It is said that the most common fear is the fear of public speaking – even greater than the fear of death!!
And it’s within that, that there lies a lot of potential for everyone to achieve their greatness.
Being an Anxiety Coach, I address many different situations, all rooted in fear and the beliefs that reinforce it.
And as a curious person who wants to assist everyone to achieve their greatest potential, the fear of public speaking is a perfect fit for me to explore.
In the last decade, my work with the fear of public speaking has produced three interesting insights into what creates most people’s fear and strategies to overcome it.
Today I’ll be sharing those with you.
Three Factors That Contribute To The Fear Of Public Speaking
1. Most People Fear Public Speaking
I have only met a few people that said they don’t get nervous speaking in public and enjoy the experience – and that’s great for them 🙂
But for now, let’s focus on the majority of people that experience feelings of nervousness and avoid speaking opportunities – 90% of people will tell you how nervous they get or how much they hate public speaking.
What does this do to you when you’re struggling to speak with confidence?
Let’s think about it. If you’re nervous about speaking in public and most people you know confirm this belief, do you think this reinforces the association between fear and public speaking?
You better believe it will!
2. I Will Embarrass Myself
This is another common fear scenario where you dread being in front of an audience for fear of saying something embarrassing.
This creates tremendous anxiety as it’s commonly linked to a worst-case scenario of extreme embarrassment.
When I ask where this thought comes from, most of my clients recall a situation from their school years where they spoke in class and were laughed at.
These school years are challenging for all of us and has significant impact on our beliefs and self-esteem… but only if we allow it.
3. I Will Blank Out And Forget What To Say
Standing in front of an audience and completely forgetting what to say, is a situation that may make you nervous even reading this.
This is what causes many people to completely script their presentations and spend hours trying to memorize it.
However, the hours spent usually lead to stressed out and tired presenters as you’re so nervous that you just want to grind through the presentation and get it over with.
This will lead to a great presentation… right?
Action Steps To Help You Speak With Confidence
It may say counter-intuitive or like a ridiculous idea, but you dictate the power your fear has over you.
Yes! It’s true! You control this fear!!
And this control you have is the key to gain your power back.
Tip #1 – Is Your Fear Of Public Speaking Your Own?
While the fear of public speaking may be common, it doesn’t mean you must follow the majority.
How many people with a fear of public speaking have put any effort into overcoming it? Not many. Most people will accept this fear as who they are and live with the consequences, but this DOESN’T have to be you!
Ask yourself if being afraid of public speaking is your belief or something you learned from hearing others tell you they are.
Tip #2 – Challenge Your Previous Beliefs to reduce the public speaking fear
The fear of embarrassing yourself and linking it to a school-age situation must also be challenged. Compare who you are now to the person you were back then. Were you an inexperienced public speaker? Unsure of your identity?
Chances are the answer is YES to both. These years are vital for our development and contribute to who we are today. You have changed and achieved a lot since them. So don’t hold yourself back from success today because of a learning experience years ago.
Tip #3 – Speak Like A Real Human
Spending hours memorizing will make you sound like a robot. People expect to see a human speak – one that may make a mistake on occasion.
List out the most important points you want to address and fill in the supporting information. This will make your presentation better connect with the audience.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”
– Neale Donald Walsch
P.S. When you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you speak with confidence:
- Grab a free copy of my ‘6 Steps To Speak With Confidence’ guide
It’s the 6-step process I use to take clients from anxious on stage to rock-solid confidence — Click Here
- Join the ‘Art Of Confident Speaking’ and connect with leaders who are improving too
It’s our new Facebook community where smart leaders learn to level up their insight, impact and influence — Click Here
- Join my 3-day ‘Speak With Confidence Program’ and become a Case Study
It’s the fastest way to become a confident communicator… If you’d like to work with me and a small group of highly motivated leaders like yourself — Click Here
- Join the “Confident on Camera Coaching Program“ to become confident on camera, attract your ideal clients, and become positioned as the Go-To Expert In 6 Weeks or Less