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5 Important Life Lessons We Can Learn From Lance Armstrong’s Doping Scandal

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5 Important Life Lessons We Can Learn From Lance Armstrong’s Doping Scandal

For the full original unedited article, visit Celestine’s blog, Personal Excellence.

In one of the biggest scandals ever uncovered in sports history, Lance Armstrong came clean about his use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) throughout much of his professional cycling career last Thursday (January 17) in a two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

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    Lance Armstrong–Oprah Winfrey Interview: Key Highlights

    I didn’t catch the interview when it was broadcast on TV. I only knew about the interview after it was over, when my friend Karl told me about it over brunch. It didn’t take long for me to locate the full interview online though.

    (Watch them as soon as you can. OWN has been getting YouTube to delete the full interviews, so they might not even be online by the time you see this.)

    Below is a video of the interview highlights (special thanks to Telegraph). Watch up to 0:50 to get up to speed on the lies he had fabricated and successfully shielded for a good 14 years (1996–2010) before former teammates such as George HincapieFrankie Andreu, and Tyler Hamilton began speaking out against him starting 2010 and United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) launched an investigation of him and charged him with doping in June 2012. He then confessed about his PED usage for the first time on this Oprah exclusive.

    Lance Armstrong: From Mythic Figure to Disgraced “Liar”, “Cheater”, and “Bully”

    If you don’t know who Lance Armstrong is, he was a seven-time Tour de France (one of the most prestigious cycling races in the world) winner, cancer survivor, and founder of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a nonprofit organization to support cancer survivors.

    I had previously featured his Nike commercial of him speaking out about his cancer as one of the 15 most amazing commercials that will inspire the greatest in you (#15 on the list).

    After USADA issued an official doping charge at Lance Armstrong in June 2012 (here’s USADA’s 202-page report with full-fledged evidence that supports their charge), Cycling’s ruling body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), stripped Lance of all his seven Tour de France titles and issued him a lifetime ban from elite competition.

    His sponsors like RadioShack, Nike, Trek, Oakley, Giro, 24-Hour Fitness and Anheuser-Busch dropped him within one and a half days—a $75 million loss.

    Lance’s foundation was renamed Livestrong Foundation and he resigned as its chairman, in what he referred to as his most “humbling moment”. Lance had regarded his foundation as his sixth child. (He has five children: three with his ex-wife Kristin Richard, and two with his current girlfriend Anna Hansen.)

    5 Life Lessons We Can Learn from Lance Armstrong’s Doping Scandal

    This post isn’t to berate Lance Armstrong or debate about the morality behind his past actions.

    He was definitely wrong for using performance-enhancing drugs (PED) during his career and unfairly winning the Tour de France titles with the help of said drugs.

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    He has definitely betrayed the trust of fans around the world, friends, family members, and business associates with the lies he had fabricated and so vehemently concealed for over a decade.

    There’s also no denying that he crossed the line big time when he insulted, sued, and issued personal threats at investigators, former teammates, and their family members who spoke out against him, under moral and legal obligations no less, having been sworn under oath.

    I’ve created this case study to distill life lessons we can pick up from Lance Armstrong’s fascinating, over decade-long doping scandal. Scandals will come and go (think: Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Jack Neo, Bill Clinton—no one talks about their past scandals today, with the exception of Tiger Wood’s case since it’s still in recent memory), but the biggest question is this: Beyond flagging the scorned personalities and berating them for things they cannot undo, what can we learn from these scandals as human beings, such that we will never commit these “mistakes” nor inflict the same harm to people around us?

    Here are five life lessons I have picked up from the Lance Armstrong saga:

    1. Have a Set of Values that Guides You in Life, so You Will Never “Lose Your Way”

    • Lance: When I was diagnosed, I was a better human being after that. […] And then I lost my way.
    • Oprah: You lost your way.
    • Lance: […] it’s easier to say I feel different, I feel smarter, I feel like a better man today. But I can’t lose my way again. And only I can control that. I’m in no position to make promises; I’m going to slip up every now and then. But that’s the biggest challenge for the rest of my life—is to not slip up againAnd to not lose sight of what I got to do.

    Lance Armstrong spoke of the various atrocities he committed over the 16 years (1996–2012) to protect his mythic image of being that man who overcame all odds to beat cancer and proceeded to conquer seven Tours de France. He used PEDs, cheated through his bike races, lied about it (including under oath in a 2005 SCA deposition, which meant he committed perjury), bullied people who tried to come clean, and betrayed the trust of people who believed in him.

    Lance Armstrong as a Bully

    • Oprah: Were you a bully?
    • Lance: *stumped look, followed by an awkward laugh, before finally acceding with a nod* … Yeah, yeah. I was a bully.
    • Oprah: So, what made you a bully?
    • Lance: I think just… again, just trying to perpetuate the story. And hide the truth.

    In fact, Lance was so much the bully that he insulted his former teammates and friends (people like Emma O’Reilly and Betsy Andreu) with words like ‘whore‘, ‘crazy‘, ‘bitch‘, ‘alcoholic prostitute‘, etc., sued the people who threatened his story, and even issued death threats at them.

    Watch the video below where the USADA head revealed death threats which he received from Lance himself during his 2012 Armstrong investigation.

    Lies Lance Armstrong Made To Cover Up His Tracks

    Lance was so convincing in his lies that many people, including his very own children, believed in him, even when unfavorable evidence from U.S. federal and USADA investigations began to mount and former teammates and friends began to speak out against him.

    Check out this video of the times throughout his career where he denied (vehemently too, might I add) ever using drugs (courtesy of Telegraph)

    I remember following Lance Armstrong on twitter before and seeing tweets where he staunchly spoke out against the people accusing him of doping. He called the prosecution a “witch hunt”, and that he had been tested no less than 500 times in his entire career and had never once been tested positive. He blasted the people who accused him of doping and retweeted the tweets of his many fans who advocated their belief that he did not dope.

    I never took a stance as I have always been neutral to Lance Armstrong, but he seemed so convicted of his innocence then that I found it hard to believe that he was lying. Looking back, it’s kinda sad to know that he was lying through his teeth the whole time.

    Never Thinking His Behavior Was Wrong

    The funny thing was that he revealed in the Oprah interview that he did not feel his behavior (doping, lying, bullying, etc.) was bad, wrong, nor dishonest at that time.

    • Lance: This story was so perfect for so long. […] You overcome the disease, you win the Tour de France seven times, you have a happy marriage, you have children… I mean it’s just this mythic, perfect story. And it wasn’t true.
    • Oprah: Was it a big deal to you? Did it feel wrong?
    • Lance: At the time?
    • Oprah: Uh-huh.
    • Lance: No.
    • Oprah: It did not even feel wrong?
    • Lance: No. Scary.
    • Oprah: Did you feel bad about it?
    • Lance: No. Even scarier.
    • Oprah: Did you feel, in anyway, that you were cheating?
    • Lance: No. The scariest.

    Fierce Desire to Win that’s Not Guided by Values

    Lance’s answer to his blind-sided behavior? A relentless desire to win at all costs. This drive would have been great if it had been governed by certain core values. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

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    • Lance: Before my diagnosis, I would say I was a competitor, but I wasn’t a fierce competitor. And then in an odd way, that process (of being diagnosed) turned me into a person that… it was truly,win-at-all-costs. When I was diagnosed and I was treated, I said, ‘I would do anything I have to do to survive.’ And that’s good (Celes: in the context of fighting cancer).And I took that attitude, that ruthless, and relentless, and win-at-all-costs attitude, and I took it right into cycling.”

    Knowing Your Values

    The lesson I see here is to have a core values system that guides you in life. Not just performance-driven values like excellence, diligence and persistence, but also values that are in line with the highest good of humanity and our highest self, like truth, integrity, and honesty.

    It is clear from the way Lance conducted himself in those 16 years that he was missing values of truth, integrity, and honesty. Actually, longer than 16 years, as Lance had been doping even before he was diagnosed with cancer in 1996. This led him to lose his way and get caught up in this big mess.

    Do you have a set of core values that guide you? If yes, what are they? My personal set of core values which have been guiding me since 2008 are Excellence, Passion, Courage, Truth, and Authenticity. Truth, to me, encompasses being integritous and honest to others. These values, I live by them every single day, every single moment of my waking life. They guide my everyday thinking and decisions.

    If you have yet to identify your core values, perhaps now is the best time to do so, aye? I recommend identifying five core values, no more, no less. These five values will make up the five points of a star, where the star is you. Read more about values, my concept of the five core values, and how to identify them in Day 15: Identify Your Values in Live a Better Life in 30 Days Program.

    2. If the Culture Isn’t What You Want, Create a Different One.

    • Oprah: So, you’ve been quoted as saying ‘We’ve one goal, one ambition, and that is to win the greatest bike race in the world, and not to win it once, but to keep on winning it. And to ‘keep on winning it’ means you have to keep on using banned substances to do it.
    • Lance: Yes. And I’m not sure if this is the acceptable answer, but that’s like saying, ‘We’ve to have air in our tires. We’ve to have water in our bottles.’ That (doping) was… that was, in my view, part of my job.

    Part of Lance Armstrong’s justification for doping was that doping was part of the (professional cycling) culture (at that time; he says that the sport is now clean thanks to the biological passport) and that he simply had to dope if he wanted to win.

    However, he later acknowledged that he could have done better. He could have tried to stop the culture but didn’t.

    • Oprah: You said it was not possible to win without doping.
    • Lance: Not in that generation. […] I didn’t invent the culture. But I didn’t try to stop the culture. And that’s my mistake. And that’s what I have to be sorry for.

    If you are faced with a culture that violates your values, what would you do? Would you perpetuate that culture? Or would you change it?

    3. Don’t Lie, Cheat, or Do Anything Unethical. The Truth Will Prevail.

    “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” ~ Mark Twain

    “The story was getting out of control. Which was my worst nightmare.” ~ Lance Armstrong, on the public fallout after USADA’s charge and exposé of his doping

    14 years of elaborate cover-ups, over 500 drug tests, and successful evasion of Tour de France’s doping controls to score seven victories—you would think Lance Armstrong would continue to stay unexposed if he was able to evade detection for so long.

    He was able to escape the prosecution of even U.S. federals (something he claims not to be involved in). In 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation of him, pursuing allegations such as fraud, drug trafficking, and witness tampering. In February 2012, after a two year investigation, federal prosecutors dropped the case without any explanation.

    • Oprah: When they dropped the case, did you think, ‘Now. Finally over. Done. Victory.’?
    • Lance: It’s hard to define victory. But I thought I was out of the woods.

    However, in a twist of fate, in 2012 USADA launched their own investigation of Lance Armstrong and uncovered overwhelming evidence that he had doped throughout his professional career. In July that year, USADA charged Lance with possession, trafficking, and use of banned substances. He was then striped of his Tour de France titles, banned from elite competition, and nuked by his sponsors, all within the span of one and a half days.

    Moral of the Story

    The moral of the story? Don’t lie, cheat, or do anything unethical in the first place. No matter the circumstance, it does not justify bending the universal value of truth. Nobody likes to be lied to, and the fallout is never pleasant when the truth is revealed. For the trust that is lost, you have to work hard to earn it back. Even then, you may well never earn it back.

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    Inspirational Quote: “The worst thing about being lied to is simply knowing you weren't worth the truth.” ~ Unknown

      Besides, when you lie, it’s already a given that you have make a new lie to cover the old lie. You are virtually signing yourself up for a lifetime of lies. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a very tedious way to live. Thanks, but no thanks.

      As the Chinese saying goes, 紙是包不住火, which literally translates to “You can’t wrap fire with paper”. What it means is that the truth (fire) can never be covered up for long, no matter what you do or how hard you try. Lance tried to cover his lies up for 16 years and eventually succumbed to a confession after the huge public fallout following the USADA report. Truth will indeed always prevail.

      4. “It’s Not About the Bike”: As You Call Out the Bad in People, Don’t Negate the Good They Have Done Too.

      Lance wrote a book in 2001, titled: “It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life“. It shares his story of “triumph” and “transformation” and his fight against cancer.

      Given the scandal’s outbreak, detractors would probably joke about the title today and go, “Yeah it’s not about the bike. It has always been about the drugs.” There is also a gag going on Twitter now about an Australian library rebranding Armstrong’s book as “fiction” rather than “non-fiction”, which turned out to be just the librarian making a good-humored joke in light of Lance’s confession.

      Still, doping fiasco aside, Lance does have a heart for cancer survivors, being a cancer survivor himself. It shows during the interview. (Whether he was faking the emotions is a separate discussion altogether.)

      • Oprah: What was the humbling moment that brought you face to face with yourself?
      • Lance: I believe it was a Wednesday. Nike called. And this isn’t the most humbling moment. I’m going to get to that.And they said, basically, cliff notes here: That they’re out. Okay. *shrugs* And then the calls started coming. Trek. Giro. Anheuser-Busch. Everything. (Celes: These were Lance’s sponsors.)
      • Oprah: On the same day? The same couple of days?
      • Lance: Yeah. Couple of days. Everybody out.Still not the most humbling moment. Not a fun period.
      • Oprah: But how did that hit you though?
      • Lance: You know, in a way, I just assumed we’d get to that point. The story was getting out of control. Which was my worst nightmare. I had this place in my mind that they would all leave.The one person I didn’t think would leave was the foundation. And that was the most humbling moment.

      The Good that Lance Armstrong Has Done

      In 1996, Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer which had spread to his brain and lungs. Even though the doctor said he had a less than 40% survival chance, he beat the disease and was declared cancer-free in 1997.

      In that same year, Lance founded Lance Armstrong Foundation (now Livestrong Foundation) which provides free support for anyone with cancer. The foundation has since raised nearly $500 million for cancer awareness.

      During the interview, Oprah read an email her friend sent to her regarding Lance:

      “I’ve heard that he is a real jerk.

      But I will always root for Lance. He gave me hope in a very dire time. My first-born son had just been diagnosed with leukemia two weeks before his first birthday. And I’m in intensive care barely able to breathe, and my brother sends me Lance’s new book, ‘It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life‘.

      I read it cover to cover, through the night. It showed me that there was hope for my son, to not only to live, but to thrive. I had a choice to make that night on how to respond to my son’s illness and teach him how to face the world.”

      While this scandal showed that Lance was a complete fraud and bully, we should not negate his inspiring cancer survival story where he beat cancer when the odds were stacked against his favor.

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      We should not negate that his story (including the fake mythic part of it) has/had, in the past 15 years, inspired many around the world to step up, strive for their goals, and achieve their dreams, something they might not have done otherwise.

      We should also not negate that while Lance Armstrong could have continued lying straight to his death bed, he did not, and instead did this public confession, which has already triggered a huge public fallout, with people’s trust in him totally crushed and lawsuits starting to line up. He is facing at least three civil suits at the moment.

      When you look at Lance and his doping scandal, and as you make your assessment about his character, remember the good he has accomplished, be it directly or indirectly, and not throw out the baby with the bath water. The bad that he has committed should not negate the good in him and the good he has done.

      5. It’s Never Too Late for Redemption.

      “I made my decisions. They are my mistake. And I’m sitting here today to acknowledge that and to say that I’m sorry for that.” ~ Lance Armstrong, during his interview with Oprah Winfrey

      To be honest, I’m not too sure if Lance was 100% honest during the interview. He claimed that he did not dope during the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France, though the USADA report provided evidence that he did.

      If he was indeed lying, it was probably to protect himself criminally, as there is a five-year time span for statute of limitations. If his last doping was 2005, federal authorities would not be able to charge him since it’s more than five years ago. However, if his last doping was 2009, there is a case for them to open a criminal investigation against Lance.

      But let’s say Lance did not lie during the interview and he was completely truthful. While it’s a confession that comes 16 years late, it’s better late than never.

      • Oprah: Are you facing your demons?
      • Lance: Absolutely. Absolutely. Ya. It’s a process. And I think we’re beginning to process that now.

      First Step for Lance in His Path of Redemption

      I’m happy for Lance that he made this confession. Lance’s former friend, Betsy Andreu, has confirmed that Lance is “someone who doesn’t know how to tell the truth and how to say I’m sorry”. Even if he didn’t tell Winfrey the whole truth, or even if he came across as unremorseful in parts of the interview, the point is, this is a first step.

      “…I will spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and apologize to people. For the rest of my life.” ~ Lance Armstrong

      I always believe everyone, no matter how far gone, always deserves a second chance. It’s never too late for redemption. And I believe Lance’s path to redemption is just starting now, beginning with this confession on OWN.

       

      More by this author

      Celestine Chua

      Celestine is the Founder of Personal Excellence where she shares her best advice on how to boost productivity and achieve excellence in life.

      42 Practical Ways to Start Working on Self-Improvement 11 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Results on Your Goals How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators 20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity 5 Reasons Why Being a Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect

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      Last Updated on July 20, 2021

      How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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      How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

      You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

      Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

      Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

      Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

      1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

      According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

      “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

      Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

      Warming up

      If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

      If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

      Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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      1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
      2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
      3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

      Stay hydrated

      Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

      To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

      Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

      Meditate

      Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

      Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

      Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

      Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

      2. Focus on your goal

      One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

      Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

      Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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      Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

      If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

      3. Convert negativity to positivity

      There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

      ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

      It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

      Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

      Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

      Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

      4. Understand your content

      Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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      However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

      “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

      Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

      Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

      One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

      5. Practice makes perfect

      Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

      In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

      Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

      6. Be authentic

      There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

      Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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      Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

      To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

      With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

      Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

      7. Post speech evaluation

      Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

      Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

      We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

      You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

      Improve your next speech

      As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

      Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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      • How did I do?
      • Are there any areas for improvement?
      • Did I sound or look stressed?
      • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
      • Was I saying “um” too often?
      • How was the flow of the speech?

      Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

      If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

      Reference

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