Top 4 Public Speaking Tips from a Psychotherapist
By Peter Field

The fear of public speaking is considered
to be the most common fear in both the
USA and the UK today.  

Here are my top tips for successfully speaking in front of others:

1. Do not look at yourself as 'a public speaker'. See yourself as yourself. And you are
plenty good enough.

There is no better way to approach any audience than to imagine that you are talking
to a good friend, someone who is on your side. After all, don't we do that all of the
time -- without feeling nervous about it.

Seeing your audience as a mass of opponents or as a panel of judges is not only unfair
to everyone in your audience, it's plainly incorrect.

People are there because they want to listen to what you have to say. In truth, people
really do want you to do well. In fact, most people are already on your side before you
even begin to speak.

2. You do NOT need to be a born speaker, a natural orator or a brilliant wit in order
to do well.

Your audience is not expecting absolute perfection. In fact, it's perfectly all right to
make mistakes, slip up, or to not cover all of the points you had planned.

The fact is that if you don't have enough time to cover all your planned points, then
you very probably had too many points planned. (See item number 3, below.)

The most essential and important thing in becoming a good public speaker and in
delivering a good talk is to give your audience something to take away with them.

This could be a piece of information, a thought or two, an idea for them mull over or a
different perspective to ponder.

3. You do NOT need a whole list of points to cover.

A common, but easily made mistake of the inexperienced public speaker is trying to
cram in too many different points. Regardless of what you may have begun by
believing, when it comes to speaking in front of an audience and holding that
audience's attention, less truly is more.

In fact, the very best public speakers that I have heard have usually restricted
themselves to just a couple of main points. That's really all it takes.

Choose just a couple of points and talk passionately and with conviction about them.

By all means include facts, and essential statistics, but go easy on these. Nothing is
guaranteed to bore an audience more than have a string of facts and statistics quoted at

Few people will actually remember these things, anyway. Yet if you insist on
including too many, the thing your audience will remember is that they were simply

Your audience has a need. They need to leave feeling that they have something to take
away with them that they didn't have before they heard you talk. That could be an
interesting perspective, or just a feeling.

4. Expect to give -- NOT to get.

When you are asked to talk to an audience it's because someone believes you have
something to say and wants you to share that something with others.

You haven't been invited to talk so that your ego can be stroked, or to become rich and
famous, or to have your insecurities placated.

Of course, these things just might arrive, in one degree or another, but that will happen
as a by-product of your talk; they are certainly not the reason why your audience is

They are there to listen to what you have to say. That's it.

Make good and sure that you yourself are really interested in your topic and in what
you are talking about. This will give you the energy and the passion which can so
easily be transmitted to others.

Your audience will love you if you simply and passionately share your interest with it.

If, despite following these tips you are still left struggling with your fear, then it may
be because of a past experience or experiences that have 'programmed' you to feel
anxious when talking in front of others.

If this is the case and you really are determined to let go of this fear, then find an
experienced transformational hypnotherapist to work with you and in a brief period of
time, he or she will help you to move on and become that really confident speaker that
you were born to be.

About the author: Peter Field is a leading British hypno-psychotherapist, with clinics in
Birmingham and London, England. He is the author of numerous articles on psychotherapy,
hypnosis and health; a Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy,
and Fellow of the Royal Society of Health. For more of his interesting articles and other helpful
information, visit his website:  
Peter Field Hypnotherapy.

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