Are you afraid of public speaking? C’mon, you can admit it. You’re not alone. Studies show that people are more fearful of speaking in public than flying, going bankrupt, or even dying.
Few things in life cause more anxiety than public speaking. From the moment you hear your name called by the event organizer and you become acutely aware of the hundreds of people in the audience watching what you do, you’ve begun your brain’s fight-or-flight response.
Your heart starts to beat faster, and your breathing becomes shallow. You feel a blush washing over your face and realize you’ve grown a tension headache without noticing it.
But know that you can cure your stage fright. There’s no healthy pill yet, but I’ve got some easy solutions for you. If you do them each day, It should only take about 21 days.
What makes an excellent public speaker?
Let’s identify what we’re trying to achieve. You know you need to do more public speaking to increase your income and you want to be just like that charismatic TED talker you saw the other day.
Then there was that other TED talker who had you mesmerized. His voice was magnetic and engaging and his body language coincided with his message. He was authoritative yet warm and exuded executive presence.
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There's excellent news. You can cure stage fright.
You don’t have to have a diagnosed social anxiety disorder to feel dread or panic when speaking to an audience. Some studies report that nearly 90% of people have stage fright.
Although it may seem scary to speak in public, your current fear doesn’t have to be your future reality. It’s my job to help you communicate calmly and clearly so that everyone can see your genius. Let’s make your fear of presenting a thing of the past.
Proper speaking skills are something we all want. It helps us get ahead in school, professional life, and social circles. Who doesn’t want confident, authoritative, impressive speech?
However, most of us don’t know where to start and end up “winging it.” This is not a reliable strategy for public speaking or other higher-stakes speaking events.
Stage Fright: What Is It?
It’s commonly known as the nervousness or fear we feel before we go on stage. But that fear is “all in your head.” Literally. Your pre-frontal cortex shuts down, allowing for your prehistoric brain to take over–causing you to go into “fight or flight.”
Your primitive brain gives you only those two options, not allowing you to think of anything else! That’s why you can draw a blank, start speaking really fast, become extra-wordy, or speak in a very high-pitched voice.
For a very long time in human history, we had excellent reasons to fear other people. It’s only a blip in time that we haven’t usually been defending ourselves from sticks & stones.
So our prefrontal cortexes shut down, our throats close, our breathing gets shallow, and our hearts beat faster. So it’s not just you.
The good news is: you’re normal!
I want you to imagine the absolute worst thing that can happen when you’re up on stage and put it in the comments; I’d love to hear.
None of my clients have ever said, “dying.” They usually say, “draw a blank,” “look like a fool,” etc. That’s not going to happen!
If you don’t follow my instructions, you may draw a blank, sweat a bit, and have shaky knees. But that comes from the fright or flight business. So let’s change that!
3 Steps to Fearless Public Speaking
These are your quick & easy tricks to public speaking without fear. If you know me, you’ll know I’m all about training. I train my clients to be super smooth, cool as a cucumber on stage. But this may be a good place for you to start. It may be all you need. 🙂
You want your awesome personality to shine through when you speak, and not just your fear of public speaking. With a little practice, anyone can gain the skills to confidently command an audience.
1. Love your audience
Be selfless. Empathy and affection are your secret weapons.
Don’t think about yourself at all. Think only about your audience and how much they need to hear you. You are helping them and changing their lives by delivering your message.
Concentrate on what your audience knows and what they need to know. They lack the knowledge that you have. They lack your perspective! They need to hear it! Make their improvement & education your passion. The result will be that you’ll forget about yourself & the possibility of looking like a fool!
And besides that, even if you make a mistake or you have spinach in your teeth, it’ll only make your audience love you more. They don’t want to listen to a robot or a perfect human. Nobody wants that! You will be your wonderful, comfortable self up there.
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Want to be more influential? We all want to communicate our most important messages in a way that encourages others to take action. Whether that action is voting for our candidate or picking up milk from the store, the words we use and how we speak play a huge role in getting the job done.
2. Practice in advance in an exaggerated way.
Don’t be afraid to record yourself!
Record yourself saying a version of the message you want to deliver, listen back, and write it down.
Then read it with loads of air. Let your voice take a ride on the air. Exaggerate it until you sound like a ghost.
When you play that one back you’ll think the voice belongs to a voiceover artist!
3. Do something you aren’t looking forward to right before the event
You know all those hours of dread you felt before your presentation? Well, those are what’s causing you to have that fear when you walk on stage.
Plan something you dread as much or nearly as much right before your presentation & that’ll give you less time to freak yourself out.
Call your mother-in-law or make that appointment with the dentist you’ve been dreading. Distract yourself with a necessary but dreaded chore.
You’ll be in the present & you’ll have great relief when you’re done with the call to your MIL or dentist. Then you can go directly on stage not have to worry about a thing because it’s the worrying that kills you!
Once you’re able to cure stage fright, your life will have improved! No more lost sleep. The results are life-changing. People will actually be following your call to action. They’ll be doing what you tell them to do! They’ll believe you.
Here are more in-depth strategies to being a better presenter.
Your Secret Weapon
The most important and useful thing you can do is my relaxation exercises. After three or four weeks of doing them correctly, you won’t need any other “quick tricks.” Calm, cool, and collected will be your middle name. Learn a bit about me.
As you practice these three techniques and continue to refine your skills, you will become much better at impromptu speaking. Again, keep practicing and get out of your comfort zone. — Do you need help with speaking? Contact us right now.