August 30, 2005 Present Like A Pro Newsletter
Inspiring You to Discover, Develop, & Delight in Your Strengths
Welcome fellow speaker! This weekly newsletter from Present Like A Pro is here to provide you with on-going tips and inspiration as you develop your skills as a speaker. In every issue are practical tools that you can use in your very next presentation.

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This edition: 1009 words; 2-3 minute read

Your Speech Is Cancelled
by Sara Schaffer   And Other Ways to Overcome The Fear of Speaking
You may have heard it said that people's number one fear is public speaking. Our second greatest fear is death. So, as Jerry Seinfeld once put it, "Death is number two. Now, this means to the average person, if you have to go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy."

If that quote rings true for you, the email that says "your speech is cancelled" might be music to your ears. Fortunately, there are also other ways to deal with your anxiety. Here are 4 tips to overcome your fear of public speaking and Present Like A Pro.

1) Breathe. As soon as we get nervous, we begin to breathe shallowly and less efficiently. When you start to feel anxious, take a few deep breaths. Then, inhale slowly for a count of four and exhale slowly for a count of four. You can do this for longer counts up to six or eight.

2) Stand tall. When you get up to talk, stand with great posture - shoulders back and down, head high, and feet securely holding you by being about shoulder-width apart. Put confidence into your stance, and you will give yourself and your listeners an immediate sense of reassurance.

3) Clarify your stress. Consider what is making you the most anxious. People's reactions? How articulate you are? The number of people that are in the audience? Examine the source of your speaking anxiety to help you confront your fear.

4) Define success. Our expectations can unconsciously make us anxious. Clearly define the objectives you have for your presentations. Make your goals realistic. Also, consider what will happen if you do or don't get the results you desire.


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Above all, keep in mind that your listeners want to hear what you have to say. We all may encounter a hostile crowd now and then (see below), but more often than not, audiences want you to do well. Find a friendly face, take a deep breath, smile and go for it!

The more you speak, the more confidence you will develop. As you repeatedly face the challenge of speaking in front of a group, you will find yourself becoming more polished, more self-assured, and maybe even disappointed if they cancel your speech! Apply these few simple tips to help you overcome your fear of speaking, and you will Present Like A Pro!

(Not) Talking Back
  The Secret to Handling A Hostile Audience
Recently in a presentation skills seminar I was asked what one should do when an audience becomes hostile. To adequately address the question, I began a discussion with the seminar participants. We agreed that our first instinct in any confrontation is to get defensive and to try to figure out why we are being opposed.

We also initially tend to feel emotions of frustration and anxiety.

The class consented that these same emotions and questions come up when someone starts heckling us during a presentation. So what is the secret to handling a hostile audience? It is the answer to overcoming any power struggle: don't engage. Let it go.

There can be no tug-of-war if you do not allow yourself to pick up the other side of the rope.

When I told this to the class, one gentleman remarked how he had seen a speaker who let a heckler talk, and then proceeded with his presentation as though no one had interrupted him. Soon the extra commentary stopped because it was having no effect.

If you find yourself in a difficult situation with a hostile audience, keep in mind that you can best diffuse it by not talking back. Push through any frustration or other emotions that you may start to feel, and realize that it's okay to just let your contrary commentators be. With no one listening, they will most likely stop speaking.

NEW Teleseminar! NEW Online Store!
NEW! Don't miss the exciting teleseminar on How to Capture and Keep Your Audience's Attention. Sign up for the training package that is right for you by clicking here! Hurry - class size is limited and registration closes September 9th!

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Special Offers
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Need A Speaker? In addition to presentation coaching, Sara regularly speaks to corporate and community groups. Whether you are looking for something educational, motivational or inspirational, she will add humor and depth to your next special event. For booking information, contact Sara today at: 303-818-2509 or

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