September 18, 2019

Fear isn't the reason you avoid speaking...



Not Alex Honnold...
Raise your hand if you watched "Free Solo," the documentary about Alex Honnold's untethered climb of El Capitan's 900-meter vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park.

Now raise your hand if you watched with one eye closed, hands in front of your face, hiding in a closet!

Sometimes even watching someone else do something frightening scares us: even when we know he emerges unscathed!

The interesting thing about watching Honnold scale El Cap is that he wasn't scared (or at least not as much has he should have been!).

He was cautious. He was careful. He was alert. He was deliberate. He was methodical. And he was prepared.

One thing Alex Honnold doesn't do: Avoid rock climbing because he might fall.

And yes, this is a metaphor for public speaking. Cuz you know me and you know where this is going.
"I try to expand my comfort zone by practicing the moves over and over again. I work through the fear until it's just not scary anymore."
What does Honnold do in order to expand his comfort zone? He practices. Over and over again.

Makes sense, right? The more you practice, the more you put yourself into the situation that scares you, the more comfortable you become.

First of all, let's just get this out of the way: Alex Honnold is what is known as a "freak of nature," a person who is uniquely suited to what he does, because of genetics, because of training, because of his particular mental makeup. No amount of doing what Honnold does will make you Honnold.

But getting back to practical matters: You might argue, "But Alex Honnold LIKES rock climbing. He's not doing it because he HAS to. He practices because he likes doing it."

Fair enough. And here's what I say to that: You don't HAVE to do public speaking. You GET to do public speaking!

Here are a couple of examples of what you get every time you give a presentation, whether you're an entrepreneur, author, business professional, nonprofit leader or someone else who has something important to say:
  • You get to share an important message with the world
  • You get to transform even one person's life
  • You get to raise money for your cause
  • You get to show your boss that you're a rock star
  • You get to show the world your expertise and authority on a subject
  • You get to learn and grow from your mistakes
  • You get to build confidence in your abilities
(And there are more...)

And then I might argue: What if you learned to like public speaking, or even love it? What then? What could you do with this skill? Where could it take you?

My friends, colleagues and clients do a lot of avoiding of public speaking. And by "avoiding," I mean either not pursuing speaking opportunities or saying no when opportunities are presented.

And these reasons are not all about fear, by the way. Many of my clients  are comfortable speaking, and they avoid it anyway - until they can't any longer! Some common excuses:
  • They don't have time to prepare
  • They don't know what to talk about
  • They don't know where to begin
  • They don't know how to end
  • They don't know how to structure a presentation effectively
  • They don't think they know enough about their topic
  • They don't know how to be engaging and make their topic interesting
  • They don't think they're the right person to speak on the topic
And so on...

This is a vicious circle, right? You don't make time to properly prepare or practice... and then you give a presentation that's only so-so... and you don't enjoy yourself... and the audience looks bored... so you assume that this is just something you don't like and you're not good at.

And because it's something you don't like and you're not good at... you don't take more opportunities to practice and learn how to do it right... so you only give a presentation once a year... and every time it's like starting all over again.

It doesn't have to be this way!
  • I can show you how to prepare and practice
  • I can help you discover what to talk about
  • I can teach you where to begin and how to end
  • I can give you tools to structure a presentation effectively
And...
  • You DO know enough about your topic
  • You CAN be engaging and make your topic interesting
  • You ARE the right person to speak on the topic
If you're avoiding speaking because you don't know where to start, what to talk about and how to put it all together, I've got you covered.

If you're avoiding speaking because of discomfort, fear of judgement, fear of making mistakes, or any of the other fears that we face when making a big statement to the world:
“You’re not controlling your fear.  You’re stepping outside of it.”
 Another Alex Honnold gem, there.

I've got a downloadable, DIY, on-demand product for you that is going to help you build every presentation on a solid foundation of concrete. No more excuses. No more avoiding. No more fear (well, a little is okay, but not if it keeps you avoiding!). Just forward action.

Click the image to grab your new Presentation Foundation Quickstart Kit. Eyes wide open!




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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 fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

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