So the stage is set – you’re going to stand before an audience and you’re going to have to “say a few words”. Whether it’s for the big presentation before business associates, or deliver a speech at a seminar, or play a bit-part as an emcee, you cannot escape the fact that you’re going so speak before a group of people – people who have the will and ability mock, ridicule and criticize you should anything go wrong…
Your head begins to swirl with thoughts of what may come…
… “What if I forget my lines?’
… “What if I’m boring?”
… “I don’t know what to say!”
… “What will I do if I flunk?”
… “What if others laugh at me?”
… “What if others don’t laugh at me?”
The list goes on…
Isn’t that just wonderful how creative we can get when it comes to finding possible problems of failure… yet we can’t seem to find a way forward to help us succeed on stage?
Well, if it’s any consolation, you’re not alone when it comes to stage fright.
Millions of people face a similar problem when they’re asked to take the stage too. Many freeze and faint. Others choose to take flight – avoiding public speaking like the plague, while a minority choose to fight for a chance to win in spite of the fear.
But guess what, I’m here to tell you today that it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, it’s not public speaking that you’re afraid of but Public Embarrassment.
Let’s face it, we’re all afraid of making a fool of ourselves, of jeopardizing our careers, or just plain getting ridiculed and humiliated before other people… especially those you know and those who matter.
Good news though, that’s where the bad news end. Since you’re not really afraid of public speaking, you don’t have to run away from it.
In fact, it’s going to make it much easier to confront the issue and work your way up on it! After all, if you’re afraid of looking bad by doing a bad job of speaking, then focus on working on your skills so that you do a good job and stand out!
So here’s the most important lesson you’ll have to learn about Stage Fright – You’re not afraid of Public Speaking, but Public Embarrassment.
And the answer to your your problem – You can tackle “Stage Fright” by becoming a better and more skillful speaker – because then you know you can call on various skills to do well on stage.
How do I know? Because I’ve done it myself. Want to know how I overcome my intense shyness and innate introversion? The following is a recommendation and summary of a six-step process you can follow to start working on to boost your confidence and ability.
- Learn more stage techniques and presentation strategies
Like all skills, there are strategies and techniques involved. There are the fundamentals, skills that every speaker must possess, and there are the advanced, specialized skills, something that the best speakers in the world have adopted, developed and refined (some mutually) exclusively in various capacities in crafting their skills.
Learn those skills!
Click on the link to browse through some fundamental skills you can use to craft a proper speech or enhance your delivery to become a smoother and more eloquent speaker.
- Slog Behind the Scenes
As the saying goes, “Knowledge is Power”. I disagree. Knowledge is Potential. Action is POWER.
Without Action, Knowledge is Useless.
So, it’s not enough to learn. You’ve got to put your knowledge to the test, use it to install (I say Internalize) it.
- There are no Losers, only Lessons
So you’ve acquired knowledge. Put it into practice… and it didn’t quite work out. The attempt failed. But you haven’t.
Mistakes serve as lessons for learning. It’s merely an indication that the skill/strategy was wrongly applied, and that it could be better executed.
Making mistakes does not make you a loser. Giving up does – because then you’ll never take the next step of becoming better.
Think of it as road. You head on down the wrong road, you make a U-Turn and go on another one. Make another mistake and you repeat the process until you find the right one and reach your destination.
Learn the Lessons, Lest You become a Loser.
- Practice Makes…
Contrary to the popular belief that “Practice Makes Perfect”, I believe Practice makes Progress towards Permanence. One reason for that is simply because there is nothing perfect in this world, and even the best speakers can continue learning and improving their craft.
Case in point, I’ve even heard how Steve Jobs has been continuously working at his craft and ability as a speaker, and is it any amazement and wonder how well he’s been doing so far?
- Rewrite your Experiences to Rewire your Memories
Great, so you’ve learned new strategies, experimented with them. Made a couple of mistakes and learned from them again.
You’ve continued practicing to refine your skills and abilities.
Over time you should be able to perform better and become better than you were previously.
Remember how you used to refer to negative experiences in past? The time is ripe for you to start replacing them with your public speaking successes. Every little achievement and success with a new skill is a milestone worth celebrating, embracing and referring to.
Those successes are a testament that you’ve made progress. You’re no longer no longer the same speaker as you were before you began your personal development journey.
Empower yourself by referring to your new memories, experiences and successes in place of the old, negative ones.
- Get Coached to Succeed
Stuck in a rut? Think you’ve hit a threshold?
Don’t know how, where to start or how to progress further?
Again, you’re not alone. Despite the deluge of resources and information, and your ability to do more and progress further, a round peg may not always fit a square nut – meaning that not every skill, suggestion and strategy can serve to fulfill/match one’s needs, abilities and potential all the time.
In essence, there’s is no one-size fits all silver bullet that any individual can use to step up.
Or if you’re really in a hurry to avoid all the costly mistakes that 99% of all amateur speakers make, and that you’d really like to get straight to working with proven techniques and programs tailored accordingly to what your unique, individual needs, then getting a coach is what you need.
Why reinvent the wheel and waste time, when you can have an expert outsider point you in the right direction immediately?
Why waste time, unnecessarily, when you can short-cut your learning journey and achieve more in shorter time?
I’ve been blessed to have had mentors guide me in my personal and professional development, and I can attest to how quickly having a guide helps in one’s development. If only I had a specialized mentor hold my hand to guide me in my journey in Public Speaking… (but the research and development helped too!)
Learn the Strategies. Work with it. Make Mistakes. Learn from your Experiences. Refine and Internalize the Lessons Permanently. Get Coached – to Get More & Become Better, in a Shorter Time.
My five year journey and learning process has been condensed into five minutes for you!
To Your Public Speaking Success!