A large number of students and other people are desirous of training debates and speeches now what they hope to obtain from it. The prime reason that almost all of them gave was this: they wanted to conquer their nervousness, to be able to think on their feet and to speak with self-confidence and ease before a group of any size.
Its not a blessing
The ability to do this is not difficult to acquire. It is not a gift bestowed by providence on only a few rarely endowed individuals. It is like the ability to play golf: any man or woman, every person can develop his own latent capacity if he has sufficient desire to do so.
Many experienced speakers can think better and talk better when facing a group than they can in conversation with an individual. The presence of the larger number proves to be a stimulus, an inspiration. If you faithfully follow my suggestions, the time may come when that will be your experience, too and you will look forward with positive pleasure to making an address.
You’re not alone
Do not imagine that your case is unusual. Many men who afterward become famous speakers were, at the outset of their careers, beset with self-consciousness and almost paralyzed with audience fright. This was the experience of Bryan, Jean Jaures, Lloyd George, Charles Stewart Parnell, John Bright, Disraeli, Sheridan and a host of others.
No matter how often you speak, you may always experience this self consciousness just before you begin; but in a few seconds after you have gotten on your feet, it will vanish completely.
In order to develop courage and self confidence with rapidity and dispatch, do these four things:
- Start with a strong and persistent desire. Enumerate the benefits this effort to train yourself will bring you. Arouse your enthusiasm for it. Think what it can mean to you financially, socially and in terms of increased influence and leadership. Remember that upon the depth of your desire will depend the swiftness of your progress.
- Prepare, you can’t feel confident unless you know what you are going to say.
- Act confident. “To Feel Brave”, advises Professor William James, “act as if we were brave, use all of our will to that end, and a courage fit will very likely replace the fit of fear.” Teddy Roosevelt confessed that he conquered his fear of grizzly bears, mean horses, and gun-fighters by that method. You can conquer your fear of audiences by taking advantage of this psychological fact.
- Practice. This is the most important point of all. Fear is the result of a lack of confidence; and a lack of confidence is the result of not knowing what you can do; and that is caused by a lack of experience. So get a record of successful experience behind you, and your fear will vanish.
I hope this article proved handy for improving your confidence. If you have any comments and queries, be sure to place them in your comments.
Eager to Write,