Jun 19, 2012

Can You Conquer a Mild Fear of Public Speaking?

If you took the brief assessment from my last blog on public speaking, you now have an indication of just how severe you have the fear of it.  So, let’s start with the people who have a mild case, because those will have the least amount of work to do.

I once heard Cloe Madanes, of Robbins-Madanes fame (http://www.getrmt.com/) say that she used to tell people that she was shy.  But, then it was pointed out to her that shyness is caused by a person thinking more about themselves, instead of those around them.  Because of the new frame her shyness was put in, she was able to overcome it and become everything she wanted.  The same framework applies to fear of public speaking.  Just think about it.  What are the thoughts going through a person’s mind when they are first told that they’re going to give a talk?  As they prepare the talk?  As they get ready to go on stage and on stage?  Even after the talk is done?  Here are most people’s primary thought patterns:

  • What is the audience going to think of ME?
  • What are they thinking of ME?
  • And, what did they think of ME?

Do you see the connection?  When a person puts all of the focus on themselves, that also puts all the pressure on themselves.  When you watch great public speakers, you’ll fully realize that they aren’t thinking about themselves.  It’s all about the message and their audience.  They are watching the audience closely to see that the message is being received as intended and judging that by the audience’s reaction to it.

So, a simple approach in a mild case of fear of public speaking is to put emphasis on the content of the message being delivered and the audience.  For some, this may be easier said than done.  In the event that’s the case, a person can get help using NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) or hypnosis.  Both of these tools are very quick and effective in eliminating the fear of public speaking.

Next, I’ll discuss a deeper fear of public speaking and how it, too, can be eliminated.

Creating a life in forward motion,

Edward Lewellen

One Response to “Can You Conquer a Mild Fear of Public Speaking?”

  1. Edward,

    Great advice. There is a reason it’s called being “self-conscious” right? That’s the perfect term for what is going on with many who fear public speaking.

    I agree that the first option is to change the focus to the content and audience and really envision who you’re trying to help with your speech. This will work for some people on its own.

    For those it doesn’t work for, we can go to deeper levels. But this is a great first thing to try with anybody who fears public speaking.

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