Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking

Nervous woman

In a recent interview I conducted with David Coulombe, he mentioned that the number one fear in Canada is public speaking. Does that ring true for you? I have a friend who is so afraid of speaking in public that she doesn’t even want to participate in a training session for fear she’ll have to answer a question in front of the group. 

       Watch my short video interview with David on Delivering Powerful Presentations

When asked why we’re so fearful, David said that one of the reasons is we’re afraid of judgement; afraid of how people will perceive us. But that fear is not usually real, says David. He believes that most of the time the audience actually wants you to do well; they want you to succeed. Presenters can build off that positive energy to overcome their fears, David says, by transferring their nervousness into positive adrenaline.

When teaching people to present effectively, David works with them on the Four Ps: Plan, Prepare, Practice and Perform. The most interesting thing about this formula, and those of other presentation coaches, is that the bulk of the work is done before a person steps on stage. If you have thought through what you want to convey, prepared your presentation well and practiced in front of a mirror or friend, you gain confidence. With increased confidence, you are more able to relax during your presentation. When you are relaxed, you are more likely to be yourself; and when presenting you want to be the best self you can be.

David feels strongly that when people present, they need to be honest. They need to be themselves because an audience responds better when the presenter is being natural.

David Coulombe has more than 15 years presentation skills training and has spent over 20 years in the communication field. During those years he worked as a reporter and on-air radio host at Radio CIMF in Gatineau, Quebec and as a key media relations advisor to the Mayor and Council of the City of Gatineau, Quebec. David is one of the facilitator’s for the OREA Centre for Leadership Development course for association Presidents, Building Leadership through Communication.

Title:  Delivering Powerful Presentations
Featuring:  David Coulombe, Presentation trainer and coach
Length: 5:21 minutes

Check out more video interviews from the OREA Centre for Leadership Development.


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