CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – OCTOBER 12, 2021(PT.2)
Biggest Myths about Public Speaking Fear and Stage Fright
Myth #2: I’m Way More Nervous than Everyone Else
Surveys show that at least 90% of the population admits to feeling public speaking fear or stage fright. Surveys also show that over 45% of the population admit that the stage fright that they feel is so great that they avoid opportunities to present in front of groups. One of the first things that we share with people when we coach them as speakers, or when they come through one of our public speaking classes or presentation seminars, is that most of the stuff that happens to us when we get nervous is invisible to the audience. For example, just before we start to speak, most of us will start to feel our heart beating more quickly and forcefully. Some people will get sweaty palms or feel the butterflies in their stomach. We might feel light headed or even lose our train of thought. What do all of these things have in common? They are things that we FEEL, but are absolutely transparent to the audience.
The problem that typically occurs, though, is that when we feel these symptoms of nervousness, we sometimes panic, and we might begin to feel even more nervous. What you want to remember is that other people who are presenting feel nervous too. You’re not alone. The good news is, that if you reduce your nervousness, you will have a distinct advantage over about 90% of presenters.
Your Audience Won’t Necessarily See Your Fear Any More than You See the Fear in Other Speakers
I got nominated for a marketing award a few years ago. The organizer of the meeting thought that, since we were supposed to be the best marketers in the room, that the most fair way to choose the winner was to have each of us go on his stage and try to persuade the room to vote for us. When the organizer brought this up to me, I was honored. It also sounded like a lot of fun. So, I was really looking forward to the challenge. The day before the competition, I looked on the meeting agenda, and for the first time, I saw who the other speakers were. These were big-name guys who had been in the industry a long time. I started to get a little nervous.
As the time got closer to my presentation, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was the only one of the nominees who specialized in public speaking fear. If I got on stage and looked as nervous as I was feeling… my career was over! Panic began to set in, and I started looking for some way to get out of this without embarrassing myself. (I couldn’t think of anything, though.)