July 22, 2021

You will be judged

I haven't been completely honest with you.

I've been posting a lot lately about body positivity and age positivity because so many women hold themselves back from getting in front of an audience because of shame or embarrassment about their bodies and their appearance.

I've been telling you that you have to get out there anyway. And I stand by what I've said! But I've omitted something.

You may be lucky enough not to have any trolls or haters, but the truth is, others will judge you. This is really what lies at the root of avoiding public speaking. Avoiding judgment.

Whether your concern is losing your place, boring the audience, getting tongue-tied, or being unable to answer questions, these all come down to a fear of being judged.

Judged inadequate. Judged incompetent. Judged insufficient. Rejected.

And as much as I remind my clients that audiences want you to succeed, there is a legit reality here:

We're judging and critiquing people all the time.

We walk down the street noting what people are wearing, what they're saying, what they're holding, what they're doing. We notice, we filter, and then we move on.

We do this to determine lots of things, but mostly: Is this person like me? How much is this person LIKE me or DIFFERENT from me?

We're always subconsciously trying to figure out our relationship to others. Should I smile? Should I be threatened? Is he trustworthy? Does she want something from me? Can I connect with him?

We're social animals. Pack animals. Herd animals. We rely on the herd for our survival, so in a sense, we're like any suspicious and wary animal. Yes, we are like dogs sniffing butts.

So you ARE being judged. But not in the way you think. The audience is trying to determine their relationship with you. Can they trust you? Will you listen to them and understand where they're coming from? Is this relationship worth their time and money?

Your job on stage is to connect, relate, serve and deliver.

You don't have to be LIKE your audience to do so. but you do have to honor what the audience needs, wants, and cares about. Your words have to be consistent and aligned with your actions and emotions. You have to be sincere, authentic, and focused on serving the audience.

If you make a mistake, this doesn't damage your relationship with the audience. They won't judge you for forgetting what you were saying or having an equipment snafu. It's not the technicalities that interfere with your relationship.

What DOES damage your relationship with the audience is lack of connection, lack of understanding of who they are and what they want, not putting in the time to provide an excellent experience, and overly anxious concern for your own well-being.

When you get past that, nothing can scare you anymore.

On The Everything Page you'll find everything you need to build visibility, credibility and influence through engaging presentations that move your participants into action: freebies, low-cost products and courses, and 1:1 coaching!

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