July is Freedom from Fear of Public Speaking Month. Not being afraid, anxious or nervous in front of an audience is a goal for many people, but I’m not sure it is the right goal.
What does “freedom from fear of public speaking” mean to me?
First, it does not mean the absence of fear. It is only natural to feel at least a little nervous when in public speaking situations. Some will tell you that they don’t feel nervous at all … I think they’re lying, even to themselves. I think the nerves are there, but they’ve learned to sublimate and harness those anxious feelings to the point where they don’t even recognize them anymore.
Freedom from the fear of speaking for me is attaining a balance or equilibrium with your natural nervousness so that it no longer stops you from accomplishing what you set out to accomplish.
You’ll sometimes hear this phrased as “making those butterflies in your stomach fly in formation.”
Susan Jeffers, PhD, wrote a book called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and I believe that’s the key. Don’t let fear stop you from doing what you want to do. Feel it, accept it, and move on.
With enough practice and experience, you’ll find that you may become one of those people who don’t think they get nervous when they get up to speak. And, if you don’t end up succumbing to this delusion, you’ll still know how to harness your nervous energy to make your presentations more powerful and engaging.
Want more information on how to overcome the fear of speaking? Check out my ultimate guide post.
Does Speaking Make You Nervous?
Discover 13 practices that will help alleviate your presentation fears and anxiety.
Inside You’ll Learn:
- Five ways to reduce anxiety before your audience arrives.
- Four practices to reduce anxiety as your audience arrives.
- Four things you can do to calm down right before stepping up to the platform.