Your Next BIG Speech
Yes…they are looking at you, but they are supposed to. They are not staring at you. There is a huge distinction between those two concepts. You need to appreciate that you have a captive audience and that they have come to hear you speak. They genuinely want to learn from you and see what you have to say. That is being supportive, not judgmental. Realizing and appreciating that you are supported is a fantastic emotion when dealing with a fear of something.
Fear is a peculiar thing. It does have benefits. Like most delicious foods, it is good in moderation. It helps you focus on the task at hand. Thankfully, it can be managed, or at least minimized if it becomes problematic. If you are a pensive person, think of it this way…it doesn’t really make sense. As an educated and rational person I’ve never fully understood how it works. Let me demonstrate my confusion with a fairly basic example. You are standing in a room with the lights on. You are perfectly content. Someone turns out the lights and darkness fills the room. You immediately grow more concerned and the whole scenario becomes much more frightening as the seconds pass. One thing changed, the lights went out. You didn’t move. There was no change in temperature. No eerie sounds suddenly appeared. Nothing reached up and grabbed your leg. One simple thing changed and it was enough to prompt a fearful reaction in your brain, at least for a significant number of people. The human brain experiences some pretty weird shit if it goes unchecked, with fear being one of the more uncontrollable responses.
Unsurprisingly, it turns out fear of public speaking is pretty common. Last time I checked online it was listed as one of the top fears or phobias of most Americans. That reminds me of a story from a few years ago. A while back I was listening to a Jerry Seinfeld standup routine on CD when he mentioned an article he read that mentioned people’s #1 fear being public speaking. #2 was death. He then spun a joke about how more people would prefer being in the casket than giving the eulogy. He was truly perplexed by this idea. People would rather die than talk in front of an audience. Of course, this is a fallacy, for given those two options 99% of people would rather talk than die. However, without that ultimatum, it’s kind of funny to think that when people think “fear” the first thing that pops into their head is “public speaking.” I think of this story prior to almost every presentation I give. If I ever start to get too nervous while speaking, I quickly remind myself, “Hey, at least you aren’t dead.”
Parenting & Public Speaking. Together
The behaviors, experiences, and techniques parents use everyday can improve YOUR NEXT BIG SPEECH. Whether it be using silly voices or just playing with the kids, these actions improve self-confidence, stage presence, and audience engagement. And that’s just the beginning…