Focus on the message, not the medium, when public speaking

Got butterflies? Then focus on the information you want to convey rather than on yourself

Greg-Gazin-digitallyspeakinEDMONTON, AB, Aug 27, 2013/ Troy Media/ – Speaking to employees, vendors, customers or even the general public is not easy. In fact, public speaking can cause havoc to our systems.

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld once said. “According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two . . . this means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

Scary, isn’t it? When speaking publicly, we lack confidence; we feel our stomachs churning, chests thumping and hearts fluttering like it’s the end of the world.

Although there are many remedies for curing the butterfly jitters, one stands out above the rest: “Focus on the message and not the medium”.

This is not meant to be profound or philosophical. Quite simply, the message is the information you want to convey to the audience and the medium is you. If you make the effort to focus on what you are saying and who you are saying it to, instead of focusing on yourself, those butterflies will just fly away.

Here’s an example of how it works. Do you like cold calling? Many people don’t and avoid it as much as they do public speaking through the fear they feel – which thus leads to the butterflies.

For example, let’s say there was a local disaster and you have been charged with calling potential donors in search of funds to help those affected. Now you’ve never done it before and you’re scared stiff.

But if you remember to just focus on the message by saying to yourself “My efforts will make a difference between these devastated families having food and shelter and being left stranded helpless and out in the cold,” you will find it is both easier to do and much more satisfying.

You’ll be absolutely amazed at how you will easily find the energy to make the calls and say just the right words. The need to help others and the satisfaction of your accomplishment will be so great that the last thing you’ll think about are those dreaded butterflies. You might even begin to enjoy cold calling.

Senior Editor Greg Gazin is a Veteran Tech Columnist and Small Business and Technology Speaker. Greg is also a Distinguished Toastmaster, a Past Toastmasters District Governor and an 11-year member of the New Entrepreneurs Toastmasters. He can be reached at Gadgetguy.CA on Twitter @gadgetgreg or you can find him on Empire Avenue at(e)GADGET1Why not book Greg to speak at your next event? You can contact him at

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