Are you so worried about stage fright that you refrain from speaking in public? Is your desire to do public speaking shackled by the idea that you have to overcome your fears first?

Consider this. Sir Laurence Olivier, one of the great thespians of his time had terrible stage fright before his performances, yet he had a long and highly distinguished and successful career.

The point is, you don't wait 'till you're over stage fright to go and speak, you go and speak realizing that you have stage fright, and frankly, so do many great speakers. Stage fright exists because we believe in the 'worst case situation'; that is, if we get up and speak, the worst thing will happen, whatever that is, and we'll be faced with feeling horrible. Why we feel these things has to do with self-image but let's leave the whys and wherefores out of it now. Knowing why you are afraid will not change anything. Suffice it to say that you have stage fright and let's figure out what you can do IN SPITE OF IT!

I have lectured for years; on cruise ships, on radio, and in front of a TV camera. Did I get rid of my fear? of. Let's just say that I enjoy it more than I'm frightened by it. Part of the solution is being prepared. The more you have rehearsed, the more you have made sure that everything is in it's right place, the more relaxed you can be. If your doing a PowerPoint presentations, for example, make sure you have paper copies of the slides to hand out. Just ask yourself – if this goes wrong what can I do to fix it on the fly?

Let's face it, we know that you probably couldn't name the real cause of the fright if you tried; you just are afraid and that's that. These kinds of fears don't go away on their own, and most of the time you can only diminish them. All you really need to know is the extent of your desire you be a public speaker. Do you really want to do it? Is the idea of it exciting, the fear notwithstanding? Can you imagine how much fun it would be if you weren't afraid? If you can answer in the positive to these questions, then the only solution is...the solution. Get up and speak. Know that you will be nervous, know that you might even look it, (although most people don't), but that won't necessarily detract from a good speech, and people quickly overlook the nervousness, (hell, most of them wouldn't do what you're doing). In time, you feel less and less nervous, and you can revel in a job well done.

Author's Bio: 

Phil Méthot, a Montreal, Canada, author and motivational speaker, has been an avid student of human behaviour most of his life. His book "Through the Door!": A Journey to the self , explores the origins of negative self images in a unique way that allows readers to more easily separate the real self from the 'imposed self'.

An accomplished speaker, and two-time President of Pointe-Claire Toastmasters, Phil is a mentor to more than a few aspiring speakers.