Tips For Young Politicians On Handling Fear Of Speaking

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If you plan on becoming a successful politician, you are going to need to learn how to write an effective speech and speak in public. From raising money to spreading your message and political views, you must master the art of public speaking. Of course, the first step in this process is handling your fears.

Fear of public speaking or stage-fright, is our response to a situation we perceive as stressful. In fact, did you know many politicians struggled with this fear? What you perceive as stressful can be good or bad. Whenever we get stressed, our primeval urge to “fight or flee” kicks in and our bodies produce a rush of adrenalin. It’s this rush of adrenalin that causes the symptoms that we associate with the fear of public speaking. There are lots of proven methods for lowering your stress level and beating this fear so let’s take a look at them.

Preparation and rehearsal

There is a great deal of importance in preparation and rehearsal in order to make your speech flow well and sound natural in the world of politics.
The extra benefit of preparation is that it will calm you down. Knowing that you are well prepared will do wonders for your confidence. Rehearsal and preparation will reduce your fear of public speaking by 75%. Make sure you practice in front of an audience and join a speakers club.

Fighting the symptoms

Our natural response to stress results in some uncomfortable symptoms.

Practice deep breathing to reduce your fear of public speaking by another 15 percent. According to, some of the symptoms many professional speakers face include:

  1. Shaking – your hands shake, your legs feel wobbly, your knees give way.
    Put your notes on the lectern. If you hold them they will amplify your trembling. If you must hold your notes, use 3 by 5 inch cards.
  2. Sweating – your palms sweat, your forehead perspires, your armpits get damp.
    Don’t wear a shirt or blouse that will show the sweat. You may know you are sweating, but nobody else will.
  3. Shallow breathing – you run out of breath and can’t finish your sentences.
    Breath through your nose not your mouth and breath from your diaphragm… so called “Belly Breathing”. Coaches from the Coaching Institute suggest that you learn meditation or yoga as this can greatly help with your breathing.
  4. Heart pounds / palpitations – your heart pounds as though it’s about to explode.
    The audience can’t hear your pounding heart and as you get into your speech it will slow down.
    And don’t worry… it won’t explode.
  5. Dry mouth – your mouth gets dry and it becomes difficult to speak.
    Go easy on the coffee and take a drink of water whilst you are waiting and just before you are announced.
  6. Upset stomach – nuff said.
    Watch what you eat and find out where the nearest loos are.
  7. Memory stops working – you can’t remember the first line of your speech or any of the dates, names or quotations you are going to use in your speech. When we are stressed our memories can let us down so here are a few specific things you can do:
    First line of your speech – if you can only remember one line of your speech, the opening line is the one. Practice this line like crazy.
    “Amateurs practice so they can remember, professionals practice so they can’t forget.”
    Plus, as you put your notes on the lectern, look at that first line….
    Dates and names – make sure they are in your script, highlight them if it helps.
  8. Quotations – don’t even try to remember quotations. Pick up your notes and make it obvious that you are reading it… nothing wrong with that.
  9. Feeling of total panic – you think that whatever symptoms you are feeling will escalate out of control as your speech progresses.
    That doesn’t happen, but you need to give a couple of speeches before you realize it.

The Beginning
The most stressful part of your speech is the beginning. As you get into your speech and start noticing smiling faces and people nodding in agreement, your tension will reduce. All of these symptoms are caused by that pesky old adrenalin preparing you to do a take on a big challenge. A great way to burn off some of that adrenalin is to introduce dynamic gestures and movements into your speech. Take a look at the great political speakers in the world, they use that adrenalin to add dynamism, energy and power to their speeches.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a successful politician will take a great deal of courage and hard work. But if you practice your ability to speak in public, you will quickly see your career flourish.

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