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How to Get Over the Fear of
Speaking in Public
Speaking in public is said to be the greatest fear that exists, slightly higher than death! It doesn’t have to be. I think the best teachers are the ones that came from a non-natural skill but one that came from learned experience. Let me share some tips with you on how I overcame my fear of speaking in public and transformed it into making a lot of money and having a lot of fun with it.
Speaking in Public Will Give You Confidence & Make You Money
I used to be terrified of speaking in public, I mean, terrified. I used to be a project manager for a county government and was asked to give a brief presentation on my project in front of my group of 5 co-workers. My heart beat fast, I developed a stutter, I actually spilled my water when I went to take a drink and I also sweated profusely. I was a mess.
I recall the department started doing Monday morning project updates with the entire department of around 40 people. They would go around the room and each person would give a 3-4 minute overview of what they were working on. I cannot tell you how many Monday mornings I called in sick. It was the most terrifying and dreadful thing to me. Half the time I would sit by the exit door and as my turn started getting closer I would sneak out the door to use the bathroom and hope they didn’t notice (they usually didn’t).
What made me get over my fear of speaking in public?
To be honest, I don’t know. I knew it would hold me back and I was very ambitious. It upset me that I was a hard worker and knew my stuff but was crippled in fear when it came to speaking in public. What helped me overcome my fear? What do I suggest for those trying to get over their fear of public speaking? Here you go!
1. Get educated – There are a TON of books in public speaking and quite frankly, most of them are terrible. Why you ask? Well, My theory is that most published speakers wanted to get more speaking gigs so they threw together a book to be able to say that. One exception is Tony Jeary’s How to Inspire Any Audience, I think you can get this book for like $1 or something so Tony may not be the best marketer but he is the best writer of books on speaking I have ever seen.
2. Get experience – Figure out how to get in front of audiences. You can read one hundred books on how to ride a bike and still not be able to balance yourself, such is true with public speaking. Go to groups where you don’t know anyone if that makes you more comfortable or practice in front of friends if you are happier doing it that way, baby steps, baby steps…
3. Step it up – One phrase I used to always say to myself was, time to step up to the plate. I envisioned my speech as me stepping up the plate (like in baseball) and once I got on stage or in front of the group, I always calmed down after about 30 seconds. The more you step it up, the more you chip away at the fear you have before every speaking event.
Some will suggest Toastmasters. I did go to some of their meetings and at that time in my life, it was not my cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a fit for you. ANYTHING that you can do to get experience in front of a crowd will help. It is NEVER as bad as you think it is going to be. One guy that is awesome at helping others break through their fear of speaking in public is my friend, Matt Dimaio. He really is good and has helped a lot of people, including me. In fact, you can see both of us in this very short clip below. Matt introduces me to a very large crowd in Tampa, Florida. Notice that someone that used to be terrified of speaking was able to get over it and if I can do it, so can you!
Also, if you liked this post, you may like this too – 4 Public Speaking Tips
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