What would the world of work be like if the ‘Fear of Public Speaking’ didn’t exist?
Being a competent speaker is a valuable skill to have in the workplace.
The more senior your role, the more likely you will be expected to present to groups, and do so with ease.
“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking.
Number two is death.
Death is number two? Does that seem right?
To the average person that means that if they have to go to a funeral, they’d be better off in the casket than giving the eulogy.”
~ Jerry Seinfeld
Fear of Public Speaking
Does fear slow you down, or worse stop you, from making a speech or presentation at work?
Do you feel weak at the knees, have a dry throat, clammy hands, or a shaky voice when you have to speak in front of a group?
Assuming that you are reading this article because public speaking is a problem for you. You may find it interesting to know that what’s stopping you from presenting with ease, may be a lack of knowledge or experience of how to speak in public.
Or, there may be some trauma in your past (long forgotten or not acknowledged) that’s responsible for how you feel about speaking to an audience.
Fight, Flight or Freeze
The fight, flight, or freeze response is one of the body’s systems that is triggered when you find yourself in a potentially dangerous or fearful situation.
It makes sense that if you are very afraid of public speaking, and are inclined to put distance between you and speaking opportunities (flight). It also makes sense for those times you may become speechless (freeze) while speaking. So, it’s worth considering solutions that dig deeper than the traditional ‘how-to’ training, which is focused on just three steps.
Planning, preparing, and practicing
Don’t get me wrong, planning, preparing, and practicing your presentations are hugely important.
Back in the 1930’s and 40’s researchers found a lack of public speaking skills to be the cause of Public Speaking Anxiety (PSA). More recently, one group of researchers believe that PSA cannot be overcome through training, they believe a fear of public speaking is genetic.
In contradiction, another group of researchers believe that public speaking anxiety is learned from negative experiences which cause you to think negatively about public speaking (Bodie, 2010).
I recently completed an online course developed and presented by Alexa Fischer and Daphna Slonim. The course supports the third theory above, about ‘negative experiences’ causing PSA. However, the course takes the problem to whole other level by showing exactly how you can overcome those old negative experiences – and quickly!
How To Release Your Fear of Public Speaking
Alexa Fischer and Daphna Slonim have extensive knowledge and experience helping people to overcome fear, hesitation, nervousness, and mild anxiety with public speaking. They demonstrate simple techniques that work for their clients.
Alexa is an experienced public speaker and coach.
Daphna is an author and clinical psychiatrist with extensive knowledge and experience treating patients with anxiety. Daphna wrote the book ‘The First Key; How to Remove Subconscious Sabotage. She developed the Sabotage Correction Technique (SCT) which she teaches in her book and on their course.
The techniques are easy to learn and implement while watching the course online.
For some techniques you will need a partner.
Many of the techniques come from Energy Psychology/Medicine, Energy Muscle Testing, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT – Tapping).
While these techniques might sound ‘a bit too new age’ for some, if you are open to learning and trying new approaches and want to improve your success, you are bound to get value from this course – I certainly did.
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Reference: Graham D. Bodie (2010) A Racing Heart, Rattling Knees, and Ruminative Thoughts: Defining, Explaining, and Treating Public Speaking Anxiety, Communication Education, 59:1, 70-105, DOI: 10.1080/03634520903443849