You will benefit at the beginning of your speech if you free yourself from two misconceptions:

  1. Effective speakers are born, not made; it is hopeless to try being one if you were not gifted with a God-given ability.
  2. For most people, fear and nervousness are impossible to overcome; it is useless to even try.

Let’s take a look at each of these false assumptions.

Are Good Speakers Born and Not Made?

You don’t actually believe this, or you wouldn’t be reading this book. Everyone is born a baby, and babies can’t speak. The “born speaker” myth is an alibi for not attempting. People who believe it simply want to save their face from the disgrace speech blunder may bring. It is a fact that practice makes perfect.

A speaker is one who speaks to others for a reason. When you were two or three years old and first said, “Mommy, I need a glass of water,” you were making a speech. Actually you’ve been making speeches from the time you could talk; the difference is that you didn’t treat it then as what you now dreadfully call “speech.”

You can become a good speaker if you have these tools:

  1. A voice.
  2. Basic language construction: i.e., a working vocabulary and grammar.
  3. Something to say.
  4. A need to express your ideas to others.

You have been using these tools for years. You have been saying something to others, several times everyday, and under these conditions, you call it “conversation.” Conversation is talking to a few. Public speaking is, essentially, talking to a larger group.

Your audience is merely a group of individuals. You can talk easily with one or two individuals. So just think of public speaking as talking to individuals all at the same time – or talking to the group as to one person.

Can You Conquer Fear?

There are three solutions to help you reduce fear and make it work for rather than against you:

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