Tag Archive for Fear of Speaking

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 is.
So, if you’re willing to speak about your profession, what you know and what inspires you, you’ll move farther 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.
It won’t take long for the joy of speaking to break through the sense of fear. The first time you experience this joy, you may be surprised at how incredibly empowering it is to be able to command your audience’s attention and inspire them to take action based on your recommendations. They’ll seek your advice and want to acquire your business savvy.
The process of public speaking is the fastest method of gaining effective professional acceptance that I am aware. For example, based on the national sales averages, you’ll convert one of 20 potential prospects into a client. If you speak in front of a group of 40 prospects, the odds are that you’d net two to four new clients.
The process of speaking to these 40 people might take you two to three hours, including setting up the talk, speaking, getting there and back again. How long would it take you to dial 40 new prospects, play phone tag a few times, and then actually talk with them?

Speaking: How I got started

I was very fortunate, after dragging my feet for a year, I had a mentor, Ed Thorpe, who took me to a Lion’s Club meeting and just before we finished eating our lunch he leaned over and told me I was their speaker for the day! Gulp!

Well, in a sense he did warn me. For two years he kept telling me I needed to get over my fear of speaking. But I had a great excuse! I grew up stuttering and I knew without a doubt in my mind, I would stutter the very first time I stood up in front of an audience, they would all laugh and I’d be mortified and would have to go home and crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head never to be heard from again.

But, rather than embarrass Ed, I got up, talked for 20 minutes, although I’ve never remembered what I said. I got through it and not one person laughed at me. Now everyone should have a mentor like Ed. He picked me up every month and took me to various service organizations. The about a year after my first speaking engagement a young woman approached me to tell me that she had heard me speak six months prior at her Rotary club. She went oh to tell me what I had said saved her from loosing her business and having to return to a job.

In most situations, that wouldn’t be so bad, except she had three children under the age of ten and by the time she paid for day care and other services to take care of her children, there would have been nothing left over from any job she could qualify for. Besides, being available for her children was why she had then in the first place.

What I had said in my prepared presentation was to explain the simple logic of making her business be accountable. How much was the cost of business and how profitable was it? I explained how to use a term I had later trademarked, Power Partners. I explained how they could become her sales team and she could pay then a commission for referring her business. I also talked about farming out the tasks that are time consuming and only focus on the money generating activities.

In six months she went from loosing $3,000 a month in her start up phase to a $6,000/month profit.

Can you imagine how that effected me? Well, I can tell you it was what hooked me on being a speaker. I realized that even though I thought my knowledge was common everyday practice for entrepreneurs, some people might have heard it, but had never put it into practice,.

Ed never had to book me as a speaker again. I was always one step ahead of him.