Public Speaking! Oh you monstrous demon the sends men and women to their own personal hell; how shall we smote thee!

Smokers know that they have a 50/50 chance of dying a horrible death from doing it yet fearlessly light up. Some people drink and drive, knowing yet again that the chances of getting into an accident is greatly increased, yet there is no fear there either. But ask them to give a speech and for some, the fear of public speaking reduces them to a quivering cornered mouse.

We are talking about opening your mouth and speaking aren't we? Something that when you were a young child we couldn't stop you from doing even if we tried. Then, you said what you meant to anyone who would listen, and, even if they tried not to listen.

Something happened. Somewhere along the line we learned that great dangers await the unwary speaker how would dare venture to the front of a room or on a stage to give voice to ideas that are stirring within. The facts to the contrary don't dissuade us one iota from our feeling of dread, and so the monster keeps us holed up in our inner sanctum, safe from injury, but stymied and stunted and mute.

I remember the first time I was supposed to give a speech. It was grade eight. I really wanted to do it, I thought, and I prepared for it, but as the time came to give it, I suddenly felt ill, and of course you can't give a speech when your ill can you? I had made myself sick, and although it saved me from the demon, my sense of shame at quitting was and even greater injury.

Some years later, I was asked by a local radio station to come in and do a talk on dreams, something that I put quite some study in. I said yes so fast because I knew that if I didn't I would never forgive myself. Was I nervous? You bet your a** I was! My mouth was so dry, that I spoke like someone who sucked on a Novocaine sponge. My tongue felt like it didn't fit in my mouth. Yet, I survived.

I felt so proud of myself for facing my fear, that when another radio station asked me to talk there, I did it to, and may I say without the same intensity as before. To get to the point, some months later, a radio station in Niagara Falls, Ontario, asked me if I would like to do a weekly phone-in show on dream analysis. This I did for two years, with an audience from Toronto to New York City. Check the map, it's a big area.

Today, I coach speakers, individually and companies want me to show their people how to make better presentations. I discovered that the demon, was a puff of smoke made real by some overzealous protective mechanism in my head, that somehow was fed the wrong information. I've since convinced it to stand down and trust me.

I offer you a free little multimedia book that I created as an onscreen book with turning pages, embedded with video and audio to give you some pointers at 10 things you need to know to be a great speaker. You can get it here:

10 Steps to Great Public Speaking

If public speaking is what you really want to do, don't wait for the fear to go away first, or you will never do it. The fear is lying. The Surgeon General has certified Public Speaking as non-toxic, but perhaps habit forming. Get past the fear and give yourself permission to tell the world what is in your heart to say.

Author's Bio: 

Phil L. Méthot is a Montreal area motivational speaker and author. Besides his multimedia book on public speaking, he is also the author of Through the Door!" :A Journey to the Self , an impressive book that provides keys to understanding the nature and processes of negative self images, and how we can conquer these debilitating feelings that would keep us from the life we long to live.