In Face Your Fears, For Dream Chasers

Does the thought of speaking in front of a group of people leave you weak in the knees? Would you go to great lengths to avoid having to give a presentation? If so, don’t worry…you’re not the only one. In fact, studies show that people fear public speaking more than anything else…even death!

There are many reasons that people fear public speaking, but there are also many ways to overcome this fear. For example, AJ Hoge has created a site that teaches you how to speak and write English properly, this would be helpful for you to get over your fear of public speaking, as once you know how to speak English correctly you should no longer have a fear of public speaking.

Like it or not, when it comes to following your dreams this is one fear you’re going to have to face. Think about it, whatever your dream, there will probably come a time when you’re going to have to discuss your ideas and sell yourself to others. So how can you can get over something so utterly terrifying? Communications coach, Carmine Gallo, says that the key to overcoming the fear of public speaking is NOT to try to completely eliminate the fear but to accept it, reframe it, and control it.

  • Accept it: Everyone gets nervous before speaking in front of others, even the most experienced presenters. In fact, cognitive research shows that you would be abnormal if you experienced no anxiety at all.
  • Reframe it: Rather than dreading public speaking, look at it as a positive opportunity. A mindset shift will help alleviate some of the fear and anxiety.
  • Control it: Remove any unforeseen variables by practicing your speech numerous times before the big day. Most experts even suggest practicing in front of mirror or camcorder so you can critique and enhance your own performance.

Winston Churchill on public speaking:
“There are two things that are more difficult than making an after-dinner speech: climbing a wall which is leaning toward you and kissing a girl who is leaning away from you.”

Are you a dream chaser facing a particular fear? If so, I’d love to hear from you!
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Showing 5 comments
  • fear of speaking

    Wow. I have a fear of public speaking, bit I’ll try to do this exercise to overcome it..

  • John Zimmer

    Nice article, Erika. The advice about not trying to eliminate the fear completely is spot on. A little bit of adrenaline is good; it keeps you on your toes. The trick is to harness it.

    Nervous speakers should realize that 99.9% of the audience wants you to succeed for two reasons: (1) most people are decent and do not want to see others stumble, especially when it comes to standing up in front of a crowd; and (2) people are hoping to hear something interesting or inspiring or entertaining from you and thus it is in their interest that you succeed. So know going in that the audience is on your side.

    Other quick tips include avoiding stimulants such as caffeine before speaking, being well hydrated (for the throat) and eat a banana – yes, a banana – a little before speaking. Bananas contain potassium which helps regulate the heart rate and keep your muscles relaxed. I wrote about it on my public speaking blog and you and your readers might find the post helpful:

    Aside from that, the best advice is to practice. The more you get up and speak, the more comfortable you will be. A great place to practice is Toastmasters (about which I have also posted).

    Thanks again and cheers!

    John Zimmer

pingbacks / trackbacks
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