If your answer was "yes”, write a list of ten things you really fear.Arrange them from the strongest in intensity to the weakest.
If you still claim you never fear anything, you can skip this chapter.But you will definitely be asked to prove your words later.When the time comes...
Now lets digress a little to another question.What actually is fear?And do we need it?We usually have a very definite feeling that we could present much much betterwithout it, couldn’t we?
Here you will need your list of fears that you were asked to makein slide 6.Things you fear most.
You can compare it with the results of a survey in which a team of marketresearchers asked 3,000 respondents in the USA exactly the same question.Many respondents named more than one fear, but it is interesting to thinkabout the results in the next slide.Note: The numbers are given in percentage...
Speaking before a group Heights Financial problems Deep water Insects & Bugs Death Flying Loneliness Driving/riding Dogs in a car DarknessEscalators
At this point it may be useful to have a closer look at fear. What exactly is it?First of all, fear is a natural emotion.We are born with some fears (for example the fear of falling, the fear of loudnoises) and we learn other fears early in life from the reactions of people aroundus. The purpose of "natural fear" is very logical – to give us caution and help us tokeep our body alive.To have fear is a defensive advantage. It protects us from danger and serves us asmotivation to escape to safety. We all need fear because it gets our adrenalinegoing (remember the vital primaeval fight-or-flight reaction).Too much fear, however, is counter productive and paralyzes us.
One way to deal with our fears is simply to work out what we are afraid of.Ask yourself what it is exactly that you are worried about. Write it down, draw apicture, make a song or a poem and try to understand the roots of your negativeattitude.Also, attempt to do something practical about it. For example, if you are afraid ofspiders, buy a cuddly spider toy; if you are afraid of missing the morning bus, usetwo friends (on the phone, of course) or two alarm clocks; if you are afraid offreezing up during a presentation, improve your notes and rehearse more.There are various successful supporting methods to fight against unnecessaryanxiety or dread, systems like limbic and mental programming, yoga, or EmotionalFreedom Techniques. Just look for them.Of course, if your fear nears panic, it is advisable to see a psychologist.
Fear of public speaking is natural and MANAGEABLE
The reason why we are afraid of public performance is manifold, but generallyit is because we do not like being exposed (remember Medieval punishment ofpillory for public humiliation or standing against the wall at school). An even deeperreason is that we are afraid, no, we agonize of not being accepted.These are for most of us lifelong frights, but we have learned to mask them verywell in normal life.But as speakers, we are exposed in front of a crowd, plus we have to woo thatcrowd (a hostile crowd, as we imagine) to get its attention and respect. What anunenviable position!It is also good to realize that stage fright and fear of public performance often havetheir ground in our inner insecurity, fear of failure and thus anxiety of people. It isalso often accompanied by lack of self-trust and high suspiciousness towards otherpeople, which may have deep roots going back to our childhood.
Basically there are only two ways how to deal with it: you can choose togive it up and suffer or to do something about it.I have personally witnessed that practising public speaking helped people toimprove their personal qualities including more improved self-confidence andameliorated relationships.
Have you got any special ways how you deal with your fears and with theanxiety of public performance?You can compare them with our suggestions that follow.
Out-and-out preparation Language practice Tongue twisters Breathing techniques Building self-confidence in lifePositive expectation & visualization of success Relaxation & meditation exercises Mudras & acupressure points A glass of water Mind shift Guarana Having a nip Out-and-out preparation
Now, Ive got another question for you. This time a fighting one.Have you ever thought that fear may be positive?
If you tend to protest, try to recall now the situations you have experiencedwhere a certain amount of fear has helped you in winning success...Do not hurry and go through them in your mind trying to feel the emotions you felt,how you dealt with them, and what was the feeling when it was successfully over.
If you have done that little exercise, you probably realized many importantand useful things: 1. Fear can be overcome. 2. Fear adds to our strength. 3. Fear sharpens our senses. 4. Fear focuses our mind. 5. Fear can be overcome.
Let me share a secret of a successful public performance: Do not kill those butterflies in your stomach. Rather learn to keep them under control.