Would you believe three years ago, just the thought of public speaking would send shivers of anxiety down my spine?
I remember in my early 20s being a guest speaker at a university lecture where I had to talk about journalism – my former career – and quite literally shaking through the entire talk.
My hands were white and trembling as I held onto my notes for dear life – the fear evident in my well-trained voice despite my innate knowledge of the topic up for discussion.
It was only once I was in my car driving home, that my heart was finally able to settle back into my chest again.
In 2012 I was offered a gig as Sexpo Australia’s Relationship expert.
I was to present nine 20 minute talks about sex at each of their expos.
‘Wow! What an opportunity’ had been my first thought, followed immediately by a massive dose of smack-me-back-down-to-earth fear.
I had a huge fear of public speaking!
Actually, it was bigger than HUGE.
It was the size of a herd of elephants stomping across the Nullarbor in their steel-capped boots.
How could this possibly work?
Despite the fear, I said ‘Yes’.
Then over the next six months I got straight to to work on clearing the limiting beliefs (subconscious programming) that was responsible for my fear of public speaking.
What did I find?
There is no such thing as a fear of public speaking.
There is only a fear of what others will think of you.
Us humans are so driven by this need to be perfect (as opposed to simply having fun) that we get all caught up in knots thinking we’re ‘not good enough’ or we’ll fail or we’ll make a fool of ourselves.
We’re hardwired to worry about our reputation above almost all other things.
Yet once I got rid of those beliefs, the fear dissolved and voila; getting up on stage was as simple as walking down an empty street in comfy flats.
I was free to public speak because I no longer worried about other people’s thought or judgments.
All I focused on was ‘me’.
How did I feel about what I was presenting?
How did I feel about how I would present it?
How did this mental clearing change my experience of public speaking?
I now love it!
I get excited about the opportunity to share what I know with others.
And the bigger the crowd, the better!
Being on stage is more comfy than being curled on my big red couch with a hot cacao (and I think that’s pretty darn comfy).
Stage fright is now a thing of the past.
And I can tell my confidence rubs off on the audience, because despite talking about such a taboo topic, they feel comfy enough to laugh with me, hip swivel with me and come up and talk to me about their most intimate issues.
So my question to you is: Do you get sweaty palms at the thought of public speaking in front of a crowd or even around strangers?
Or more importantly: Do you worry what others think of you?
If so, and you’re ready to clear out the mind-chatter keeping you from having confidence from within to share your truth, then join my next 3-month online course Remarkable Relationships.
You’ll learn how to develop that important relationship with self so you can do so much more than get up in front of a stadium of people.
Want more tips for taking to the stage with ease?
Prepare your talk.
Breathe deep (as it calms you).
Slow down your words as you speak.
And spend some good quality time questioning the beliefs you hold about yourself, that are leading to you worrying what other’s think of you.
Everyone can be a great speaker; it’s simply a matter of clearing out the beliefs that have you thinking otherwise.