I was coaching a friend on public speaking a couple of weeks back when we were addressing about her public speaking anxiety. In her own words, her mind would go blank, she’d freeze and get paralyzed, and she’d suffer from panic attacks thinking about her impending doom… erm… I mean presentation *winks* for weeks to come.
Anyway, we were talking and analyzing her anxiety attacks when it dawned upon me that she held several misconceptions and “displaced faith” towards public speaking.
Now let me clarify, she’s an educated, insightful intelligent and hardworking individual who knows what she wants and what she’s doing. The only problem is that she’s been so active at avoiding speaking up for so long now that she’s forgotten how speak!
In fact, I even remarked (to her) that she has been doing a great job at whatever she’s been doing for the past couple of years! Just think about it – She’s been so successful hiding, she’s successfully taught herself to run away from speaking!
Still, more importantly, the insights and concerns she shared with me about her fear, however, helped me crystallize some of the major lessons I’ve learned about public speaking and the concept of fear! And I thought it would be great to share them with you too!