Don’t Let Irrational Fears Derail Your Public Speaking

Yesterday, one of our SME who has a presentation tonight for a group of Quality experts was sharing with me his fear of public speaking. At that moment  I had to confess to him and to You now that –  “In spite of my many speaking engagements around the world – Its that happens to me too – every time !”. But here is the thing…in order to deal with that fear the very first action is to understand that fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger ( our reptile brain at work ) — if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But often we fear situations that are far from life or death, and thus hang back for no good reason. Bad experiences, traumas, irrational ideas, negative thoughts can fire up or trigger a fear response within us that is hard to quell. But there is a way that has been my trick for years and it is exposing or facing my own personal fears or demons face-to-face.
Here Marck Bonchek and Mandy Gonzalez show a way to handle a very common fear- “Public Speaking” and the best way to move past them.

Many people feel anxious about speaking in front of a group, but remember that some fears are real and others aren’t. (Running out of time should worry you; being booed by your audience should not.) To focus on the realistic concerns, draw three columns on a piece of paper. List your fears in the first column. In the second, write the worst thing that could happen if those fears come true. And in the third column, note the best thing that could happen. For example, you might be afraid of tripping onstage while you talk. The worst-case scenario might be that someone films it, posts it to YouTube, and it goes viral. But the best thing might be that it reminds your colleagues that everyone is human, and then more people discover your work because of the extra buzz. Use this tool to make sure you’re being realistic about your fears.

Adapted from ” Five Ways to Get Over Your Fear of Public Speaking”

Dr. Thomas Agrait – Lean Enterprise Consulting –