Not so long ago, a client came back to see me for a ‘top-up’ session for public speaking. She’d come a long way since we first met a year earlier, getting a key promotion and leading new teams. But with these new responsibilities came bigger & more important speaking events.
She’d come back because she wasn’t as comfortable as she‘d like to be, although she did know that she could ‘beat this one day’. She felt there was still more work to do.
There was something that didn’t quite hang together in all this, so I probed a little further.
She went on to describe the symptoms she was afraid of. Palpitations, the shakes, quavering voice, upset tummy. And the panic attack when someone else had to take over. Or calling in sick on the day of a big meeting.
Interestingly, this was the same list as when she first came. And her public speaking anxiety had very definitely improved since then. I mean, she was leading all sorts of meetings and giving presentations that would’ve seemed impossible before.
So how long was it since the symptoms had actually turned up?
Several months, as it turned out.
She still had some nerves before speaking, so was assuming the symptoms must still be there too.
So what to do about it?
Sometimes deliberately changing perspective allows realisation to finally dawn. Here’s how:
- What if you’ve already beaten those old anxieties’? (The symptoms have stopped)
- What if you don’t have public speaking anxiety any more? (Look at the presentations and speeches you can do now)
- What if ‘nerves’ are just your mind telling you you’re ready? (Just the right amount of adrenaline)
- What if ‘more work to do’ is just about honing your skills & getting more experience…?
You know those times when you really can see the penny drop?
One of those….
It’s like stepping out of a world where anxiety tells you you can’t… and into a world where you know you can.
If you’d like to have a chat about how I can help, get in touch here.
I share hints & tips on twitter too. Follow me here: @TBtalks
*This article illustrates the types of conversation I have with public speaking clients. It isn’t a depiction of an actual conversation or client.