How to Overcome your Fear of Public Speaking

funny motivational speaker and fearMost people are terrified to speak in public. According to readers digest poll, people rank public speaking as a number one fear. Death was ranked as the second greatest fear. Thus, most people would rather die then speak in public!

To make our anxiety worse, most people wrestle with fear and nervousness right up to and during the event.

What are we most afraid of? I think it's the fear of making a fool of ourselves in front of others. To over come your fear of public speaking, instead of obsessing over what others will think of you,  focus on providing value to others in a speech.

Fear and nervousness of public speaking, forces someone to be self focused and protective- while a great speaker needs to be audience centred, open and giving.

Instead of wasting energy worrying about how we're going to look when we speak, what we really want to do is focus on the audience.

This mindset shift will keep you focused on the content of your speech and the audience. Transcend your focus from how you're being received by the audience, to how others are being helped by the speech.

What's brilliant is the pressure comes off of you and the vibrancy of giving can transform the audience.

Other tips to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking:

  • The Acronymn for Fear is:  False Expectation Appearing Real. Thus, it is not actually real. Why invest time in a false expectation that will only set you up for failure? If you walk into a speech and think, this is going to suck- it will.
  • Check your assumptions at the door and assumb the speech will go extremly well
  • Fear and excitement are very similar emotions, instead of labeling it fear, call it excitement. A good motivational speaker needs excitement for his message and the audience, no matter how many times he has presented the speech. 
  • As a funny motivational speaker, I am always amazed at the power humor has to disarm the audience and relax the speaker. Sprinkle a bit of humour throughout your speech to keep the energy high and decrease tension.

States of mind like fear, anxiety, laziness and phobias can be erased with the popular NLP stop method.

Joseph McClindon (the 3rd) shares this Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) tip on motivational speaker, Anthony Robbins, podcast.

Called an, Unresourceful Pattern Replacement Tool, this NLP Technique allows you to arrest the behaviour you don't want, and replace it with something better. I have used it many times and I find it effective.

The motivational technique is useful because undesirable patterns are often in control of our behaviours. Unless we do something about the fear and anxiety, it will continue to be in control.

The technique works by abruptly interrupting the negative pattern, this creates space and curiosity in your brain, and allows you to replace it with something else.

In short, you create the state you don't want, interrupt it, and replace it with something better.

McClindon outlines the following steps:

1) Force yourself to feel and experience the unresourceful pattern. In other words, purposefully feel depressed, stressed, bored, etc, (on purpose), and feel how bad it makes you feel.

2) Interrupt it. Take a deep breathe, shout, stop and jump to your feet

3) Replace this feeling with something better. Think of the desired state you want, remember doing something great, being confident, alive and motivated, and how that made you feel.

4) Celebrate or reward yourself to teach the nervous system to do it again

To get started, remember a time you were unstoppable and gently squeeze your fist and smile. Purposefully, cause yourself to feel good and squeeze your fist and say, yes.

Repeat this ten times.

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