When Your Ease with Public Speaking is Your Enemy

You’re comfortable in front of a crowd. You know you are engaging, maybe even charismatic. You seldom stumble over your words, and you just don’t get nervous. You might even get a few laughs here and there!

This sounds awesome! Why would this be anything but terrific for the people lucky enough to describe themselves this way?

Because people like this often get complacent. They’re not worried that they’ll fall flat in front of the audience, so they don’t prepare as much as they should. They rely on their innate confidence to carry them through.

The primary problem is this: folks who feel comfortable speaking in front of an audience sometimes forget that their comfort is not the measure of their effectiveness. It doesn’t matter how comfortable you are if the message is diluted because you didn’t spend time streamlining it, working to be precise, creating an arc, or making sure that there are stories, examples, and data in your talk. 

If you’re lucky enough to be one of the people for whom public speaking isn’t nerve-racking, use your confidence as the beginning of your preparation, not the end. 

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