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Why Your 2014 New Year’s Resolution Should NOT Be Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking


Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking

by Kelly Vandever

It might sound strange coming from a presentation coach… but if you have decided that “overcoming the fear of public speaking” as your New Year’s Resolution for 2014, I argue that you should reconsider.

What?  Have you gone crazy, Kelly?!

Well maybe.  But I think, if you have a fear of public speaking, instead of concentrating on yourself and your fear, I encourage you to set your resolution to… “Serve My Audience.”   Here’s how.

Shift the Focus

If you are asked to speak, it is because you have something of value to say.  Concentrate on answering the question, “What can I tell this audience that will be beneficial to them?”  Then focus your energies on providing the information that will make them grateful for having spent their time with you.

Arrange in a Logic Format

Once you’ve decided on the information that will provide value, think about what it was like not to know this information.  How can you arrange the information in a logical manner that will help the listener follow along?  Sometimes that may be to order the information sequentially.  Other times, you might just break the content into smaller chunks, then explain how the chunks of information relate to the bigger picture.  Help your audience learn in a manner that make sense to them as the relative newbie to the information.

Add Interest

Add engagement to your presentation by including some personal touches to your presentation.  Tell the story of how you came to be interested in the topic or when you discovered the importance in your life.  Give the audience members time to discuss in pairs or small groups how they could apply what they’ve learned back into their lives.  Allow them to ask questions as you go along.   If you give the audience a chance to connect with your material, you’ll truly be serving them.

Alternative New Year’s Resolution:  Serve My Audience

If you make your new year’s resolution to serve your audience, what you’ll find is that by concentrating on doing a good job for them, your fears will subside and your confidence will grow.  Serve your audience and we’ll all have a better 2014!





Kelly Vandever is a leadership and communications expert who helps leaders and organizations thrive in today’s attention-deficit, entertain-me-now, wait-while-I-post-that-on-Facebook world.   Connect with Kelly and discover how opening up and speaking practically can bring you better business results. 

Contact Kelly by phone at 770-597-1108, email her or tweet her @KellyVandever.