Thursday, February 14, 2013

Use Your Fear of Public Speaking to Your Advantage

Even if Our Biggest Fears of Public Speaking Happen, It Still Won’t Cause a Negative Difference in the Effectiveness of Our Message

All Politics aside, Senator Marco Rubio’s response to the President’s State of the Union address should ease the fears of most public speakers. 
The biggest obstacle that most people refuse to hurdle in order to share their valuable viewpoints, ideas, and information is the fear of public speaking. 
Those fears are specifically some of the following:

  •  Not being perfect        
  • Dry mouth
  •  Sweating
  • Red face
  • Being laughed at
  •  Being judged
  • Not being liked
  • Not being approved

Other fears include:
  • White face
  • Hands or knees shaking
  • Feeling sick to your stomach
  • Being stared at
  • etc.

Senator Rubio had the first group of fears happen to him and he is still fine.  He survived, went to work the next day without losing his job, and got invited to be on many TV and radio talk shows.  He raised his profile by getting a lot of attention from the comedians, and questions from the press.  This resulted in more platforms to share his message. 
However, he did not get seriously judged for being nervous.  Nervousness is something all professional speakers can understand.  Even though most in the press brought it up, they (pundits of all political stripes) brushed off his nervousness as not important and not part of the message.

Ironically, Florida Democratic strategist, Steve Schale, said Rubio's water grab didn't hurt him and his initial good-humored response to it could end up being a plus for him.  Schale said Democrats should take Rubio seriously as a potential 2016 presidential candidate.

The audience and the message, tailored to such audience, is where our focus should be, only partially on our performance.  To Senator Rubio’s credit, he did not focus on his performance, it was on his message.  Not once in his presentation did he apologize or bring attention to his sweating and dry mouth.
He will still be asked to speak many, many times in the future as his nerves were not and will not be a determining factor in his speaking ability.  He will be remembered for the water drink and could have handled that with better grace though; but, still it isn’t important in the larger picture.  We still need people like Senator Rubio and all other people such as you in all walks of life to have their voices heard in an effective, clear, and civilized way.

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