What’s the biggest fear people have?
You may be surprised, but the number 1 fear is actually a fear of public speaking.
And it’s ok to be afraid of public speaking! After all, there’s lots of people feeling exactly the same way! But I want to look at why it’s so important for you to speak from the stage, not just in terms of your career, but in ALL areas of your life!
So, Why Are Some People So Afraid To Get Up In Front Of An Audience?
In a nutshell, people are afraid of being humiliated in front of others.
What if you get up on stage and bomb?
This fear can manifest itself in many ways – butterflies, sweaty palms, shaking, panicky thoughts, your heart beating extra fast. All the usual pre-stage nerves.
And ALL of these are quite normal reactions! To this day, I still get nervous about going up on stage BUT I see it as a good thing. It gives me a burst of energy which often results in a more dynamic presentation. And remember, if you are feeling nervous or if it’s your first time and you’re afraid you’re going to forget stuff, get permission from the audience to feel that way! Ask permission to be a bit nervous. Ask permission to refer to your notes. Do you think your audience is going to think less of you?
No! They’re going to be even more on your side because you’ve opened up to them. Ask permission of your audience from the word go and you’ll be working WITH them.
So, what else can you do to overcome the nerves?
Practice! Practice! Practice!
Most people don’t want to hear this, but the best way to conquer a fear of speaking from stage is practice, practice, practice.
Facing any fear head on allows us to control it, rather than let it control us.
Interestingly, our over-reactions to our fears are often just our brain trying to protect us from what it thinks is a threatening situation. Feeling faint is a good way to keep us off a stage, saving us from the threat of humiliation.
But, the more we experience the “threatening” situation without the harm (humiliation), the more we’re able to extinguish that fear.
The point is to practice speaking in front of others, and feel successful at it. Start with a small audience of people who love and support you. And then start to stretch yourself with each speaking engagement.
Along the way, you’ll probably find out you’re better than you thought you were……AND you might even enjoy it.
Ruling Your Life, Not The Other Way Round
No fear should rule you!
The ability to get up on stage allows you to get your message out to many more people. It allows you to touch a roomful of strangers and more importantly, move them to follow the cause close to your heart. It allows you to build your customer base, multiply your sales and it brings you heaps of confidence.
So, why not start practicing this week? Even if it’s just speaking in front of a group of friends? Who knows how much confidence you’ll get from simply standing up and shining your light in the world.