Thursday, August 7, 2008


By J.A. Gamache 3rd place Champion in 2001 at
Toastmasters International's World Championship of Public Speaking

Stress before a speech can be avoided by proving to yourself that you deserve the right to speak in front of the group.
So before your presentation, make sure that your intentions are good, that you are competent enough to speak on the subject, and that you did your homework.

Too often we doubt ourselves. Since we're not sure that we deserve to be at the microphone, we get very nervous right before speaking. When this happens, our inner dialogue kicks in, ?
What am I doing here? I have nothing to teach them.
They're more skilled than I am!? and so forth.

Here are a few questions you should answer to erase your doubts and lower your stress ?before the game:?
1- Are your intentions good? Do you want to do good to the people who came to listen to you? Are you convinced that your message is important because it will help many people in the audience? If you have any doubts, you should change the content of your message until you are certain that your speech should be heard.
2- Do you have the qualifications to speak on that subject? It's normal to be nervous when you're an impostor trying to pass yourself off as an expert. Is this the case with you? Maybe you're too hard on yourself. It's not always necessary to have diplomas and ten years of experience to write a lecture on something. Your personal experience may be enough. When in doubt, ask the people around you if, in their opinion, your experiences are worth sharing. The important thing here is not to misrepresent yourself, or else you'll increase your stress, and rightfully so!
3- Did you do your homework? In other words, are you ready? Did you research your subject thoroughly? Did you practice your presentation? If you didn't do your homework, it will be normal for you to be stressed on the day of your presentation. On the other hand, if in all good conscience you know that you did everything in your power to be ready, you'll avoid pointless stress. For your next speech, check the above-mentioned points: make sure you're there for the right reason, you're skilled, and you did your homework. This way you'll stop doubting the legitimacy of your presence on stage and be less nervous on the day of your presentation.

©2008 J.A. Gamache All rights reserved. ---------------------------------
PERMISSION IS GRANTED TO REPRODUCE THIS ARTICLE in whole or in part if a copy of the reproduction is sent to J.A. Gamache at after publication and also provided that the following byline appears along with the reproduction:

This article was reproduced from the "Speaking in public with J.A." FREE electronic magazine, authored by J.A. Gamache, International Inspirational Speaker. To subscribe to his FREE e-zine or to find out more about his presentations, visit ---------------------------------

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Ritchie,

This article sounds very good. But my problem, is that I tend to loose my voice although I do not feel nervous and feel confident. I am eager to find ways to overcome this.