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3 Principles To Overcome The Fear of Public Speaking

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Does the thought of speaking in front of a crowd stress you out?

Why do so many people fear public speaking?

How can I overcome the fear of speaking once and for all?

Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking. The fear of public speaking is one of the greatest fears that many people can face whether they are talking to people they know, a room full of strangers, or a mix between the two. It’s a very common fear, as many people become frightened and paralyzed simply at the thought of standing up in front of others and presenting. Oftentimes the fear is still looming even if they are taking strategic steps to prepare proactively, if they are talking about something within their expertise, or even if it is a conversation rather than a speech.
If you understand the root causes for their fear and learn to break through and re-conceptualize these causes, you will be able to speak with power and presence, deliver a meaningful message, and go on to achieve many more career goals.

What does this mean for you?

Career advancement is manifested if you can rise up and speak with clarity and precision, motivate and empower an audience so that they go on to produce positively productive outcomes, and in turn inspire others. The art and science of effective speaking is indisputable when it comes to rising up in the workplace.

It is well-known that courage is the ability to act in spite of fear. Therefore, fear is a necessary component to illustrating courage. In this article, you will discover the key causes of the fear of public speaking and the principles to overcome it.

Understanding Public Speaking Anxiety

Communication is a skill that is learnable and transferable, which means that it is relevant to all career paths and facets of life. Nobody is born a great speaker or a skilled communicator. In fact, people are all born with the same skill level: unable to utter even a “hello”, unresponsive to their own name, and uncomprehending of spoken words.

What is the root cause of this common fear? The fear of public speaking has little to do with the act of speaking itself. Fear is learned through our environment and our experiences.

What happens when you have this fear is that you have a daunting focus on all the undesirable things that could happen as a result of speaking in front of people. For example:

  • Undesirable judgment from others
  • ​Embarrassment from failing in front of others
  • ​Emotionally scarring criticism from others
  • ​Loss of respect from people we desire to be in meaningful relationship with
  • ​Loss of personal or professional status

This fixation on unwanted possibilities from messing up gives us this intense emotion that causes sweaty palms, trembling hands, shaky voice, and disoriented speech. Thoughts about being seen as unintelligent or as someone who doesn’t belong there in front talking add to that feeling of fear. You see that fear as a threat.

Public Speaking is a perceived threat because you can’t possibly know what’s going to occur. You simply want to focus more on the things you don’t want to take place and you tend to convince yourself it will. This makes you anxious.

Therefore, the feeling that you feel from speaking in front of a crowd is more precisely anxiety rather than fear. Public speaking in itself is not a harmful act. The undesirable outcomes that you feel anxious about do not pose a real threat to your physical well-being nor is it harmful to your life.

Anxiety leads to a perceived harm, and makes you more vulnerable to create comparisons in your mind to other people. These comparisons cause you to perceive that somebody else has something that you don’t, such as more skills, education, years of experience, expertise, a stronger reputation, and so on.

The moment that you make these comparisons with other people, you will experience greater hesitation and paralysis, you will tend to withdraw for fear of what they might think of you. When you perceive that you are less influential or less respectable than others - particularly if it’s someone in the audience - you will experience this anxiety which leads to withdrawal and paralysis. And the only vernacular we have to describe this inner cycle is “fear of public speaking.”

Once you realize the root cause of your anxiety, you can commit to a decision to overcome it.

3 Things to Know and Do to Overcome Public Speaking Anxiety

Here are 3 principles and strategies that you can apply to control it. This is for you if you are serious about mastering public communications to become eloquent and confident when expressing yourself or sharing your ideas with others.

Anxiety is the symptom of doubt.

Doubt is when you believe in the negative outcome of things that haven’t actually happened yet. Anxiety is the feeling of physical exertion that robs you of the energy to take action. Some very common symptoms of anxiety are nervousness and cold sweat just by the thought of that thing you are afraid about.

How to overcome anxiety:
Do the reverse. Instead of doubt, choose to believe instead in the outcomes you desire as a result of your speaking. Ask yourself what are all the outcomes you desire every time you engage in public speaking. The moment you can identify your desired outcomes and own these outcomes and see yourself as an equal to others, your anxiety will subside.

Procrastination is a symptom of anxiety.

Procrastination means putting something off at a future time. When you’re always anxious about things that haven’t happened yet and doubt that it will go well, you won’t have the energy to do it anymore. In this case, if you don’t overcome it, you will always be putting off success in your life.

How to beat procrastination: Focus on the things that you can control. You can manage your content, you can handle how to deliver your speech or presentation, and you can lead your audience to connect with you and what you’re trying to say.

Self-focus is a symptom of procrastination.

Self-focus is when you are making it about you when it should be about them -- your audience. Public speaking is something bigger than you. It’s about the words that will come out of your mouth and how these can impact the lives of your listeners.

How to beat self-focus: When you are so focused on what other people think of you, you are essentially giving power to doubt. What we focus on expands in our minds. The anxiety will subside when you focus on them instead of on you. After all, the chief aim of communicating is to create a connection and to share thoughts or ideas in ways that add value to others in meaningful ways. The moment you discover and own the fact that you have an important or inspiring message to say and that it is your moral obligation to share your gift, your confidence will rise. When you focus on the WHY instead of focusing on yourself, the HOW will take care of itself.

Public Speaking: Fight or Flight

You can effectively change your life through your actions and your perceptions. Every speaking engagement at work is a moment that will shape your entire career. Avoiding it limits career opportunities. Liberate yourself from the fears and anxieties that are holding you back from the life that you truly want to live and make a meaningful contribution to the world.

This is also your moral obligation to commit to investing in your personal growth because you are not here to live in someone else’s shadow. Nor are you here to live in fear or act in response to false perceptions. It is time to get serious about standing up and standing out in your speaking so that you can inspire and motivate others to their desired outcomes.

As a gift to my valuable readers like you, I have created a guide that divulges the top speaker’s success secrets on how to get your message across clearly and confidently on any platform.

Click HERE and get your free gift.

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