If you are an A-type personality, public speaking can be most frustrating for you because of your need to make your delivery perfect. One of the definitions of perfection is to be entirely without fault.
Once you settle on a story, you will want to spend plenty of time with it. Practice a story verbally, over and over again, until you get comfortable with the phrases you use to express your thoughts. Do your words paint the pictures you want your audience to see or create the mood you wish them to experience? Perform it out aloud so you can tell if your story flows and whether your body language solidifies the power of the story. Remember, practice is vital to developing the fundamental presentation skill and public speaking skill of storytelling.
Should you write and use scripts? When should you use notes and how should you prepare them? Can you rely on your memory alone? Should you use audio visual aids?
When I reached my junior year of high school, I made sure I was in Theater. I took on many plays, and sometimes even got the lead role. At the same time, I continued taking on writing. I didn’t like being put into English Honor courses. Why? They really didn’t give me the chance to let go and have fun. Always, always I was stuck writing a term paper on some boring topic, like discussing elements that develop a story’s climax or why this character was developed this was. Blah, blah. Nothing ever really good. And it only got worse when I got to college.
There are social phobias, like that of public speakings. There are acquired phobias. This is when something bad happens to you in your lifetime and you always become afraid of it. Agoraphobia means “fear of the marketplace.” This is the fear you get when you are away from a safe place like home. This phobia is especially strong in women. Women have a hidden fear of rape or being compromised. They feel more secure by staying at home.
Just imagine yourself being able to talk to anyone at anytime, giving them enough information for you to determine if they are looking and if you can help them. All the while not appearing pushy, salesy or unprofessional.
Public speaking, like death, will eventually happen to all of us. Being prepared, knowing your stuff, and being yourself will give you the greatest chance of having a successful outcome. You might even be surprised to find you like it. So the next time someone asks you to give a speech at a wedding…don’t weigh out the options of death or speaking…just go for it and have a great time.