7 steps to overcoming your fear of public speaking

It’s quite bizarre that public speaking is such a terrifying thing. Most of the other fears we suffer are rational because they’re dangerous and should probably be avoided like death, heights, and cats. Speaking to groups is a strange fear because it is something that, when done well, will improve almost every aspect of your life. A great speaker will always be destined for greater successes (personal, romantic and professional) when compared with someone who doesn’t speak to groups at all.

So, stop being scared! If you wait until you’re not, you never will.

Here are some tips to overcome your fear of public speaking.

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Is NLP pseudoscientific baloney or an effective tool for personal development?

Neuro-Linguistic Programming is often the subject of heated debate between believers, critics and crazies. Much like every conversation on the ‘net, it usually disintegrates into screaming insults and ad hominem attacks, which is great fun to read, so let’s get another one started.

What is the definition of NLP?

Cogs are turning: Did he take too much off the back?

“Neuro-Linguistic Programming n. a model of interpersonal communication chiefly concerned with the relationship between successful patterns of behaviour and the subjective experiences (esp. patterns of thought) underlying them; a system of alternative therapy based on this which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication, and to change their patterns of mental and emotional behaviour.” – [Oxford English Dictionary]

NLP could be described the application of the placebo effect. It involves doing whatever you can to make a person believe they’re going to change, and as such relies heavily upon your combined preconceptions. It uses some cunning quirks of language and exploits behavioural patterns to deepen a person’s responsiveness to suggestion. Really, it’s a model for learning.

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Can you learn confidence?

I’ve taken to calling what I do ‘Speech and Confidence Training’ – because when I said ‘voice coach’, people thought I taught people how to sing, and if anyone’s ever heard me sing they’d know that causes a few eyebrows to raise. But the new claim – that I train speech and confidence, also begs a few questions:

“Can you train confidence?”

Yes, I think you can. Well, actually, I don’t know if you can. I think I can.

Many people adhere to an established wisdom: Confidence is something that some people just have, and other people lack. That you can’t learn it any more than you can learn to have brown hair or to be taller.

Bollocks.

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