February 13, 2008

Is your fear of public speaking a barrier to career advancement?

"Take it from one of us, who had serious public speaking anxiety - you can only avoid it for so long before bowing out of the spotlight will start limiting how much you make and how far you go at your company."

~ Guest columnists Caitlin Friedman & Kimberly Yorio on Fox Business

One of my clients turned down a high-paying job that she really wanted because it involved daily sales presentations. She ended up taking another job that still involved public speaking, but only in small increments, introducing other speakers at trainings and events.

She called me for coaching when the registration for one of these events started to reach 100 audience members.

Just from meeting her for the first time, I could tell that she was overstating her lack of ability. And I knew that once she got through this event, she would be shocked at how easy and comfortable it was. She had already started feeling more comfortable with smaller audiences.

Sure enough, once the event was behind her, she realized that moving forward would be "a cinch" and was surprised at how "not big a deal" it was.

Here's someone who decided to face her fear and has has realized that the hurdle was not so high after all. She will continue to improve and may eventually take that job she turned down or another one like it.

How about you? Are you letting your fear of public speaking hold you back in your career?

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