Identifying a problem takes great effort, finding a solution to combat the problem takes double the effort. Public speaking has never been easy but it has always been necessary. However, public speaking has become a real problem especially in countries like the United States of America where the fear of public speaking ranks among the top fears of Americans, surpassing even the fear of death and illness. The situation may be similar in other parts of the world since glossophobia (the fear of public speaking) is known to affect around 75% of the population throughout the globe.
Combat Your Fear with Mind Mapping
Any fearful thought that is born in our mind can be combated by being replaced with other thoughts as we start focusing on solutions and not on problems. There are different strategies, which we can use in order to identify our fearful thoughts and then develop solutions to combat them. One of the best strategies for overcoming the fear of public speaking is mind mapping.
Mind mapping is a powerful technique for visualizing and analyzing our thoughts as well as thinking patterns. Like any creative thinking technique, mind mapping requires practice but its benefits are long lasting and its results are immediate.
Mind mapping steps to improve public speaking
1. Brainstorm possible topics you want to talk about or present in front of your audience
2. Select the topics you are most passionate about
3. Identify your target group
4. Select the topic most relevant for the audience you are addressing
5. Break down the topic into smaller parts focusing on key words.
Choose the focus of your speech:
Words are image carriers and powerful tools that can build someone up or tear them down. For this very reason, the way you tailor your speech will dictate the final impact it will have on your audience.
Ask yourself the following questions in order to check the focus of your speech:
1. Is my speech relevant for this target group or audience?
2. Is my speech interesting enough to raise interest?
3. Is my speech useful for this target group?
4. Does my speech provide practical solutions that can be applied by other people?
Dress your message adequately:
– using the right tone of your voice that best suits the content of your message
– practicing out loud every single detail of your speech, especially the parts you want to emphasized
so that your audience will remember them
– selecting the right props for your speech, which refers to adding images or videos that should be
used as visual support not as distraction for the target group in order to have a better
understanding of the message
– choosing the right way to deliver your speech and back it up with: presentations or outlines created
with a mind mapping software like Mindomo.
Finally, you can’t go wrong when:
1. You share your experience
2. You are passionate about what you are sharing
3. You are knowledgeable about the topic
4. You make your topic relevant for your audience
The more your experience matches the level of authority that you have gained throughout the years, the more likely it is that you have an audience which is already waiting to listen to you. Once the level of trust has been established between the two (the speaker and the audience), the relationship needs to be nourished and maintained at the same level of transparency and honesty, which it was first built on. Ultimately, trust is the only way we can remain true to ourselves, true to our message and to our audience… and the only way our fears can be completely drifted away.
This is a guest post. Naomi Mihut is a Copywriter and Client Relations Manager at Mindomo. “Creativity is the gift that doesn’t have to be wrapped up in luxurious paper but has to be shared with others to make it valuable.”