Did you know that is the number one fear of all people?
I'm right in there with the majority on this. Those eyes, all those eyes focused on me, waiting to hear my mistakes, my stumbling words--worse, watching when I freeze up and brain goes dead. As in can't think of a thing to say.
Well, they say there's a cure for all that. I guess for the Christian, it's knowing God is wanting you to speak, is placing on your heart the thought you will speak about. When you know you have God's blessing, you can proceed with confidence. Not that your knees will automatically quit knocking, or that you'll not mess up. BUT you will do it and God will bless your words. He won't allow His words--through you--to return void.
Here's some hints on helping us:
* First thing, be fully prepared. Research, study, and read up on your topic. Make notes. Familize yourself with your subject, practice and revise until you are confident you know it inside and out.
* Do some breathing exercises. They really do help. Breathe in slowly, hold it for a few seconds, exhale. Do this several times. You will feel more relaxed and confident.
* You know God wants this, you've prepared and practiced. Now visualize yourself as confident and assured. This is an interesting topic, something others want to hear. They want you to succeed. You can do this.
* Use good posture, sit or stand straight, don't fiddle with your hands, hair, or use other nervous habits. Look people in the eye, look slowly around the room. Modulate your voice to keep things interesting.
* Decide if you want to use cue cards, powerpoint or an overhead projector. Practice with these mediums.
* And remember that the more you speak, the more confidence you'll gain.
Three things to remember: Get into the subject, get the subject into yourself, get the subject into your audience. When you can do this, you've become a public speaker.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is also your tip of the day for all you ministers' wives. I know, because I've had the experience, that sometime or other, you'll be speaking, whether to two or three or a group of thirty. Get ready.
And your quote for this Thursday:
Where the soul is full of peace and joy, outward surroundings and circumstances are of comparatively little account. -- Hannah Whitall Smith