Fear of public speaking — it’s more widespread than we suspect. My daughter, in fact, was an A student in college whose last required class was public speaking. She was so anxious about facing an audience she called me to say, “I may have to drop out of college; I just can’t do this dad. Public speaking makes me physically ill.”
I spent hours on the telephone with her over several months helping her overcome these fears, as best I could, and toward the end of the semester she called to say, “Dad, I gave my last speech today and everybody told me, including my instructor, what a good job I did. You know what?” “What?” I asked. “I love talking about nutrition,” which is what her final speech was about — eating to be healthy rather than putting “packing material” into your stomach.
I had to speak for at least sixty seconds, but every second felt like a minute. Time seemed to slow down as my normally sexy voice came out in a quivering squeak! I searched my audience faces for any evidence that would indicate what they were thinking about me. How could I, great conqueror of all, be reduced to a pipsqueak in a mere moment?!Definition of pipsqueak – A person considered to be insignificant.Luckily enough the basic facts that were required for this mini introduction speech was ingrown knowledge. Just when I thought it was all over the teacher asked me to tell the class something interesting about myself. All of a sudden with cheeks quivering, butt shaking, and eyes widened by fear I became the most boring person in the class. I just could not remember anything!
By the time Byron finished, he had literally torn off strip after strip of the notes he’d brought to the front of the class and eaten it strip by strip. By the time he finished his speech his digestive tract was busy digesting the paper he’d written on. Of course with each strip he’d torn, wadded up, placed in his mouth and swallowed, Byron became more flustered because he was trying to do was read his speech and, of course, the words were disappearing and he ended up, at the end, with nothing to read from. I’m sorry to say none of us were able to contain our laughter although to see the school tough guy go through the agonies of delivering “a few words” about himself were, frankly, satisfying. He didn’t seem like such a tough guy by the time he fidgeted back to his seat.
Jerry Seinfeld once said:”According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”Mark Twain said this:”There are only two types of public speakers in the world. 1. Those who are nervous and 2. Those who are liars.”A very useful acronym to help you put fear in a different perspective is: FEAR is: False – Evidence – Appearing- Real Keep in mind that feelings are not facts. Check the facts before you act (like running away and hiding) on your feelings.
One way to overcome your fear is to use an activity to break down your fear into controllable components. It’s simple to do and it really works!Here is an easy exercise you can do if you, like so many others, have a fear of speaking.Tell yourself exactly what you are afraid of.”I am frightened to speak in front of a large group.”
Explain to yourself why you are afraid.”I am afraid because I think everyone will laugh at me.” ,”I am afraid something will go wrong.”Tell yourself why you shouldn’t be afraid. “I have never seen a speaker get laughed off the stage.”, “No one has ever laughed at me during my earlier presentations.”,”If something does go wrong, I can put it right.”Close with positive thoughts about yourself.”I am a intelligent and well-prepared person.”,”I can give a solid presentation and make a good impression on my audience.”
On most occasions, it has been found that people suffering from public speaking phobias suffer from a deep fear of failure, or ‘looking like a fool’ in front of others. As a result of this constant, recurring terror, they are often left speechless or horribly stuttering or stammering. What follows is a cycle of events. The more they stutter or stammer or draw a blank, the more daunted they feel and the further they goof up. This continues until the speaker completely breaks out into a panic attack or hurriedly rescues himself from the agony, by ending his speech.
The only way of curing the fear of speaking in public is gaining confidence, and that cannot be achieved overnight. So if you want to cure yourself of such a problem, be ready for some grueling hard work for a decent period of time. There are no quick remedies that will build you up in a jiffy for your Board meeting next week and only an extensive effort on your part will be likely to treat you of your problem.Having said that, however, one must also accept that treating Public Speaking Phobia is fairly simple.
REMEMBER,PUBLIC SPEAKING AND PRESENTATIONS ARE JUST ONE FORM OF COMMUNICATION AND YOU COMMUNICATE ALREADY EVERY DAY!You can do it!Would you like a more satisfying and rewarding life? Are you looking to get a great job? Or do you have important choices to make about your future? Then I invite you to explore this web site.I am passionate about helping people create and live rewarding, purposeful and happy lives. I offer practical and creative services to assist you in finding solutions for your career and personal wellbeing. I provide services that cover a great variety of issues and offer diverse range of approaches.