While many people tell me they are not afraid of public speaking, others often confide that once a group goes past five or six in a conference room, they immediately start experiencing a high level of anxiety.

One community leader admitted she’d

 “rather eat glass than speak in public.â€

Why the frequent stress associated with this task?

Quite simply, it’s the “f†words that are often associated with speaking out of your comfort zone. That is, we allow fear and other similar “f†words to take over our thinking. Here are some:

failure, flopping, looking foolish or fat, f^*# up, losing friends, fidgety audience, frightening off fans, flipping out, forgetting what you intended to say, fending off critics, finding fault, frantic, fantasizing, frivolous, or folding under pressure.

And there are more …

framing things wrong, falling on your behind, freezing, futile, among others.

No wonder many find themselves forlorn at the prospect of speaking before a group!

How can you rid your mind of the negative “f†words related to public speaking when you are presenting yourself, whether for business or community purposes?

First, replace those drag-you-down “f†words with their more positive counterparts.

Consider the rewards of

fame, fortune, flash, fans, front-page, fantastic, friendship, focus, followers, front-row, field position, forward, freedom, favorite, favors, flavor, fearless, feisty, and fascinating.

Imagine, also, being known as offering ideas or information that is regarded as

far out, futuristic, feel-good, fluorescent, flying high, favored status, fixed, firm, fomenting, foundation, flourishing, fulfillment, and forever.

Second, plan your message’s content carefully and give yourself ample time to practice it aloud, refining as needed. Good writing usually requires rewriting, and writing the spoken word is different than writing to be read with the eyes only.  Success comes from practicing your presentation or speech out of order, in pieces, at least nine separate times. Great speakers are made, not born!

Now, get ready for thunderous applause, tons of “yes†answers and many +F words in accolades you’ll receive when it’s your turn to speak n the days ahead.

By the way, the +F words win! 32 +f  words appear in this blog versus 22 – f words. Please send your “f†word nominations for either category to [email protected]. I would love to add them to our collection! Also, please respond with what works for you and any comments you may have.

Who Am I? You might say I like the letter “F.â€

My first name is Anne, my last name is Freedman and I kept the initial, marrying Ed Fischer. We live in Florida. Miami to be exact. I attended the University of Florida. Studied journalism and became a reporter, originally and idealistically, to Fight injustice and promote Freedom.

After working as a Freelance writer for several years, I Founded my company, committed to helping people Find the right words to Fulfill their personal and business missions, and to eliminate Fear from their public speaking, sales and leadership roles. Along the way, we added a Focus on team communication as well. Our latest Foray is into technology, developing a mobile app. (More on that in February!)

Today, “F†remains a Favorite letter; however, I am truly a Fan of all 26 in the alphabet. Working together, these remarkable little symbols enable us to Form the ideas and conversations that shape our Future.

I look Forward to being a part of your Future, helping you Fulfill your vision for yourself, your organization and your community, using the power of the spoken word.

You CAN Avoid the 5 Biggest Speaking Mistakes Leaders Make!

Want your next presentation or speech to go better than ever? I invite you to watch my video, a live recording of “How to Avoid the Five Biggest Speaking Mistakes That Leaders Make,†presented to the Florida International Bankers Association – FIBA Chats recently in Miami. Just click here.