Personal Development: Conquering Your Fear of Impromptu Speeches

Speaker talking in seminar with many of audiences for business meeting for key success.

I am not a professional public speaker but I recommend that to reduce this fear is to change the way you think about impromptu speaking or speaking of the cuff, follow mental outlines to organize your thoughts (which you can find them below), and trust in yourself and do not listen to your critical inner voice.

The critical inner voice is a well-integrated pattern of destructive thoughts toward ourselves and others. The nagging “voices,” or thoughts, that make up this internalized dialogue are at the root of much of our self-destructive and maladaptive behavior.

The critical inner voice is not an auditory hallucination; it is experienced as thoughts within your head. This stream of destructive thoughts forms an anti-self that discourages individuals from acting in their best interest. —PsychAlive

If you are having difficulty in fighting your critical inner voice then these 5 immediate and easy ways to respond to your inner critic might help. It’s so simple that it may seem unrealistic, but it works. Memorize it and keep it close like a mantra. This was written by Lynn Newman at Tiny Buddha.

She wrote that when your inner critic acts out, say:

1. So what?

So what if you think that? That doesn’t mean it’s true.

2. Who cares?

You think your judgments mean something to me? They don’t!

3. Big deal!

Oh seriously, big deal! Really, big f’n deal!

4. Why not?

Why shouldn’t I do this? You’re telling me I can’t? I won’t? I’m not worthy of it? Why not? I’m going to continue doing this anyway because I can! No matter what you say, I’m going to just keep diving in.

5. What if it doesn’t matter if I am __________________ or not?

Fill in the critic’s judgment here. For example, what if it doesn’t matter if it’s good enough or not? If it’s weird and people might find me strange?

What if it doesn’t matter if it shows my talent and I will be recognized by others for it or not?

And even, “What if it doesn’t matter if it’s beautiful or not, because I’m going to keep giving myself permission to keep on painting anyway no matter what you say!”

Feel how these questions empower you, and whatever you are doing, keep doing it anyway. Keep meeting the dream, the project, your creative expression.

Keep going, forging ahead, building one block at a time.

The inner judge rarely goes away. As long as we have minds, he will continue to find ways to torture us. But we can identify him and say: “I see you, judge!”

When we identify the inner critic like this, we take away his power and regain our own.

Things you need to remember when you speak of the cuff

  1. Keep your remarks brief and to the point.
  2. Don’t apologize as it just detracts from the credibility of your argument: “Well, that’s all I can say” or “Sorry, I didn’t know how much about the subject” or “Hope I didn’t bore you”.
  3. Don’t ramble on. When you find yourself repeating a statement, wrap up and conclude your talk.
  4. Listen carefully to the question.
  5. Try to present sensible, worthwhile ideas that add to the knowledge of others.
  6. You can refute or elaborate on ideas and information already presented by others.

Here Are a Few Mental Outlines to Follow

When You Want Your Listeners to Take Action Use AIDA Outline

  1. Draw their attention to the issue you wish to address;
  2. Create interest by showing how this issue affects them;
  3. Instill a desire in your audience to take action; and
  4. State the action(s) you recommend and call them to join you.

When the Question Asks for Your Opinion Use the PREP Outline

  1. State your point or opinion
  2. Give a reason why you think this way
  3. Illustrate your point with an example
  4. Conclude by re-stating your point

Use SMG Outline When Answering Any Types of Questions

  1. Begin with a story that illustrates the point you want to stress;
  2. State your message or the point you want to make; and
  3. Expand your point with the gain or moral of the theory.

Still Another Outline Is the PPF

Use this when your answer can be framed on a time-line or when you have three points to compare:
  1. Begin with your first point, set in the past
  2. Move on the next point, this time set in the present
  3. Lastly, forecast your point, set in the future

The Two-Point Answer Is the Simplest Outline

Here are some variations:
  1. Before and After
  2. Problem and Solution(s)
  3. Goal(s) and Result(s)
  4. Case and Effect
  5. Advantages and Disadvantages

Your voice matters. Discussions are moderated for civility before being published on the blog. Read my comment policy here.

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