About twenty years ago, I read a fascinating book–The Sir Winston Method–by James Humes. At the time, I was doing a fair amount of public speaking. The book, an exploration of Winston Churchill’s speaking techniques, was apropos.
One practical bit of information I gleaned from this book was this: The way to overcome the fear of public speaking is to know more about your subject than anyone else in the audience.
It is fairly well-known that there are a lot of people in our world who fear getting up in front of people and speaking more than death itself. Fear of humiliation. Fear of unpreparedness. It is quite potent.
I’ve learned that when I do my homework, when I have put myself through the paces, when I own my subject–I am far more unafraid.
Here’s the challenge: Prepare. Put in the time and effort to know your topic. I mean really know it. Anticipate the arguments and objections. Indeed, shoot holes through your subject before anyone else can. Know the weaknesses, the tenuous spots, and strengthen them.
Watch fear dissipate!