Every journey has to begin with a first step. On the Public Speaking journey that first step is to overcome that fear of public speaking. For most of us that fear is the fear of the unknown, fear of what the audience will say, fear of what our peers will think, fear that we may be found to be a fraud, fear that when we open our mouth to speak nothing will come out. This is that negative self-talk that says to us – you can’t do that, you’re not good enough. When you recognise that self-talk starting, visualise a big red STOP sign. You don’t want to go down that downward spiral of negativity. Stop right there. Get rid of the negativity and replace with positive talk. I am good enough, I am an expert, I have a message. Adopt a positive attitude. Believe in yourself and dismiss those quiet voices of doom and gloom and replace them with some strong positive affirmations. Remember it really is not about you, it is about the audience, what they can take away from your presentation that may just change their world.
Nerves are energy which manifests itself in the familiar symptoms of dry mouth, shaking hands, sweaty palms and all the rest of the debilitating feelings which makes it difficult for us to perform to our best ability.
We need to understand that the symptoms of performance anxiety and the symptoms of exciting anticipation are exactly the same; the only difference is in our attitude to the activity which causes them. Fear and excitement are two sides of the same coin. Which side will you choose?
Remember to breathe! Breathe before you go into that important meeting with your client, breathe before you get up to speak at your first network meeting and breathe before you speak up and share your passion and message. Two or three deep breaths will centre you and give you the energy to make those first words count.
It really does work that the more you get up to speak, the more familiar you become with speaking and the more comfortable you become with the act of speaking. What is happening is that you are removing those bricks in the wall of fear of unknown and replacing them with experience and familiarisation. You now know what to expect. Is it still scary, are you still nervous? Yes it is and yes you are, however you now know how to deal with that nervous energy to give you the edge to connect with your audience.
Finally, think about this: you have a message, a passion, a story that you want to share with people. If you don’t step up to speak those people will probably not find you and hear the message they need to hear – can you really be that selfish and keep silent?
Award Winning Public Speaking Mentor Coach Author
Trish typically works with published authors helping them to turn their books into keynote presentations and with introverts giving them the confidence to come out from behind their computers and share their message and passion.
Contact Trish for a complimentary strategy session on firstname.lastname@example.org
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