Let me start off by saying, I don’t like that I am writing a post like this! A post that is outlining the number one phobia (for the most part) in the world and its speaking in front of others!
I mean out of all the crazy things it could be…
It could be fear of death, fear of being lost both physically and emotionally, being alone with nobody to love you or care for you, losing a family member, but no it’s phobia of speaking in front of others.
The fact that I was so badly affected by this personally at a younger age mixed with how bad so many others are with this has led me to start running workshops here in Asia, take on a lead role at a local Toastmasters branch and mentor groups on how they can use super simple hacks to trick themselves into remembering that they are in fact great at speaking.
What this whole fear of speaking stuff correlates to is what Dr. Maxwell Maltz and Nathaniel Branden termed as self-esteem. That little voice in the back of your mind that’s saying great things or telling you how you’re shit and going to screw this up.
I think out of all the public speaking tips, hacks and strategy that you can read out there it really does boil down to the inner game, the rest is just icing on the cake.
When you’re coming from a confident place, you don’t really need the surface level tactics anymore, but vise versa all the hacks in the world ain’t gonna save you if you’re self esteem is low and you fear what everyone else will think of you.
I feel I am the poster boy on public speaking and what not to do because I used to be that guy who would freeze up, turn red and sweat profusely as he forgot even the most basic of tasks in the moments the full anxiety attack took over.
That was me in high school anyway, which was weird because I wasn’t a super shy guy, I was playing sports and a pretty extrovert individual. No matter how well you do one-on-one with talking, or even small groups at a social event, for some reason when it’s time to get up on stage or take over the attention of a big enough group that’s when the brain kicks in and tells us that “nope something is different here” and because of that we should treat this situation differently and be nervous etc.
Funny enough we all have at least one memory when we had ferocious resolve with something we did, and when you mix that with something you know to be true (like the sun coming up tomorrow) you can really start to reprogram this inner voice who isn’t serving you anymore.
At some point I shifted from a guy who sat around and thought about all the things I wanted to do and just started to toss myself in the deep end. Anything that felt uncomfortable I started to do on a regular until it wasn’t anymore.
This led me to discover one of the biggest yet simplest pieces to shifting old beliefs, patterns and scripts which is that once enough new proof and evidence gets introduced the old will in fact shift to the new because now it has a better default to work from.
That is the big fat secret with public speaking, you just want to remember all the great things you do well until getting up and doing great is just second nature and is neutral like getting dressed in the morning or driving in the car.
I want to introduce to you a very simple tool that I use for a wide range of tasks on a daily basis but also on the big big stuff like shifting a limiting belief and it’s what I call “The Highlight Reel”!
It’s exactly what it sounds like, you simply play back memories in your mind of great things from your past- those magic moments when you came through and crushed it!
You play enough of those till you feel a noticeable shift in your state. Once you feel that, GO DO IT!
Sounds pretty easy right?
Well funny enough it is, but to get to that point, most people have to start way back at the starting line which is awareness.
We start at awareness which begs the question- “how do you increase your awareness?”.
Simple answer, start to write out your inner dialog around the topic/idea of speaking in front of others…
What does your inner dialog say?
Keep following the thread until you can’t follow it anymore, and wherever you land is much closer to the REAL truth vs what you have been feeding yourself.
Once you do that a few times, things start to change because first off you start to notice without thinking about it of all the negative loops and stories around this fear of public speaking.
Then you can start to reframe and introduce real memories both old and new of a different story line, one where you did great here, here and here and will improve on that thing over there.
All of this is ultimately leading you to where you want which is to speak proficiently in front of others, hold space powerfully in conversation and be influential.
Now I went ahead and shot a video recently walking the streets of Bandung Indonesia and talk about some of my favorite on-the-fly public speaking hacks to ensure you show up more confidently but shed the old stories that are holding you back much faster.
Check it out…