Monday, January 21, 2013

Tools for Fear of Public Speaking

They say timing is everything...

I received an email today for a Blog I follow by Ben Angel. The post was titled

Top 5 Presentation Tips from the late Steve Jobs

Within the blog post, there's a link to 4 Quick Steps to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

Wanted to pass this additional information along...maybe it'll help someone (even me!) overcome their fears in this area.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Public Speaking…or Fear of Death?

I’m currently on Goodreads and am thinking about “my book” that I have yet to start…and public speaking.

I figure if I do ever write my book then hopefully I will get some book signings and folks would also like me to read a chapter or two.

I’m so afraid of public speaking. I know I’m not the only one – it usually tops people’s fear lists – over and above fear of death.

But, I know if I did ever get this opportunity then I wouldn’t be quite as afraid because I know that I’d be speaking about a subject that I am very confident I know tons about…even if I am not an expert.

Since I am a confirmed and certified “Jane of All Trades” I feel as though I am truly a master of none…not even me, myself and I - hence all the personal growth books I own.

People who knew me way back when ask me how I could dance and do theatre (which I haven’t actively participated in for about 2 decades) and be afraid to speak in public. It’s because I don’t feel like I’m an expert – in anything. And, on stage in a play or musical - you are "playing" someone else. You have lines to read and a song to sing, choreography to dance. It's planned and structured, and even though it's "Live" and things can and do happen - you have the basic outline.

Also, I don’t want to sound stupid – there it is again…fear of failure! I believe it’s what keeps us in a state of static – not moving, not changing, not growing.

I’m okay with it if I am “teaching” or demonstrating something that I’ve been fully involved with – but it still is very uncomfortable because of all the public speakers who I’ve seen – they are solid and confident and strong and an expert in what they are talking about…or so it seems.

I know that’s why I shy away from public speaking, even though it probably is something that’s been holding me back in my “career.” Of course, not knowing what you want to BE when you grow up could also be added to the stall in my career trajectory.

I think it’s one of the main reasons I didn’t switch careers and become a teacher.  I don’t feel like I’m an expert in anything even though lots of people have told me I’d make a great teacher. I think also having the same bat-shit crazy English teacher 2 years in a row in high school kind of turned me off (guess who BMHSers?). Besides, I wanted to be an actress at that time.

I had a marathon last week of the first season of “Girls” and I am so happy that it won the Golden Globe last night and that Lena Dunham won for Best Actress in a TV Comedy/Musical.  I think it’s a leftover category name from the 70’s when there were lots of Variety Shows and probably had to be added back in because of “Glee”.

I totally envy Lena Dunham because at such a young age she KNEW what she wanted to be when she grew up and she totally went for it! I’m old enough to be her mother and I’m still flailing about like a teenager!

I don’t think it will be something I am ever going to be proactive at. Even if I feel comfortable with the subject matter I still get the massive jitters and I tend to rush through it and my voice is shaky.

Sound familiar? Don’t worry. Join the Club. You’re not alone!