Prince Harry has revealed he gets "incredibly nervous" about public speaking and feels very "anxious" facing a room full of people. He made the confession in a YouTube video as part of the #FeelNoShame campaign for World AIDS Day (1st December). In the video (see below), he says:
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Public speaking is not easy. There is the common fear of forgetting what you had planned to say, sounding stupid, or making mistakes in front of the audience.
The Teleprompter was invented to help out with this but, as you will see in the following example, technology could fail you at the very wrong time, leaving you totally lost for words!
Public speaking is one of the most difficult tasks for many people, cutting across barriers of race, region and religion. Perhaps, it is safe to assume that stage fright is one of the few truly common aspects of global society!
This “psychomotor disorder” (as some psychologists like to call it) afflicts more people in the world than malaria and worries more people than poverty!
The nervousness of many men and women in addressing an audience is partly due to a lack of proper elocutionary training. They have no knowledge of the speaking voice and its use, no facility of musical expression, and no idea of what to do with their hands and arms.
People do not come to realise the importance of this kind of training until they have actually tested themselves before an audience — and failed.
In public speaking, there are certain things speakers/presenters do that could damage their credibility in front of the audience. Some of those things are content-oriented and some are speaker-oriented. One of them is apologising to the audience.
To become thoroughly self-confident as a public speaker, you should believe in your own ideas, live them, and advocate them with earnestness and conviction. You will be steadied by the consciousness of being in the right - that you truly know what you’re saying.
The one thing needful in the development of self-confidence in public speaking is practice. In all first efforts, whether it be to write, to swim, or to dance, we have crudeness, uncertainty, and limitations. Similarly, as a beginner in public speaking, you’re on unfamiliar ground, and cannot help being self-conscious.
Jonas Ezeanya is an executive speech coach and presentation expert based in Lagos, Nigeria. Connect with him on LinkedIn.