Scared Of Public Speaking? 3 Quick Tips To Conquer Your Fear
BY Bill Wackermann – Fast Company
In business, irrational fears encompass everything from fear of rejection, fear of authority, and fear of criticism to fear of failure and even fear of success. Such fears keep us from being able to “just figure things out” and making the flip that can propel us in a good direction. Let me tell you a story to illustrate this point.
A good friend of mine, Tom, is one of the most talented sports agents in his business. Hard-charging, funny, and smart, Tom has a natural touch with his clients and is on the fast track toward senior management.
Unfortunately, Tom suffers from one of the business world’s most common irrational fears, a fear of public speaking.
On the surface, when you see Tom, this makes no sense. Why would he be afraid to talk in front of a crowd? He’s confident, articulate, and successful. But he is deathly afraid of standing alone in front of a crowd and speaking. The interesting thing is that he has no problem contributing as part of a panel or group. It’s only speaking solo that causes him to panic. No matter how many times he successfully speaks on a panel, no matter how many times he receives compliments and assurances on his performance, he still remains terrified to speak alone in public. It’s an irrational fear that is impacting his business goals, and he’ll never be able to find faith and reach his potential unless he can get over it.
To balance his scale, one that was tilting heavily in favor of fear, I gave Tom a positive variable for every negative fear.
Tom had three primary negative fears: (1) that people were judging him, (2) that he needed to be perfect, (3) that he would freeze and get stuck. Here’s a list of the balancing variables:
Negative fear: Everyone is judging me.
Positive variable: People are self-interested.