7 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking
Insights from World-Famous Experts and Neuroscience
I'll never forget the feeling of delivering a workshop to one person. I was in my early thirties with two young sons to raise. I was in the business of selling investments to pre-retirees and retired people, typically 55+.
It was the early 1990s. I worked tirelessly for three months to promote the retirement planning workshop. The location was a 55+ community on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona.
It was about an hour's drive from my office. Back then, a gallon of gas was only $1.11. Ordinary people didn't have cell phones. So, I had plenty of time to imagine an entire room of people waiting to hear every word I had prepared to share with my audience on an overhead projector.
Despite my best efforts, one lady showed up for my presentation. Yes, it was humbling. And the only logical thing to do was to deliver the presentation and be happy about it!
At the top of the hour, I pulled a chair before the woman. I sat down and said, "It looks like you and me. How about that? A workshop for one!"
We both laughed even though my humor has always been a stealth defense mechanism shielding from my deep-rooted need for approval, which has taken a lifetime to overcome, but I digress.
“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” — Dale Carnegie
The best speakers, leaders, trainers, and coaches I know are resilient, purpose-powered, and, despite the same human fears, willing and able to use their emotions to deliver impactful messages to inspire, teach, and motivate people from all walks of life.
The best way to overcome your fear of public speaking is by developing your mindset and practicing as often as possible. You have to be coachable. You have to be hungry…