaking. Take training courses in public speaking. Join Toastmasters International, POWERtalk International or the Association of Speakers Clubs. The more you are in front of people, the less you will suffer from Glossophobia.
One of the traits of a poor speaker is not accurately planning his or her talk to end on time. It must be remembered that the audience is not on your schedule. As much as you might like the limelight, it’s good to leave on an upbeat note.
If your agreement is to speak for 40-minutes and have 5 for questions, don’t think you are doing them a favor by giving more information as a bonus. 45 and off the stage! Here are some tips to accomplish this:
1. Rehearse then rehearse some more. Don’t assume you can write some notes and “wing” how long it will run.
2. Don’t trust your internal circadian rhythm to sense when your time is up; get a small analog clock and put it on the dais where you can glace at it. Don’t use your watch. The room may be too dark and it looks tacky.
3. If you get bogged down in questions, you still need to finish on time. Reply that “we are short on time, but I can meet you offstage after.” Those that have other engagements will appreciate this.
4. If you are approaching the 40 minute limit with 3 more thoughts to go on your prepared talk – just wrap it up then and end it. The audience will have no clue that you didn’t cover your last slides. Show flexibility and deliver a creative closing.
When you are in a missionary mode and trying to land speaking gigs, it’s easy to lose track of all the little shards of paper with contact info. From the git-go, use an organized method. ACT is one that many use. It’s a robust Customer Relations Management (CRM) package. I did not learn about it until I was well into the speaking world. I had kept all my contacts in a WORD document. Funky, but it works for me. The task of transferring all the contact data overwhelmed me, so I didn’t. Kinda dumb, but the rainy day never came to do this.
When I bought ACT ($269 for basic package) I saw that it was a great organization tools. it would allow you to pinpoint every contact you make with a prospect. You can get reminders to follow up with courtesy emails. This is invaluable to keep you on their radar. Current customers are also able to be followed.
Whatever you chose, do it early in your quest for speaking assignments. I have to use the WORD “find” tool to get to mine.