Speaking with Fear vs. Speaking in Comfort and with Confidence

Are you uncomfortable in giving presentations? Many would rather die or step across a path of hot coals before they would stand in front of a group of people and give a presentation.

For many the "fear of public speaking" is their #1 fear. For others, it may be a phobia or an anxiety. Why do we say that? Most every time we talk about public speaking, it is about the fear of.... Even when we discuss good speakers, we will refer to them as not having the fear to speak in front of an audience. Most everything to do with pubic speaking is the in the negative.

Five years ago, I began teaching and giving workshops on the fear of public speaking. I consider myself as the world's most renowned authority on the fear of public speaking. You see, I had the fear for more than three (3) decades and I had gone through every scenario that others have gone through. I understood and could relate to others with the fear.

The title of the class when I started teaching was quite generic, "Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking." Since then, I modified the title using phrases like mastering your fear, fighting your fear, and switching from public speaking to speaking in public. Eventually I ended with "Transcending your fear of Speaking in front of an Audience." Finally, I had the title that seemed to fit. Transcending because it means to rise above or go beyond the limits and speaking in front of an audience because most presenters are not and do not want to be public speakers, but they wanted to be comfortable in speaking in front of an audience.

But waaaaaaaaaaaaaait! I was still teaching about a negative—the fear of speaking in front of an audience.

Why is that import? During the past year, I've studied the Law of Attraction as discussed in the book/movie, The Secret. My wife and I took a 3-day seminar with Bob Proctor, one of the major contributors to The Secret. We also went on a 7-day Caribbean cruise with Bob Proctor—for free, but that’s a story of the Law of Attraction for another day.

The bottom line is that I learned to understand the power of positive thinking. My conception of the Law of Attraction was based on Abraham Lincoln's quote "You are what you think." We we need to replace the negatives in our subconscious mind with positives Thus, if you think you will be poor, you will be poor. It’s very true. Look at all the lottery winners who have lost all their winnings and were deeper in debt three to four years later. Though they had millions of dollars, their subconscious mind was still saying, "you are poor." If you think you are rich, you will become rich, even if you are now broke. Do you remember the story of Chris Gardner, portrayed by Will Smith in the movie, Pursuit of Happiness? Similarly, Henry Ford said, "If you think you can or you think you can't, you're right," which just happens to relate to be a book I am contributing to with Jim Rohn and Dr. Warren Bennis called Yes You Can!.

Now the title of my class/workshop is “Be Comfortable while Speaking in Public” Even though overcoming, mastering, transcending or getting over your fear is a positive act, your subconscious mind is still seeing fear, fear, fear. But if you’re thinking and practicing becoming comfortable with speaking in public—guess what? Your subconscious mind is kicking out fear and replacing it with comfort and confidence.

Do you have a fear of speaking in public? Do you have the anxiety or phobia of speaking? Do you run away from opportunities to speak? Have you lost jobs or promotions because you fear public speaking? If you say yes to any of these questions, STOP! Clear your subconscious mind of fear and change it to comfort or confidence.

"But how do you do that," you may ask. Shift your paradigm. Stop thinking or saying, “I’m overcoming, mastering, transcending, or getting over my fear of speaking in public.” Think and say, "I'm in the process of speaking with confidence." or “I’m taking steps to be more comfortable in speaking in public.” Oh, I final thought. Take action! You can't just think it, you need to take action. Join Toastmasters.



Frank A.

Communications Skills Specialist and Instructor

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