There’s no getting away from it, overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety’s a difficult task. There’s a part of you that believes speaking up in front of others is dangerous and nothing you’ve tried will persuade it otherwise.
Paradoxically, the more drive and determination you have, the tougher it gets. You see, that same drive and determination fuels the anxious part of you too. Struggling to overcome public speaking anxiety is often a sign of strength, even though it feels like a weakness.
Let’s face it, if you could’ve stopped it on your own, you’d already would’ve, wouldn’t you?
That’s probably why you’re here, listening to me.
Here’s the good news: I know a way. I’ve used it myself and I know it works. My clients use it. They know it works, too.
Importantly, because no-one else has lived your life, you’ll have your own triggers & symptoms, your own issues and problems. You’ll need your own path through the maze.
That said, there are common threads to unravel and re-weave.
The 6 steps to overcoming public speaking anxiety:
Tune in to what actually happens when your public speaking anxiety comes out to play. The more you know more about how and when it affects you, the more you can do to stop it.
Whenever it happens, make a note.
- What was going on when it started?
- What changed?
- What do you feel? (Butterflies, clammy, shallow breathing, racing pulse, nausea, trembling, can’t think straight, need the loo…).
When else do you feel like this?
Tuning-in identifies your triggers.
Anxiety is just the feelings in your body. The problem with anxiety is the meaning you give the feelings, (like failure, embarrassment, fear)…
Knowledge is power. From here you can do something about it.
- If you can bypass the triggers, do it. One of my clients got spooked when her boss turned up just before an important meeting with disruptive last-minute suggestions. By deliberately going to her boss an hour before the meeting, all the last-minute suggestions were dealt with in time. (It turned out her boss preferred it too!)
- Learn to tone down the feelings. My 90 second mind-hack works well for this & I’ll send you some more tips soon.
- If you’ve not done much speaking, groups like Toastmasters are really helpful.
3. Negotiate Peace!
There are two sides to every argument and this goes for the one in your head too!
All behaviour has a positive purpose. There’s a part of you that’s associated public speaking with a problem and it’s doing it’s best to grab your attention.
Try listening to it. Strange as it sounds, asking yourself how the anxiety’s trying to help really calms it down.
We all grow up believing things that we think are facts. Mostly they’re just convincing stories that help you fit in to your world. This is the source of limiting beliefs.
Mentally check in with this and work out what holds you back by asking yourself these two questions:
1. If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would do?
Write down everything that comes to mind.
Ask yourself this:
2. If you were to do it, what would be the first step you’d take?
Imagine the ‘You’ who did take this step – and the one after – and the one after that. Who would you be? What would you feel? Pride? Excitement? Fulfilment? Tune into these empowering feelings the same way you did in step 2. The 90 second mind-hack gives you a way to bring these feelings to mind whenever you need them. They’re far more helpful than anxiety!
5. Coach Your Mind
Real-life practice is vital to improve your skill and experience.
Enhance this by mentally rehearsing a skilful delivery. This is a powerful way to turbo-charge your progress:
- Find yourself somewhere quiet.
- Imagine someone who speaks well in situations you find difficult?
- In your mind’s-eye, imagine them taking your place. Watch how they do it.
- Imagine they ‘borrow’ your body and speak again in exactly the same way.
- Watch this three times over.
- Go back into your body and let your body show you what it just learned.
This uses your brain’s mirror-neurons, (Google them), to help you practice someone else’s skills!
6. Moving on
Look back over the previous 5 steps.
What worked? Keep doing it.
What didn’t work? Make changes and try again.
Think about that future ‘You’. Use those feelings to help you move forwards.
Aim For Progress, Not Perfection.
Anything More Than Nothing Is Progress.
You may need help to break out of the cycle of public speaking fears and anxieties.
I’d like to offer you that help.
If your career is in danger of stalling because public speaking anxiety’s holding you back, then my 6-step programme is for you.
To begin building your very own bespoke programme, click the link below and book your free Private Call with me.
I’m looking forward to speaking to you.