August 13, 2008

Feel the fear and speak anyway

My audiences and clients are frequently surprised when I tell them I still get nervous before a presentation. I'm not afraid of public speaking, but like most speakers, I do feel pressure to perform, to give my best and to avoid making egregious and embarrassing mistakes.

It's perfectly natural to feel nervous and excited at the same time, and to still go forward, not being entirely sure of what will happen or feeling completely in control of the situation.

If you're truly afraid of public speaking, though, it might be hard to believe that you can get to this place.

Here's a quote from someone who lives the motto, "Feel the fear and do it anyway" every day:

"Actually, I'm afraid of heights... . I still haven't lost the fear. Like if you asked me just to jump straight off, without doing the dive and all, I wouldn't do it. So I have to have something to distract me on the way down."

~ Haley Ishimatsu, 15-year-old Olympic platform diver

If Haley Ishimatsu, who's afraid of heights, can jump off a 30-foot platform every day to challenge herself, perhaps there's hope for you!

The question is this: What do you have to do and what are you willing to do to get yourself to that place?

Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to learn about 1:1 coaching with me!

2 comments. Please add yours! :

Unknown said...

I wonder if it's fear of the speaking...

...or fear of the loathing.

Does the so-called "fear of speaking" stem from the fear of being hated by multitudes for the stupid stuff I say and think.. or even the way I express it?

I'm not sure we fear the speaking as much as the loathing.

So what is it: fear or loathing?

Face the loathing and say it anyway?


Lisa Braithwaite said...

No, it's not usually the "speaking" we're afraid of. See this previous post on "What if your worst public speaking fear comes true?":

And today's post, when speaking really IS the fear:

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