How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking
« 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. »
This morning I had a friend call up asking for help with his Best Man Speech, I told him, « Let me help you overcome this fear, because I don’t want you to embarrass me at my wedding. » Of course it was all tongue in cheek.
The reality is, that he is far from alone in this fear. In fact it’s the world’s number one Phobia, second to death. People would rather die than speak in public! My clients always comment on how funny that is, but for those suffering, the dilemma is very real. Individuals with this fear tend to say to themselves:
« What if people judge me or reject me? What if I forget what to say? What happens if I panic? What if the audience knows more than I do about the subject? What if I blush? »
A social phobia is a learned response. It is a process that you have to go through in order to feel the thing you call anxiety. The process itself is quite simple. My last two clients I treated were petrified to speak in front of an audience. They both had extremely high levels of anxiety when they had to speak to people in social or business situations. Those limitations no longer exist in them.
How could this be?
When a person breaks their arm and has to go to the hospital. Nurses and Doctors don’t just stand around to analyze how the person broke there arm, they just put it in a cast and let the person leave. Instead of dwelling on the past and analyzing how and why they are afraid to speak in front of an audience I help them change their thought pattern.
I find it cruel to drag people through all those times they felt bad just to analyze how and when there issues began to arise.
Instead, I do something different. I always explain that whatever they were doing is irrelevant.
My explanation replaces their phobia with a clear positive image of how they want to come across when delivering their speech. By the end of my session they are actually excited about giving their speech and deliver very well.
Follow these easy steps and begin to improve your performance immediately:
1) Control your physiology (your breathing your body posture) – act as if you are confident.
2) Turn your inner critic (negative self chatter) into a positive uplifting voice – an inner coach.
3) Remember past successes even if they are not related to speaking publicly, the very act of doing this will make you feel uplifted.
4) Think only of the best possible scenarios. Like an athlete visualize the outcome and having performed really well.
For more information on how please go to http://www.dominicknight.co.uk.
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