Have you ever over heard someone share with a nervous speaker the pretty useless public speaking advice of “imagining a naked audience” to overcome the fear?
Chances are that you have! Not because the tip is a great one but because many people are always looking for ways to overcome their fear of public speaking. If you don’t fear public speaking then congrats you are part of the 26%.
Quick! Look to your left…now look to your right…chances are that the two people next to you suffer from glossophobia. Don’t worry it’s not contagious so you won’t need a cootie shot, glassophobia is just the fancy pants name for “fear of public speaking”.
If you are one of the poor souls that suffer from public speaking fear and like Jerry Seinfeld joked about “rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy”, don’t fret. There is help available!
Now, I know what you’re thinking…“Jeff, can’t I just go my whole life without having to give a speech or present in front of an audience?” Sure, you can and if that’s your decision, GOOD LUCK to you, and make sure to kiss good bye to; being a best man/maid of honor at a wedding, a CEO, politician, pastor, lawyer, news reporter, professor, public speaker and about a hundred other positions that require public speaking daily.
Being scared is normal, but avoiding public speaking all together is not the answer
Truth is that public speaking is a valuable skill in and out of the workplace. I strongly believe that good public speaking skills is a necessary skill in order to become a successful leader. If you look at some of the most successful leaders of our time such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, they all shared a commonality in their ability to communicate effectively as an orator.
They might have been scared at first, but through lots of practice and by directly hitting their fear head on, over time they were able to rise above their public speaking fear and control their nervousness, shakiness of their voice, twitches, panic and even nausea.
Do what you fear most and you control fear.
If you are ready to overcome your fear of public speaking, I suggest that you check out these two posts:
Don’t become a statistic! The first step to becoming a better speaker is to have faith that you could improve, feed your faith and your fears will soon starve to death.