If public speaking makes you anxious, nervous or afraid, you’re not alone. Many people are fearful when it comes to public speaking. Some of you get terrible stage fright, and others simply doubt that anybody will care what they have to say. The reason why you need to get over this fear is because public speaking can help you grow your business. Stage time equals wealth time. By mastering the skill of public speaking, your earning ability increases.
Every single time I get an opportunity to get on stage and speak, I cherish it, because being on that stage contributes to my wealth and success. You also never know who is in the audience, and what doors can open for you if they like your message.
Being listened to while you’re public speaking gives you the gift of leverage. If right now you’re mostly selling one-on-one, that’s all the leverage you have. You’re restricted. You’re less efficient. How can you deliver more value to more people – at the same time? Public speaking is the answer.
Chances are, if you’re afraid of public speaking and you avoid it, you’ve probably missed out on countless opportunities. If you took the time to build the skill of speaking in public, you probably would have made a lot more money by now, and taken advantage of many more opportunities.
I do a lot of public speaking, and I have had all of the typical fears associated with it. I don’t get nervous anymore, though. I’ve learned 3 mental tricks that help dissipate the fears, and I’m going to share those 3 mental tricks with you today.
1. Focus on the Audience, Not on Yourself
When you’re afraid that you’re going to say the wrong thing, sound stupid, or you simply don’t like it when people are looking at you – you’re focusing too much on yourself. You’re focusing on whether or not you look good up there, sound smart up there, etc. Instead of focusing on yourself, focus on the audience. What message are you trying to give to your audience? What is the takeaway? Focus on that. It helps ease your nerves if your focus is external instead of internal.
Tell yourself that you don’t care if the audience likes you or not. Tell yourself that what matters is that the audience walks away with value. Most of your anxiety has to do with fears related to yourself. If you focus on what you can give, and what kind of value you can deliver to the audience, and what your best tips for them are – the fear will disappear.
In order to keep my focus on my audience instead of on myself, I do a quick visualization exercise when I’m alone in my green room before my talk begins. I close my eyes, and I visualize a bright white light beaming from the sky to my forehead and into my body. I visualize that I have become a big, bright, white light. I picture this bright light getting bigger and brighter, and filling the whole room. This symbolizes the goal that everyone who comes to my talk will walk away with value. They’ll become enlightened.
Public speaking seminars such as Toastmasters will give you rules such as “don’t have your hands in your pockets”, and “don’t use profanity.” I break all of these rules. My rule is simple: “deliver value.” I care that my message is valuable and gets through effectively, and that’s about all I care about.
2. Make the Switch
I have to get my energy up in order to be a good speaker. I need to switch into a higher energy. So, before my presentation, I’ll do a little bit of kickboxing, I’ll jump up and down, and I’ll take some deep breaths. This helps me make the switch into the master public-speaker version of myself. I’ll switch my state by doing my own special power move. For me, it’s a body clap. I powerfully slap my chest and boom. I’m ready. It’s go time. A friend of mine has a different power move. He does a Hulk move and he repeats it three times while yelling like the Hulk. Come up with your own move. The power move helps you shift your energy, and shifts your state of mind.
3. Rehearse Out Loud
Many people have stage fright because they’re afraid they’re going to deliver a boring, stupid speech. They’re afraid they won’t do a good job. That’s usually an indicator that you haven’t practiced your speech enough. Confidence comes from competence, which is why you need to practice. The more you rehearse your speech out loud, the more confident you’ll become, and the less nervous you’ll be to deliver it. Record yourself on video and get to a point where you actually think you look and sound good in the video.
Practice and rehearse until you’re sick and tired of it, you’ve memorized it, and you feel like you could do it in your sleep.
So there are my 3 mental tips for public speaking. You can go a step further and join Toastmasters, which will probably help you. If you want to invest a bit of money, you can try out Dale Carnegie training. Warren Buffett went through Dale Carnegie training, and I’ve been through it and loved it.
I’ll leave you with a final tip: Cherish every opportunity you get on a stage, because you never know who is in the audience, and you never know who they might know. If you deliver value, and they like your message, you never know what could happen or what doors will open for you.
Are you going to start using these 3 mental tricks to reduce your fear of public speaking? Let me know in the comments if you are.