So many people have a fear of public speaking. Unfortunately, they let that fear of public speaking prevent them from sharing their message with the world. You’ve heard that the fear of public speaking is the number one fear next to death. Yet, I have never seen anyone actually die by stepping on stage. It is important to deal with and eliminate the fear of speaking because people are waiting for your words, your speech, your content, and your gifts and hearing you will end their suffering. How long are you going to make them wait? This blog will show you how to stand up and speak fearlessly.
Why The Fear of Public Speaking is OK
I want you to feel the fear and experience the fear of speaking. Then recognize and welcome the fear. Then get up there and do it anyway. You get on stage and go for it. That is fearless speaking. Fearless speaking is about doing what needs to get done even though you are afraid.
Maybe you don’t think you have much fear and you’ve even said, “Nah I’m not scared to get on stage.” But if you were asked to get up and speak in front of the President, an audience of 5,000, or Tony Robbins then, see how quick you are to jump up. Perhaps, these scenarios (or others) are out of your normal speaking comfort zone. The point is… we all have a comfort zone level when it comes to public speaking. Yours could be doing webinars by yourself or being on large stages. The only way to expand your comfort zone is to jump it.
How to Expand Your Speaking Comfort Zone
Fear is a fact of the speaking life. That first step is recognizing and accepting that you have it. Give up thinking you shouldn’t be afraid. It’s perfectly normal to be a little anxious or fearful if you’re up against another icon.
When you accept those opportunities that are more challenging and bring up that anxiousness, it makes you practice longer and harder to get better and be more confident. It forces you to come up to the level you need to be at anyway.
The Importance of Being Prepared
We often want to skip and skate and not do the 15 hours of practice that we should. You may “know” your content. But if you don’t practice, it will come off as a B-level speech. Practice will turn your B speech into an A speech. In fact, the shorter the talk, the more you MUST practice in order to nail it. You’ll need to be concise. With a longer webinar, you have more leeway. But to bring your A-game on stage, you’ve got to be prepared so over practice and overdo it.
When you practice, make it fun. Do it with your dog or your stuffed animals. You can even bring a few trusted friends or colleagues on Zoom. Just be careful not to ask for too much feedback as they are not speaking professionals. Practicing and being over-prepared will essentially eliminate any fear.
Say Yes When Opportunities Come Your Way
If you are prepared, then you’ll be able to say YES more easily anytime you get an opportunity to speak. You’ll be more flexible and confident. Nonetheless, say yes even if you haven’t over-prepared. It’s like stepping up to bat and missing the ball. It’s ok to swing and miss. Remember that you did the best you could given where you are.
When you’re on your A-game, you’ve practiced and prepared. Then you step up to bat and envision that ball going way into the outfield and getting a home run. Guess what? It happens. But you’ve got to do the practice to get that home run. Get inspired to level up your speaking game as you say yes to new opportunities. Do it and then do it better next time.
I put on big events when I was unknown in the speaker world. I even had big icons on my stage like Mark Victor Hansen and Loral Langemeier. You bet I was afraid. I didn’t let the fear that came over me stop me. Instead, I did everything I could to prepare and make these events great. I never showed my fear. I became fearless because I did everything I could to be the best I could be.