Most of us remember critical feedback. Because it’s jarring and threatening, it tends to stick in our brains. But positive feedback is an invaluable way to learn about your strengths and growth areas. Create a space (digital or physical) where you save the praise you get, anything from thank-you cards to written notes in your evaluations to comments in email threads. When you get mixed feedback, tease apart the positive and negative aspects, and put the positive ones in your kudos folder as well. Set a time in your calendar to periodically review and reflect on what you’ve saved. Ask yourself: What patterns or themes can I identify? How could I use my strengths in new situations? What else can I learn about my strengths, and who might provide that perspective? It may feel immodest or uncomfortable to bask in the positive feedback you get. But think of it like this: Someone has gone out of their way to highlight what you’re good at — so use it.
Do you suffer from public speaking anxiety or the fear of making live presentations?
Does the thought of doing public speaking or making live presentations (such as on FB, Instagram or Youtube) cause you to sweat in nervousness, feel faint or get nauseous?
Do the voices inside your head tell you that it is not safe, not to make a fool of yourself or not to embarrass yourself in public?
First of all, what’s the deal with Public Speaking or Speaking in Front of an Audience?
Public speaking anxiety has been listed as American’s #1 fear affliction, before death at #5, and loneliness, weighing in at #7. This potentially means that most of us are less afraid of dying alone than of making fools of ourselves in front of others. The findings are thought-provoking, aren’t they?
Well, not just public speaking, many of us have the fear of being judged should we decide to reveal our “failures” and “mistakes” in the stories that we share before others. The voices inside our heads will warn us that it’s highly dangerous to reveal about our painful past in front of others! The fear of rejection or non-acceptance can be so strong that we are inclined NOT to show up as ourselves or to draw attention to our struggles (even if they could be over years ago).
Here’s the thing. If we would like to create a difference, it’s inevitable that we have to do some form of sharing our authentic stories. A presentation can never be quite as impactful without the power of story-telling. Real life stories connect and build bridges with our audience.
Let’s recognise that there is NOTHING shameful about sharing that we have gone through struggles.
Everyone has at one point or another, been through a difficult period. Without the struggles, there wouldn’t be us today. By sharing your authentic story, you are better able to connect with your audience and inspire them to action. In fact, the more emotionally compelling, the better. Facts tell, but stories sell!
Dealing with public speaking anxiety or the fear of standing in front of others may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Less so, should you claim to be an introvert (just like me). You are not likely to want to sign up for something that will make you feel uncomfortable. If I’m guessing right, you’ve got the tendency to hide every time when is an invitation to be interviewed, present or speak.
Chances are you can remain like this for years.
But if you are aware enough, you may recognise that you’ve been playing small.
Should you wish to increase your reach, create an impact and make a bigger difference, making live presentations with authentic sharing of your story can be life-changing. You are challenged to go beyond your comfort zone. What’s more, we are now in the era of publishing videos to get our messages out there.
Just imagine brimming with confidence when you have released any public speaking anxiety or fear of making a live presentation!
My Story with Releasing Public Speaking Anxiety
When I was to share my authentic story in a presentation on stage for the first time, I felt extremely nervous. I have never done anything like this before. It’s one thing to host a workshop, appear “live” on social media but quite another to reveal about my painful struggles on stage and in front of a large group of strangers.
I was imagining scenarios like:
– what if I trip on stage,
– what if I forget my lines,
– what if I blank out,
– what if I could not connect with my audience etc.
My mind was on overdrive. I also started to brandish myself for signing up for a public speaking gig, when I could have just stayed in my comfort zone.
Who am I to think that I can give a talk?
I’m just too old for this kind of thing.
I will look horrible on stage.
I will sound horrible on stage.
The voices inside my head was clear in that public speaking and telling my story on stage would be such a “bad idea”.
Fortunately, I had enough awareness to know what the negative voices inside my head were doing. At one point, I had two parts of me in an inner debate. Finally, I reasoned that I wasn’t looking for safety anymore. Instead, I really wanted to break through my barriers.
I had written the introduction of my script for my presentation as follows….
“I believe in the power of stories and the most powerful stories are the ones we tell ourselves……for they create our reality.”
As I read through my script, I realised that my presentation is not just about the past. It is about the present. Therein was another wonderful opportunity to change the story that I was telling on the inside. I proceeded to work on releasing false beliefs and to visualise myself speaking confidently on stage.
Finally the day of the event arrived.
None – absolutely none – of the negative scenarios that I was imagining about came true. No falling down on stage, no forgetting my lines or blanking out when the stage lights came on. Instead, I spoke from my heart. The words just flowed.
On stage, I shared about how I once struggled with feeling unlovable and lousy about myself. Then, I went on to share about how I eventually turned my scars into stars, stress into breakthrough and my mess into a compelling message. Well, I was happy to receive positive feedback on my presentation. A total relief that it was well received…hurray!!
What made the entire experience awesome was also the chance to help fellow entrepreneurs who had signed up for the same public speaking gig. A number of them had jitters and struggled with piecing their stories together prior to the event. Together, we worked on kicking their fears and crafting their messages. It was awesome finally hearing them speak on stage with poise and confidence! A breakthrough for their branding and market positioning indeed!
How to Release Public Speaking Anxiety and Fears
Need tips for your public speaking event or a live presentation?
Here are some tips that had worked for myself and those that I had assisted….
1. Become aware of what the voices are saying.
2. Realise that some of the imagined future scenarios that are negative may never come true.
3. Release any negative emotions and false beliefs via EFT or meridian tapping or any other energy healing techniques.
4. Visualise the desired outcome. Repeatedly.
5. Apply actions or put in practice that will help lead to a positive outcome. Eg. practice in front of your friends, join a Toastmasters Club, recording your voice and replaying the audio.
Hopefully the above tips can help you too!
Even if you are an introvert, you can release any public speaking anxiety. Recently, to my surprise, I also found out that there are many master speakers with the ability to speak powerfully and make high ticket sales from stage and who profess to being introverts. Hence, don’t let your fears hold you back from being the best that you can be!
Kick Your Fears and Get Ready To Play a Bigger Game!
Do you have any one of the following
– a confidence crisis
– inner challenges that prevent you from showing up,
– deep-rooted traumas that cause you to stutter, go blank in the mind, – tremble at any thought of public speaking, and/or
– issues with sharing your authentic story without needing anyone else’s approval?
Maybe you are not hoping to be the best speaker in town. Maybe it’s just about getting to the next step of your growth. Maybe it’s about levelling up to improve your game.
What will breaking free from your fears do for you? I’m betting that you’d feel a sense of freedom, greater confidence and fulfilment from getting your message out there!
Well, if you need further assistance to
– release public speaking anxiety
– create a bigger impact or/and
– turn shame into authentic and powerful sharing of your story and
crafting your branding message,
apply for a complimentary call here.
I’d be glad to assist you with a map for your breakthrough.
Love and abundance always,
P.S. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
He continued to spend much of his adult life coaching and is credited as one of the “primary movers in the development of Alex G. Spanos Stadium’s …