If you have ever been at a conference and you are suddenly, without a plan, asked to speak in front of the audience, you will probably have felt the crippling fear of public speaking. Some people speak to large crowds on a regular basis, and whilst they appear to make this look easy, they will all have had some skill training, such as the Train The Trainer Courses that are available from places like the College of Public Speaking. However, there are some situations that can lead to this fear being more intense, and these can include the following:
Lack of experience – if you have no public speaking skills or you lack knowledge on the subject that you are asking to speak about, this will heighten any pre-existing levels of anxiety and fear. Preparation can often be key to overcoming fear, and this means practising your speaking skills and knowing your subject well.
Status – if you are relatively new to the public speaking arena and you find yourself booked onto a conference with some of the great speakers of our time, you may find yourself feeling more anxious than normal. Take a deep breath and remember that everyone has to start where you are at some point, and most people will be more than happy to give you some advice on how they conquered their fear of speaking.