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Why people feel uncomfortable in public speaking

The most common reason for people to feel uncomfortable with their way of communicating is that they use words they don’t believe in.

For all sorts of reasons.

Some speak to professionally designed slides that look beautiful but are out of touch with their personality. The agency just didn’t get them and so it’s out of sync with what they really want to convey.

Others don’t really trust that their story resonates. They are unsure what really matters to their audience. Which translates to their body language so that their audience can’t find trust in their words, either.

Some tend to use an overly formal way of speaking because that’s supposed to be the professional way. It leads to stiff language that’s out of sync with how they feel.

Others lack a feeling of clarity so that they are unsure that their audience gets their point. The least sign of misunderstanding on someone’s face leads them to become even more nervous.

When you don’t really trust in the words you use to have the impact you seek, it shows. Training for better body language is one way to deal with it. But a very tedious one. (And often in vain.)

A much better approach is to take one step back and work on your story. Improve clarity. Work hard to find empathy. Find your own voice. And Brief your partners accordingly.

Finding a story that you trust in yourself so that you speak words you believe in about the things you deeply care about is the best way to feel more comfortable with the way you communicate.

So, the next time you feel uncomfortable speaking up, ask yourself whether you’re about to use words that you truly believe in. If not, work on the words first.

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Picture of Dr. Michael Gerharz

Dr. Michael Gerharz