The fear of public speaking –  More than death?

The fear of public speaking – More than death?

Growing up I was so scared of public speaking I would rather have jumped out of a window than face the ridicule I was sure was coming from standing up and talking in front of people. Most people don’t believe that now. There is no sign of any nerves when I speak, I address groups all the time, and nothing gets me more excited than a room full of eager people looking for change, looking to get out of the place that they are stuck in.

Trust me, if you hate public speaking, if you even fear the idea of public speaking more than death, I know where you are coming from. I feel your pain.

My inability to speak to people was the reason my entire family and all my friends told me not to be a life coach. They were convinced I was too shy to cope with it. Presenting on stage was something they thought I would fail at. They all got together and held an intervention to talk me out of a career they believed I was not designed for!

The thing was, even though I was terrified, I wanted to be a coach so badly I just had to find a way to overcome my fear of public speaking and not jump out that window.

Fear of Public Speaking

There are so many ways to get over your fear but at the end of the day, the biggest test and the biggest awareness of how to get through is going to come from actually doing it, practice and perseverance.

However, in order to get you to the point of wanting to practice, here are some things to keep in mind.

A fear of public speaking will most likely show up in other areas of your life that have nothing to do with a stage, only you might not even recognise it. There is probably something else you are actually afraid of that will be undeniably tested if you were after asked to speak in public.

Fear of conflict
Fear of rejection
Fear of being amazing

These are just some examples of the actual fears that drive you to avoid public speaking at all costs.

And while they might be holding you back from the stage, they’ll be holding you back in other ways. If you can find a way to make that biggest event possible, public speaking, then the little daily fears you are living will simply vanish as well. How great would that be?

You can do it.

How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

Every person on the planet, no matter their ability or circumstances, has the capacity to stand up in front of a crowd and deliver a message. If you have something you’re passionate about, there is a way to say it.

Starting right now tell yourself you can. You absolutely can do this and with practice and improvement, you can do it really well.

Believing in who you are and what you have to say is key to giving you the confidence to get started. Every day do an activity that will boost your self-confidence and get yourself to not only think you can, but living it as well. It’s not a gimmick, you actually CAN do it.

Learn from people who care

Practice in a safe environment where everyone is in the same position (i.e. they all fear public speaking more than death), they all have to talk and you all have access to constructive feedback.

Influence Now is a tailored program for presenting. In this course, we build your why and you will present to your classmates and mentors, with mini practices and practical working knowledge that will build you up day by day.

I have had all kinds of people complete this course, from teenagers to grandparents. It’s usually the quietest people in the room who have the biggest impact come presentation day.

This course is not just about overcoming your fear and giving you a safe place to learn, it’s also about great delivery. Removing twitches like fidgeting as well as Ums and Ahs, showing you how you present and showing you how much you have improved over the five days of study. It’s all about confidence building.

I see people who were terrified to start with become comfortable to the point where you can actually see them enjoying the challenge. You will be surrounded by supportive people eager to give you a step by step understanding that the fear in your head is nothing close to the reality of presenting.

Don’t want a career as a presenter? No problem, these tools can assist in giving you the confidence to deliver effectively in online conference calls, job interviews, out on a date with someone new. If your business needs a marketing boost it will help you deliver professional pre-recorded seminars and Facebook Live videos!!

Of course, the tools are like a muscle, in order to strengthen them, you need to use them. Which is why our lifetime re-sit policy will ensure you can continue to use, learn and develop your presenting skills. Just like I say at Live it Now, you need to constantly be taking action!

In this course, one of the most rewarding activities we do is filming. You can do this at home, simply set up your phone in a way you can record yourself presenting and watch the recording, paying attention to things that are detracting from your words. Pay attention to places your voice doesn’t convey your meaning, are you too soft, too fast, too many ahs? Identify these as markers to be improved and work on them. Be sure to keep your first few sessions as proof of how far you have come!

What’s the worst that can happen?

You say you’d rather die than speak in front of people, but let’s really get logical about what you are scared of. What is the worst that can happen? If it’s that you’ll freeze up and nothing will come out of your mouth there are thousands of ways around that, most of them through Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques that will anchor in confidence, eradicate a phobia, and journey along your Time Line to clear out limiting beliefs.

Scared of other’s reactions, good, let them react, no matter what you’re out there doing it. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback, so if they are bored, find ways to make it interesting, if they are lost, find ways to make it simple, if they are restless, find ways to really stimulate them. Every reaction is a connection so go for that.

Have meaning

This is your why. Why do you want to present? The easiest way for this to work is to make sure your why – what you are doing it for – is bigger than your fear.

That’s what worked for me. I used NLP techniques for sure but my motivation, my desire and my ability to overcome the fear of public speaking was only possible because I wanted to be a life coach and give presentations that would change the world one person at a time.

I believed in that so much, even as the shyest kid, it was what I had to do. So make sure your why is big and really focus on WHY you are doing it and allow that motivation, that passion to really get you moving.

Starting out you might not practice your why speech. You might like to do something different as a warm up but just know that when you are talking about your passion you give yourself access to an incredible energy that will override anything you have on paper and any doubts or fears you have about doing it.

True presenters don’t follow a script, they engage in the energy of their audience and create a spontaneous presentation that’s perfect for them. To do that you need to know what you are talking about and love it. When you have a deep connection with your topic you will automatically have a deep connection with the people in the room and enable them to really connect to themselves and each other.

If you’ve been to Live it Now you will know what I’m talking about – if you haven’t experienced this amazing workshop enrol here and get to the heart of your why.

If you are feeling what you have to say just won’t work, ask yourself if you are talking about the right stuff!

It doesn’t matter how many people listen

It might seem that talking about what matters is risky, but in order for people to listen, you need to have something to say. Presenters are usually experts in their field, and they present on what they know and do it over and over again because they love it.

It’s passion that people will be drawn to. When Gary Vaynerchuk started WineTV, it was to share his passion for wine with the world

Nobody paid attention, which didn’t discourage him. For two years he basically presented to himself. That’s the key. You have to want to present so much that if no one turns up, you present like the world is watching, and eventually they will.

Gary now receives millions of views a week on his social channels and presents to audiences in their thousands. He didn’t get there overnight. He just loves it that much that quitting wasn’t an option.

You do have something to say, if it’s sharing knowledge, sharing your skills, announcing a product or teaching something new. You have the capacity for getting that message out to the world, so do it, become a person of influence, now!

Kindest regards,

Matt Catling

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