Fear of Speaking
Because so many people fear public speaking, great benefits are accorded to those who dare to get up in front of an audience and speak. Audiences tend to believe that those who speak publicly about their industry are more knowledgeable than those who don’t speak publicly are. Speakers command more respect. The audience is more likely to want to do business with the speaker than nearly anyone else that they know in the same industry.
So, if you’re willing to speak about your profession, what you know and what inspires you, you’ll move far ahead of your peers in terms of gaining notoriety and being highly regarded.
The only way to break the fear of public speaking is to do it. Like learning to ride a bicycle, before you get competent, you’ll probably fall a lot. You may even fall a time or two after you become an expert, but you learn to make it work for you. You’ll develop your instincts for knowing when you’re moving toward your purpose and when you’re off-course. Once you learn the skill of speaking, you can take it into any arena.
The book of lists rates public speaking as what people fear the most. Death is listed as the fifth most feared.
I can easily believe that ranking. Although I now love public speaking and often get paid well to do it, I once struggled more with public speaking than nearly any other area of my business development. Realizing I had a lot of company in the fear I felt, didn’t help at all. I couldn’t imagine how I could possibly get up in front of a group of people, convince them that I had something valuable to say, and speak as though I enjoyed it.
The first time I got up to speak in front of a leads group, one of my worst fears came true. The trouble began when, instead of introducing myself as “Sharyn Abbott from Uniglobe Travel,” I blurted out, “I’m Sharyn Uniglobe from Abbott Travel.” Everyone laughed, and I was miserably embarrassed. Then I realized they weren’t laughing at me (though I wasn’t yet ready to appreciate that it really was funny), they were laughing because it was truly funny. Somehow I managed to get through my presentation and when I sat back down I continued feeling embarrassed over my mistake in my introduction. I can’t imagine that anyone else thought about it ever again, but I agonized over it for years.