F The Fear of Public Speaking
That’s a Problem!
Fred Miller, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!”
This is the first in a series of videos about the Fear of Public Speaking.
Picture this. It’s Monday morning. Your boss calls you into his office and says, “Bobby, as you know, this Friday is the most important day of the year for our company. It’s our annual Open House.
“One hundred of our best customers, and fifty of the best prospects we have ever had, are going to be here for the entire day.
“The president of the company wants each department to give a fifteen minute presentation. I’ve got you down for one-fifteen, right after lunch.”
People will have one of several reactions to a Speaking Opportunity like that.
The first one might be, “Yes! This is my ticket to the Executive Suite, a Corner Office, my own Parking Spot, the Executive Washroom! I’m always ready to get up and strut my stuff in front of an audience. I can’t wait! I wish it was this afternoon. I am pumped!”
A second reaction might be, “Prozac! Me? Speak in front of an audience? You’ve got to be kidding!
“Just thinking about it, I’m having flashbacks to Mrs. Johnson’s fourth grade class. I had a five minute book report. With all those bathroom breaks, it took me a half hour to complete!
“Soon as I get off work, I’m going to Walgreens. I’m going to get a triple refill of that prescription, and I’m going to start popping those pills at the counter.
“Friday Open House – I may not live that long!”
And a third reaction may be, “Colonoscopy! If this bozo thinks I’m going to put my career on the line in front of people I don’t even know, he’s nuts!
“I’m going back to my office. I’m going to call my gastroenterologist and reschedule that procedure for Friday.
Open House? I’m out of here!”
Now, if your reaction to a Speaking Opportunity like that is more like two and three than one – You’re not alone!
Lots of people have a Fear of Public Speaking!
That’s a problem. Here’s why: We perceive really good speakers as Experts. Perception is reality; we like to work with Experts.
But those of us with a Fear of Public Speaking; we’re not likely to take, and we’re certainly not going to make, those Speaking Opportunities.
And we lose out. We lose out because the research shows:
“Speaking Opportunities are Business Opportunities!
Speaking Opportunities are Career Opportunities!
Speaking Opportunities are Leadership Opportunities!
People who take and make those Speaking Opportunities; Grow their Businesses, Advance their Careers, and Increase their Leadership roles.
Makes sense? Sure it does!
Well, I’ve got Bad News and Good News.
Here’s the Bad News: There’s no magic pill you can take that will make you a better speaker and lessen the Fear of Public Speaking. Now, maybe Pfizer has it in clinical trials somewhere, but they haven’t given me a release date.
And here’s the Good News: It’s a skill you can learn!
Let me tell you a story.
I got a call last year from an OBGYN. She was living in New York, coming to St. Louis, and was going to be affiliated with one of the big hospitals here.
Scared to death of Public Speaking. I could hear it in her voice, and she told me. She said, “This is really a problem! I’m going to have to present to colleagues. I’m going to be teaching a class. Is there anything you can do to help me?”
I said, “Doctor, let me ask you a couple questions first. You told me you were an OBGYN. That means you deliver baby boys and baby girls, correct?”
She said, “Yes.”
I said, “Well, have you ever delivered a Baby Public Speaker?”
She chuckled and said, “No!”
I said, “Let me ask you another question, Doctor. You’re an adult. You’re a doctor. You’ve dealt with death; it’s part of life. Do you know anyone who passed away while they were giving a presentation?”
She chuckled a bit, again, and said, “No, I don’t believe that’s ever happened.”
I said, “Doctor, you just proved something for me.
“There’s not a Public Speaking gene that we’re either born, or not born with. It’s a relatively safe activity to engage in. So somewhere between birth and death, it’s a skill we can learn.
“We weren’t born knowing how to drive a car or use a computer. All the skills we have we learned.
“Doctor, you went to Medical School! You’ve done tougher things!”
Going forward on the Fear of Public Speaking, the next video will discuss Why we have this fear. The following video will give you some Nuggets to Lessen the Fear with – NO SWEAT!
Look forward to the next video, I know you’re going to enjoy it.
Till next time, this is Fred Miller – NO SWEAT Public Speaking!
About the Author
Fred E. Miller is a speaker, a coach, and the author of the book,
“No Sweat Public Speaking!”
Businesses and individuals hire him because they want to improve their
Public Speaking and Presentation Skills.
They do this because we perceive really great speakers to be Experts.
Perception is reality, and we rather deal with Experts.
They also know:
Speaking Opportunities are Business Opportunities.
Speaking Opportunities are Career Opportunities.
Speaking Opportunities are Leadership Opportunities.
He shows them how to:
Develop, Practice, and Deliver ‘Knock Your Socks Off Presentations!’ with –
Fred E. Miller