How To Overcome The Fear Of Public Speaking

Coaching and NLP To Help You Overcome The Fear Of Public Speaking

Yesterday I got to watch Diversity leader Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew program, where he teaches some of the most unlikely people to dance.

Dinner ladies, teachers, firemen, dart players… have got from practically zero dance skills to performing rather difficult routines in front of unexpectant big audiences.

With a bit of help from the expert, they get to learn 2 key elements  great dancers display:

 

1. Technique

2. Performance

 

Interestingly, the same 2 elements I teach my clients when they come to me for help with public speaking fears.

It’s a common fear I’ve personally overcome.

A lot of people dread speaking in front of an audience. Some people are OK with a couple of people, but more than that and they freeze. Some have jobs that require giving presentations. Some even dread work meetings where the attention is on them. I’ve even worked with people who were lonely because they couldn’t bring themselves to meet new people.

This can be a very debilitating fear that can result in a range of symptoms, from sweaty hands, jelly legs, red hot faces, trembling hands, shortness of breath, and even going completely blank. If you’ve ever experienced any of these you know it’s not fun at all.

In the past I used to feel physically ill just thinking about having to speak in from of a bunch of people. It’s kind of funny because at age 17 I was the front singer in a rock band and seemed to have no problem singing and dancing like a lunatic at concerts!Coaching and NLP To Help You Overcome The Fear Of Public Speaking

My public speaking fears arose when I got a little older and started to second guess myself and focus on all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons.

Thankfully I realized this. I got help, and with time and practice I got to not only conquer my fears, but now I teach seminars and workshops all the time, and speak with the media no problem at all, in fact I really enjoy it!

I love helping people overcome their fear of public speaking. It’s one of my favorite things to do because results often happen very quickly, so it’s extremely rewarding for my clients, and for me too.

Whether you’ve trouble approaching people, speaking in groups, or giving presentations, here are 3 top tips to help you overcome your fears and become a more confident speaker:

1#  PIMP YOUR ATTITUDE

Remind yourself that public speaking is a skill you can learn and get better at, just like all the other skills you’ve mastered in your life: smiling, walking, reading, writing… what will help is when you consciously switch from focusing on the problem to focusing on the solution. Ask yourself: how can I solve this?

You can improve how you dress to feel more confident, you can improve your posture, the way you carry yourself, the way you walk and move… you can also change the way you speak to yourself and to others, you can learn to be more composed and impactful with your tone, pitch, pace and choice of language… all of this you can learn and get better at, as long as you begin to focus on the solution.

2# DON’T GO COMPARE

We can always learn by watching other accomplished speakers in action, but avoid comparing yourself to them. Comparisons often lead to disappointment and bad feelings. Great speakers compare themselves to themselves. Like I said before, public speaking is a skill you can and will get better at when you focus on what matters. The more you practice the better you’ll get, as long as you keep asking yourself: how much better am I getting?

3#  FOCUS ON WHAT MATTERS

When you think about yourself speaking in public, change how you see yourself in your mind, so you see what you want to see, i.e. a composed, confident and commanding you. What would you look like if you were at your very best? Also, change how you talk to yourself inside your head so you get to feel better. If you want to feel confident and at ease, speak to yourself in a confident and calm tone. When you feel more at ease, now you can change your focus from your stomach to the people in front ofyou.

And remember that no matter who you’re talking to, or what you’re talking about, when you concentrate on making people feel good around you, straight away they get to like you more.

Want to conquer your fear of public speaking? Ask me about my ConfidenceSquared program at anna@delite.ie

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