When folks ask me what I do for a living, I answer, “I help people eliminate public speaking fear.” It is always fun to watch the looks on their faces when they process what I said. Inevitably, I will typically get a response like, “You do what?” or “How do you do that?” The process is really simple. In fact, anyone can reduce public speaking fear if they follow this process. Over the last 20 years, our great public speaking class instructors have perfected this three-step process. It works every-single-time!
In this session, we explain this simple process.
- Identify Where the Public Speaking Fear is Coming From. If you know where the fear is coming from, you can mitigate the chances of it appearing.
- Minimize the Risk of Failure.. Once you know where the fear comes from, look for ways to minimize the risk when those situations occur.
- Stack Up a Series of Successes. When you practice the skill and have a success, your confidence will grow. So, the faster you can have a series of success, the faster your confidence will grow.
The Three Easy Steps to Eliminate Public Speaking Fear Explained
Identify Where the Public Speaking Fear is Coming From.
Fear or nervousness, most often, comes from situations where there is a risk of loss or danger. The more dramatic the risk, the more nervousness you will experience. This nervousness is normal, though. In fact, we experience it just about every time that we try something new.
For instance, the first time you ever drove a car, you were most likely nervous. You may have started learning in a parking lot with cones. However, after you had a few successes, your nervousness likely decreased somewhat. Next, you likely started driving in a somewhat deserted neighborhood. Then a busier street. Finally, you likely moved to a highway.
At each new stage, you felt the nervousness again. However, by the time that you started driving on a busy highway, driving in a parking lot was second nature. The point is that the fear of public speaking is a natural part of the growing process. It lets you know how far you have come in the process.
Public speaking fear is like riding a roller coaster for the first time or going to a haunted house as a kid. Each of these situations is nerve-racking the first time. However, after you experience them a few times, you realize the fear — although very real the first time — is often highly exaggerated.
Minimize the Risk of Failure.
Once you know where the fear comes from, look for ways to minimize the risk when those situations occur. In this step, you can start small. For instance, if you typically don’t speak up in a staff meeting, then look for a way to voice an opinion in the next one. You could run for office in a social club. Another good way to practice is to ask questions when other speakers present. Each of these situations will allow you to speak in front of groups more. They also each have a relatively low risk of failure.
As you have a series of successes, your confidence will grow. In addition, as you speak more and more, look for speaking opportunities that are more challenging than the last. Just as we started in the parking lot driving, if we stay in that parking lot for the rest of our lives, we won’t really accomplish a lot.
One of the reasons that the Fearless Presentations ® class works so well is that the instructors will assign very simple presentations at the beginning of class. Then, we coach participants so that they have a series of successes. We also increase the difficulty a little at a time in an easy to follow, step-by-step manner. This allows each student to grow in confidence with each new presentation.
Stack Up a Series of Successes.
When you practice public speaking skills and have a success, your confidence will grow. When you have what you perceive to be a failure, your nervousness will grow. (Your confidence will shrink.) So it is important to stack up a series of successes in a short period of time. That way, if something negative does happen, it doesn’t destroy our confidence.
The best way to do this is to look for opportunities to speak that we might have passed up in the past. If those opportunities don’t present themselves, then make opportunities for yourself. This process is like practicing in a sport. If a kid only does batting practice once a week, it is hard to build up momentum. However, if the kid practices at home just a couple of extra times per week, the kid’s batting average will increase dramatically. The point is that you can’t gain confidence if you never come up to bat.
The Simplest Way to Reduce Presentation Nervousness.
If you are looking for a way to eliminate your public speaking fear quickly, register for a 2-day Fearless Presentations ® class in your area. You will experience the power of these three simple steps first-hand. We’ve trained over 20,000 people in the last 18 years, and we’ve never had even a single person fail to increase confidence dramatically. The process works. It will work for you as well!