I Already Know, and So Do You

I have been awake since 4am, after not going to sleep until 1. The trigger for this unrest is something I have experienced before. I feel anxious about facing my next audience.

My anxiety stems from being expected to speak on a topic uncommon for my usual addresses.  And since my topic of focus is one uncommon to me, I feel burdened with needing to get more information. How much is enough?


What I forgot is the speaker’s one requirement: Narrow the topic and then relate it to things I am familiar with. This is the key to impromptu presentations and it is the key to the prepared as well.

If I were to recall my own experiences and lessons learned, my preparation would be complete. Dale and Dorothy Carnegie said it best,  “Speak about those things you have earned the right to talk about through experience or study.” These things have to do with our background and lessons in life. So my frustration will shift as I compare the strange with the familiar – in this case, an uncommon topic to my personal experiences.

So many speakers suffer similar anxieties. They over-prepare with information overload. Yet the key to speaking well is to focus our message on just a few key points. Then dig deep based on personal illustrations and audience applications.

Are you speaking sometime soon? After thoughtful review of the topic and your own experiences, you already know what you need to know. Save yourself the restless nights. You can handle your own  preparation anxiety as long as you hone your focus, recall how your own life lessons support the points you are making, and relate to your listeners.

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On February 27th, 2012, posted in: anxiety, preparation, speech by
One Response to I Already Know, and So Do You
  1. Putri.
    Thank you for the compassion and concern in your message. Although my list was written to share my anxiety lesson, it is worthwhile to note your remedies for physical die-ease.

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