Y is for You saying Yes! Glossophobia is the technical term for Fear of Public Speaking; and while that fear can have its base in many things, much of it stems from the fear of the unknown.
Remember back to your first day at a new school – yes; that far back! Remember how apprehensive you were about it? You did not know where anything was; you were worried about what you had to do and you had no idea who you would be sharing your time with. It wasn’t the fact of going to the school that was the cause of that apprehension; it was those areas of the unknown that were the basis for the fear.
And yet, within a week you had some knowledge of the routine and expectations, and you felt much better about the whole affair – and after about a month you were an old hand. You handled everything with ease and poise – you knew all about it and the fear had gone.
Likewise, public speaking can be a step into the great unknown. How does it feel to be standing out there having every eye upon you? If you don’t know it can be a very fearful thing to imagine. You know, one of the first things I found out about speaking to groups was that most of them smiled at me! Now I wouldn’t have expected that, but now I do.
The act of standing up to speak in public is often imagined wrongly. We feel that we are out there to be judged – instead when we actually do it we find out that we are really there to be listened to. A much different attitude.
But we will never find out how it feels until we accept the opportunity to experience it; and that means saying ‘yes’ to every opportunity. It doesn’t matter how long or how short the occasion, just say ‘yes’ and grab the experience.
Each time you do you will be removing some of the fear of the unknown which is often the worst cause of Glossophobia. When you have some experience to fall back on you can often second guess the outcome of future speaking tasks. You will know from what has gone before precisely what you need to do and what you need to prepare for.
This creates great confidence; and public speaking – like any performing art – is based on confidence. Confidence is created when you have successful outcomes to rely on. It worked before and it is probably going to work again.
Knowing that your audience is there to support and encourage you is easily read – and equally easily dismissed. But when you have actually experienced those smiles, the nods and the applause you now have a personal experience to base that knowledge on.
Then reading that the audience is not there to judge you, merely to listen to you becomes a personal reality that you take with you to your next challenge.
So Y is for Yes, saying ‘Yes’ to the next opportunity you get to speak in public instead of nervously passing it onto to someone else. They, having read this blog, will now be eager and willing to grasp the opportunity for some personal experience in the art of public speaking.
That should have been you, so grab it and say ‘Yes’
Michele @ Trischel