Public Speaking: Fear – Avoid Freezing

February 13th, 2009 by Frank Damelio

ice-cubes-nausea-lgIn learning to veil the fear of public speaking, we must address the common fear of freezing.  Here is a simple technique:

Memorize rote your opener and closer.  Why? Research shows that nerves spike in the first few moments of a presentation and in the last few moments.  When nerves spike you are more likely to freeze; so by memorizing, word-for-word, your power opener and power close, you will have more confidence when you need it most.

Clearly if you are using Power Point as a crutch, all you need to do is look up at the slide, but for the more effective presenters who chose not to read from their visuals, keep the following in mind:

1) Freezing to you is simply pausing to them.  Four seconds feels like an eternity for you, but it seems like a respectable pause to the audience.  It feels weak to you, but they interpret it as confidence.  It’s okay to “freeze” to allow your brain to catch up; then move on.  Avoid “Ums and ahs” and any filler. It is counterintuitive that filler makes YOU feel more comfortable, but it makes your audience think you are insecure.

2) Keep in mind that, in most cases, the audience does not know the layout of your presentation; so if you freeze on a point, just move to the next. You can address the missed point later in the presentation without anyone noticing.

3) If you’re using notes, avoid writing in sentence form or, even worse, paragraph form.  For a nervous speaker this can be deadly.  Once you lose your place, your eyes start to race through the text to find where you left off, and the panic snowballs as the seconds tick away.  Bullets in large font ensure that in just a glance you can get right back on track.

Freezing is simply a mind game with one player – you.  By employing the tips above you will be more confident that you will not freeze, which means that you’ll be less likely to freeze in the first place.

There you have it, yet another tip to manage your fear of public speaking.

» Share this entry: bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses to “Public Speaking: Fear – Avoid Freezing”

  1. Target Intellect Blog » Public Speaking: Fear – Nerves and Confidence Says:

    [...] Executive PersonaAchieve SuccessTrade Show StrategyCreating a Winning TeamSales Success « Public Speaking: Fear – Avoid Freezing Public Speaking: Exhibit Confidence [...]

  2. Garden Lighting Says:

    ::~ I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives up to date information :-,

  3. gmat1984 Says:

    Good one. Thanks for this.

  4. Abhi Says:

    Very nice…
    I like it.

Leave a Reply


Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).

Copyright © 2008 Target Intellect. All rights reserved.