Many of us may be familiar with the Jerry Seinfeld quote of speaking in public being a top ten human fear where most would be “better off in the casket than doing the eulogy” !!! So we know that public speaking is scary -What’s particularly harsh about public speaking is that it’s imposed– think work, weddings and business networking! Ancient man being attacked by a dinosaur is more frightening but it would be instant – not with a warning that you will be expected to present with the days and nights on a count down towards misery!
We asked two of our delegates about what life was like before they started to address their fear of public speaking. And this is what they said:
Public Speaking Academy: How did being uncomfortable with presenting impact on your life?
Answer: John H. – “Watching from the sidelines”
“I’ve always blended in to the background when there was a need for someone to speak to the group – it was my way of escaping the embarrassment however on becoming a manager the inevitable happened. I was attending a leaving do for a very dedicated colleague and during the event there was a natural lull, I wanted to give her a genuine send off, something to capture what the team felt so gave it a go. On standing up I was completely out of my depth, shaking and stumbling – I could tell everyone was embarrassed by my poor performance but were too polite to mention this. It actually made it worse.”
Answer: Serena – “Wearing the mask”
“Whilst I could deliver a talk in front of people it was more a show – to impress rather than be myself – I was sort of wearing a mask – but it left me feeling like there was nothing beneath it. I would spend more time on everyone else’s perception that I forgot what was most important ie: Who I really am.”
Public Speaking Academy: What advice would you give those reading this and thinking about joining one of our programmes?
John H. “The very fact that you are reading this is a clear indicator that you have the courage and motivation to grow and go past your fear. Thanks to working with like-minded people, practice, the right approach and technique – I have embraced my reactions and use them to help and not hinder me.”
Serena – “To me this was about going past fear and judgments of others, we all know ourselves better than any other person and coming on the course made me appreciate that it is not a show that impresses – but more that people are impressed by your ability to be imperfect.”
Public Speaking Academy: Any other messages to potential delegates?
Serena – “Life is all about decisions and it sounds harsh but the world owes us nothing. I think knowing you have a barrier is the first step but the second is about the doing which starts to make the changes!”
John H. – “ I traded my wish bone for a back bone! But very seriously it not too late – I agree and think the world owes us nothing – but the world does need you so take the next step!”
Public Speaking Academy – Thank you both – we are looking forward to meeting with you at our advanced programme in Autumn – until then keep talking loud and proud Thank you.
Contact us for more info on our Corporate and Public courses.