Experiencing elements of panic
And even with all of that, with all of that experience and performing in front of literally thousands of people at a time, I have frequently experienced some elements of that panic – particularly talking too fast.
So don’t feel bad if you choked up when you had to give the best man’s speech at your brother’s wedding, or if you stumbled and mumbled when you were giving a committee report to the PTA. You’re human.
Solutions to this problem are often as scary as the problem itself. Some say you should imagine the audience is naked.
That could be scarier than anything, depending on the audience – or worse, totally distracting and having some desirable audience members in the front row could ruin you. Some say you should focus on specific people in your audience – that can be disconcerting to the individuals you are staring at, and others in the room can feel ignored.
Then there is simply repetition.
That’s what groups like Toastmasters are for – doing it over and over again in front of people who share your anxieties. I have seen this work for some people I know, but for others sharing anxieties can exacerbate them.
Let’s all get scared together and share a great big panic attack.
If you want to get ahead in a business organization (like your industry group), a social group (like the Rotary Club), something close to home (like the PTA) or something bigger (like political groups), being able to express yourself is important.
So how do you do this?
In part two of Overcoming the Dread of Public Speaking I’ll share 13 practical best practices for public speaking.
About the author
Carlos E. Garcia, born to Mexican immigrant parents, grew up in East Los Angeles and attended Pomona College, UC Berkeley and National University (BA, MA and MBA respectively). He has over thirty years of experience in the field of US Hispanic consumer research, twenty one years at the helm of his own company, Garcia Research. Most recently SVP at GfK: Knowledge Networks, where he headed up their Hispanic research efforts. He's gone full circle and now back at the helm of Garcia Research, a Hispanic market and Multicultural-focused research firm.Website