Posts Tagged ‘nervousness’

Participants in the Fearless Presentations class in Phoenix, Arizona Eliminate Fear of Public Speaking

Fearless Presentations® class in Phoenix, Arizona helps participants become more confident speakers. Many of the participants in the class experienced a fear of public speaking and nervousness that was holding them back in their careers.

In the Fearless Presentations® class, participants are able to overcome the fear of public speaking by immediately practicing the exercises that the instructor explains. By no means is this a passive, lecture-based class. Participants spend more time out of their seats than in their seats!  When they leave the class, they feel more confident not only about speaking in front of a group, but also about the future of their careers.

Phoenix, Arizona is just one of the cities the Fearless Presentations® class comes to in the U.S. throughout the year. Participants are guaranteed to reduce their nervousness and improve their public speaking skills.

For a Complete List of Upcoming Classes, Visit the upcoming presentation skills classes post. You can can click here for details about the Fearless Presentations ® class.

Public Speaking Fear-The Quick and Easy Way to Fearless Presentations

The fear of public speaking is still one of the biggest and most debilitating fears. Public speaking fear causes competent professionals to miss out on fantastic opportunities to persuade and win people to their way of thinking. So where does this fear come from? Better yet… How does the average person get rid of it? The truth is that public speaking is a skill just like any other skill in that the first time that you do it, you will be nervous. However, if you are still feeling the fear time after time, it’s probably caused by some of the things that you are doing to try to eliminate that fear. That’s right… Often the things that you do to try to reduce public speaking fear actually end up CAUSING this presentation nervousness.

Where Public Speaking Fear Comes From?

Anytime a person tries something for the first time, he or she will feel nervousness or anxiety about it. Remember back when you got on a bicycle for the first time? Or the first time you tried to drive on the freeway? We tend to remember situations like riding a bike for the first time or driving a car for the first time because in those situations, we felt an imminent threat to our safety — the bigger that threat to our safety is, the more intense the fear or nervousness. For instance, if you have ever been sky-diving or bungee jumping, you probably felt a lot of fear.

Last week, I took a trip to London with my wife, and since we had been to London a few times, we decided to do some of the things that we always wanted to do, but just never got around to it. So we ended up going to St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is the big architectural centerpiece of London that the US Capitol building was modeled after. On the tour, we got to walk up over 500 stairs up to the very top of the dome. When we got to the top, an usher was sitting in a chair and looked at us and pointed to a small peek-hole built into the floor. My heart started racing as I leaned over and peeked through. Now I knew that there was a solid floor between me and the cathedral floor hundreds and hundreds of feet below, but that didn’t really help. I could feel the room start to spin a little as I got just a little queasy. Somehow my sub-conscious mind came to the conclusion that if I wasn’t careful, my 225 lb body was going to squeeze through this four inch hole and fall to my death on the hard stone surface below. It was a crazy thought. I quickly looked up and realized that I was still in the safety of the confined room, and I started to think more clearly. When I looked a second time, it was still scary, but not nearly as debilitating. Fear when you attempt something new is normal, and if it’s NOT there, you’re likely to have a much bigger problem than if it IS there.

To a lesser extent, though, we feel this fear constantly when we try something new even if the threat of bodily harm is not apparent. For instance, when I got my first Smart Phone, and I accessed the App Store, I was really nervous about downloading that very first “Free App” because I was scared to death that I’d end up with a recurring charge on my phone bill that I’d never be able to get rid of. I felt the same way years ago the first time I entered a credit card number on Amazon.com and bought a book. Nervousness is normal when we try something new. The more imminent the threat to our safety, the more nerve-racking the activity will be. For instance, my heart beat a lot faster when the first time I went bungee jumping than it did the first time than when I bought a book on Amazon.

I good analogy for this fear is when you are walking down a lonely street in a big city. If you see petite woman in a white lab coat walking toward you, you may not feel a lot of fear. However, if you see a teenage with tattoos and gang paraphernalia, you might start to experience a bit a anxiety. If you see four people dressed the same way, and two of them are carrying baseball bats, you will likely feel great fear. The more that you are threatened by an experience, the more fear you will fear during the experience.

Public speaking fear comes from an internal sense of a threat. The more that you see the speaking activity as a threat, the more fear you will feel. So, the key to lowering the threat is to lower the risk. For instance, in the analogy above where a gang of hoodlums is coming at you with baseball bats, if you happen to be accompanied by a couple of armed bodyguards, you will probably not feel nearly as much fear as you would if you were alone and unarmed.

Lower the Risk, Lower the Threat, Lower the Fear

When the risk of harm is lowered, the fear will diminish pretty dramatically. When I was high above St. Paul’s Cathedral, and I took that second look, I had consciously reassured myself that it would be impossible for me to fall. So the second look was not nearly as shocking as the first look. The first time I drove on the expressway, I was a nervous wreck (no pun intended), but after years of success driving at fairly fast speeds, now when I drive on the expressway, it’s almost second nature.

There are times that I’ve driven to the store or my office, and I put my car into park at my destination and think, “How did I get here?” The process was so second-nature to me, that I didn’t even have to think about it.

The skill of public speaking can happen in much the same way. Public speaking training with a good coach can ensure that you gain confidence in a step-by-step fashion so that as you get up in front of the next group, you have a pretty good shot at having a successful experience. Since the risk of failure is now lower, your fear will lower as well. The lower that your risk of failure becomes, the lower your fear will be as well. So after you train with a good coach, and you deliver your next presentation, because you are better prepared, you’re more likely to have a successful experience. The fear may still be there for this first run, but once you complete the presentation, and you have performed well during the speech, you’ll feel more confident about what you’ve accomplished. So the next time that you stand up to speak, it should be much easier. And the next time, easier still.

Are You Growing as a Speaker?

The point is that every time that you speak, you should have a success — You should set yourself up for success. And every time that you have an additional success, your confidence should grow. If that is not happening for you, then something is interrupting this cycle. For instance, some public speaking classes have a teacher or an instructor who uses constructive criticism as a coaching tool. Typically, the class member will deliver the speech, sit down, and receive a critique of his/her performance.

So instead of the teacher helping the class member deliver the initial speech better (helping the participant succeed), the teacher waits for the participant to fail and then gives a critique that reinforces that failure. As a result, when the class member stands up to deliver his/her next speech, instead of confidence, the person is experiencing a higher risk of failure. “I failed last time, so I’m likely to also fail this time… As soon as I sit down, I’m going to get another critique.”

A good public speaking coach will help a speaker deliver a better speech in the first place and then build on each of these successes. The difference in styles would be like letting a four-year-old get on a new bike and pedal and fall… pedal and fall… pedal and fall, and then once the kid is really frustrated coming over and critiquing her performance by telling her the three main things that she did wrong. Then waiting a week or two and repeat the process again. Although the fear would be high on the first attempt, the fear would be even higher the second time this new rider tried to get on the bike. A good coach will hold the seat for the child and then praise her performance once she has a small success. Once she has even a small success the risk of failure lowers, and although she’ll still be nervous, she’s now willing to attempt something more complicated. As the successes grow, the confidence will grow as well.

Get a good public speaking coach, and your confidence will grow. The Leader’s Institute® offers Fearless Presentations® Public Speaking Classes in cities all over the world. Click the link to access a class schedule or to request information.

The Leader’s Institute® Presentation Skills Class Delivers World Class Presentations in Chicago Illinois

The Leader’s Institute® conducted a presentation skills class in Chicago, IL, where participants not only improved their public speaking skills, but also delivered outstanding presentations by the end of the second day!

The class is designed to reduce the nervousness that often comes with public speaking, and teach students how to design a world class presentation in 15 minutes or less.  We had a very enthusiastic group of people who came from both the Chicago area and from across Illinois and the United States to take the class.  They especially enjoyed learning tools to improve impromptu speaking, and had a lot of fun in the process.  Good job everyone!

For a Complete List of Upcoming Classes, Visit the upcoming presentation skills classes post. You can can click here for details about the Fearless Presentations ® class.

Public Speaking Fear


By Doug Staneart 

Public Speaking Fear? Where does stage fright come from, and how in the world do you get rid of it?  Most people who stand up in front of a group and feel the butterflies in the stomach, the sweaty palms, and the shaky hands think that they are the only ones who feel public speaking anxiety, but presentation fear is very common. Surveys show that over 95% of people asked admit to having, at least some, public speaking fear.  Over the last 20 years, I’ve helped over 20,000 overcome their presentation anxiety, though, and here are a few things that I’ve learned in the process that might help you too.

Where Public Speaking Fear Comes From 

Anytime you try something new, you will be nervous.  However, when we try public speaking for the first time — by definition, — we are always experimenting in front of a group.  Think about how nervous you were when you drove a car on the freeway for the first time.  Think about how much more traumatic that would have been if 25 of your peers had been watching every move you made during that first drive.  So the initial fear or anxiety that you felt the first time you spoke in front of a group was absolutely normal.  If you didn’t feel nervous, that would be strange.   Over time, if you have successes in your new skill, your confidence grows, but if you have what you perceive to be a failure — even if you did okay — your nervousness will grow.  This is why most people have this fear.  Continuing the learning to drive a car example, if you only drove once every year or two and every time that you did, you had all those peers watching you, it would be difficult to develop a track record of perceived successes. 

How to Eliminate Public Speaking Fear 

The best way to eliminate the nervousness is to have a series of successes.  That’s why Toastmasters and other speaking clubs work so well when people attend over a period of time.  When you speak and have a success, your confidence will grow slightly.  So if you string a series of successful presentations together, you’ll diminish the fear pretty dramatically.  The biggest problem with toasting clubs, though, is that it takes months or years to make progress, and most of the time, people who attend need help right now!   A good public speaking class can help dramatically here.  A public speaking class where you can get up and physically speak in front of the class six to 10 times in a short period of time like two to three days will work wonders if it is in a controlled environment. 

Once the Public Speaking Fear Diminishes, Experiment with More Challenging Presentations 

After you start to feel more comfortable, it’s important to try more challenging presentations.  In reality, you have to force yourself to become more nervous again.  The reason why is that as you get better at the more challenging types of presentations, the simpler presentations become really easy.  Going back to the car driving analogy, if you only ever drive in the parking lot, you’ll never grow as a driver.  However, when you begin to drive in a neighborhood, and then you go back to the parking lot, the parking lot is easier.  When you get on the freeway, going back to the neighborhood and driving is a lot more comfortable.  If you became a NASCAR driver and got good at the bumpin’ and rubbin’ at 170 MPH with just inches between each car, then you will have absolutely no fear when you drive around your neighborhood.  It’s the same with public speaking.  When you get really good at the complicated, the simpler presentations become second nature. 

So if you are feeling those butterflies and sweaty palms, realize that you’re normal.  Find a place where you can string a series of successful presentations together in order to begin to grow your self-confidence.  Then experiment with more challenging presentations over time to continue to grow.  You’ll eliminate your public speaking fear in no time.

Doug Staneart is a public speaking coach based in Dallas, Texas.  He teaches a public speaking crash-course called the Leader’s Institute® Boot Camp where he helps participants eliminate their public speaking fear in as little as three days.  Request information about the Boot Camp at https://www.leadersinstitutebootcamp.com and, he’ll send you a free copy of his best-selling book, Fearless Presentations.

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