As much as I love speaking to an audience (which wasn’t the case at one point but that’s a story for another day) the most fulfilling work I do is helping others to confidently share their stories and ideas on stage.
Recently I was backstage at an event doing just that. Going through the steps that the speakers would be taking before they gave their talk, how to wear their mics, and calming last minute nerves.
And no matter how experienced the speaker was, they still had that last minute choke zone experience.
Do you know the feeling?
The gremlins climb on our shoulders and whisper things in our ear like:
‘What if I muck it up?’
‘Everyone is way more experienced than me/has better stories than me’
‘I don’t know anything’
‘I don’t deserve to be on that stage!’
And it’s totally natural. Public speaking is the number one social phobia. It has the potential to trick our brains into thinking there is imminent danger (gotta love that outdated physiological system.)
And the reality is, speaker audiences are warm, supportive, and invested. I have never given a talk or been in an audience where that isn’t the case. Yes, I may have experienced a quieter audience, but have never felt unsupported.
So if the fear of speaking is overriding your ability to make it happen, I have a few tips for you:
Focus on a topic that you know inside out
Whether it’s your personal journey story, a study you have been part of, or the experience you have through your work. Picking a subject that you know in depth can really help to solidify your worthiness to give the talk and your confidence in speaking about it. You know your stuff!
Imagine yourself at the end of your talk. The warm lights on your face, and the rapturous applause of the audience. How will you feel then? Elated, fulfilled, buzzing like a bee! Tap into that feeling and use it to carry you through. It really works for me.
Pump yourself up.
Find all those lovely testimonials and feedback you have ever received and remind yourself of just how great you are at what you do. Print them out and pin them up as a daily reminder that you’ve totally got this.
Move yourself out of the way
Giving a talk isn’t really about you at all. It’s about the people you want to help right? Imagine if just one person could benefit from what you want to share. Now multiply that by hundreds (and thousands/millions if the talk is online.) Move yourself out of the way and focus on who you want to help.
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
We know that fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. So pushing through that feeling, taking action and doing the thing that scares you will be so incredibly rewarding you will want to do it again and again. I promise!
Confidence is a key part of my AIR speaker system and something that I explore in depth as part of my intensive.
I have availability for one intensive spot in March and two in April.
You can find all the details here but shoot me an email if you have questions. https://helenpackham.com/intensive
As a bonus you get my virtual speaking and training pro courses to enhance your confidence in all areas of your speaking.
You have every opportunity to flourish and I want to help you do just that.