How to overcome the fear of public speaking.
See, fear is fear, if you learn how to overcome a fear then whether you want to learn how to overcome the fear of public speaking or the fear of any other thing, because fear is fear, right.
So, let’s understand how to overcome the fear of public speaking.
For that, we have to accept that despite our current knowledge about this word, fear, F E A R current understanding current knowledge, the way we perceive this, despite all of that, we are not able to overcome this word, we are not able to overcome this feeling.
Different Types of Fears
Some people have fear of public speaking, some people have fear of water, some people have fear of height, some people have fear of snakes, they have many fears.
So our current understanding current knowledge about this word is not helping us to overcome this word. We have this word we are living with this word for millennia.
So let’s keep the knowledge aside for a moment. If it is not helping, what is the logic of keeping that knowledge?
So whatever knowledge we have about fear, let’s keep it aside for a moment. And let’s relook towards this word fear, the completely fresh perspective with the help of one example, and let’s take an example of public speaking.
You say, I’m standing on the stage, and I’m scared, I’m afraid, I feel for a moment if I keep the knowledge aside about the fear, what do you mean by that?
It means I am scared of a thought in my mind. I doubt the public is so scared. They are not making you scared. No one from the audience is most of the time.
There is a small percentage of people very small, less than one percentage of people who actually tried to do something intentionally to spoil someone’s presentation or someone stop or discourage the speaker on the stage.
Otherwise, in the last four years, when I’ve spoken in various places, I’ve observed that most of the time audience wants us to speak effectively in front of them.
So very rare. In my case, I’ve never seen that one I’ve seen I’ve heard about very rarely.
Fear Is Internal
So the audience is not making you scared. The reason why you’re scared why you have that fear is not external. It’s not the audience know that most fear is internal. That’s your thought. You’re scared of thought, you have a thought in your mind, and you’re scared of that thought.
Example, you’re sitting in front of your seniors, and you’re presenting something, and then you have a thought in your mind that if this particular presentation, if I’m not able to deliver, effectively, this might affect my professional growth in this particular organization. That’s a thought.
And we cannot stop the mind from thinking. When one thought multiplies the process of multiplication of one thought, or when it’s perpetuated, it’s called thinking.
So moment one thought arises, not automatically, it will multiply, if I don’t grow in this organization, and what about my growth? What about my CV, then I will not be able to become financially stable, then I have this dream, that dream and my wife said this is my child’s that these all are connected with each other. Let’s go thinking. Thought implies a thought always results in thinking.
Let’s take one more example. Imagine that you’re standing and speaking in front of your juniors, not seniors, juniors, you’re the boss, little senior in the organization.
And then all your junior members and you’re expecting in that organization that you will be a leader one day, and you’re speaking in front of them. And then you have this thought in your mind that hey, today if I don’t speak effectively in front of them what it means they will create about me tomorrow, they will report to me, I’ll see the multiplication of thought tomorrow they will report me.
If today if I’m not able to speak not able to maintain that image, that class that leadership, that aura, then they will not respect me. If they don’t respect me, then they will not listen to me if they don’t listen me. I will not be able to generate results if I don’t generate so that I will not become a leader. If I don’t become the leader that I would not able to grow. It will grow like a tree thought. It means you’re moving forward or you’re moving backward.
Let’s take one example of moving backward. So as a child, I have always heard this kind of stories as child, you go on the stage, and then you speak and suddenly people started laughing at you.
And you have this memory in your mind and then you’re going and you’re standing in front of people. And suddenly this thought has arisen already last time I spoke if I did something like this, what if they do something like this again?
And then after that the pain associated with that memory and then you’re in the past, you’re in the future, it means thought either will take you in the future or thought will take you in the past thought implies time.
So can we say this, that whenever I have fear in my mind when I say I am scared, I’m afraid unless and until that fear the source of that fear is not real outside demand, there’s a cobra in front of you and he’s in the position to bite you. Of course, you have to be scared. If you don’t know how to handle, or you’re inside the water, you’re drowning of course, you have to be scared. Only if you don’t know how to swim.
People whenever they are scared, thought arises, this Cobra will bite me. Either your mind will be busy multiplying that thought or your mind will be busy applying the skill of catching the Cobra.
I’m inside the water thought has come What if I will draw either my mind will be busy multiplying that thought or my mind will be busy in swimming, implementing the skill.
Come on the stage, in public speaking, when thought is arising in your mind, and you say no, I will not allow this thought to multiply.
Now, your mind will say okay, I will not be busy in the multiplication of this thought. But then tell me I should be busily involved.
Focus On Skills
In swimming, you will be seen hands movements, my legs movement.
But in swimming, you will be seen moving your hands moving your legs. In any other skill whenever the thought is arising in your mind.
At this point of time, what happened? Suddenly I heard something broke. You just I don’t know they have noticed or not. Right? Something took my attention. I saw a few of my colleagues also running towards it. Then I realized Okay, maybe one chair broke thought arises in my mind.
But I said okay, people are there to manage. I’ve already spoken for a few minutes in this video. If I stop now, then I will wasting my energy. So let me come back and focus my ability to come back and focus again, my mindset, okay, thought as arised that let’s not allow that thought to multiply, let me come back to the content, my ability to come back to the content even without feeling this and what you will be thinking about me that for a second, I’ve taken my attention away from the content.
Come Back To Content
And then what you will think about this and that. My ability to come back to the content is one thing which we learn in public speaking skills that even if a thought is taking attention, not allowing that thought to multiply and coming back to the content again, there is one part of public speaking isn’t it?
Now, if the content is not organized, imagine you’re presenting and then the content is not organized. Even if you’re coming back the content, then there is no logic because whatever you’re presenting, it’s not good.
That’s the reason organization of content is one skill in public speaking skills, focusing on the content, organization of the content. All suddenly, because of that thought, your body language is completely closed and you’re losing your voice vocal variety is very artificial, dry, monotonous.
Despite all those thoughts be showing that your body is at ease your voice is natural then you are skilled at public speaking.
So you cannot stop your mind from generating that thought. Because you cannot stop your heart from beating, you can’t stop your kidney from filtering, you can’t stop your liver from detoxifying, similarly can’t stop your mind from generating the thought, but what you can stop is the multiplication of that thought.
Multiplication of that thought leads to some kind of reserved, imaginary reserved. I’m thinking thinking thinking and then I’ve reached the place, the snake will bite me, then there will be some problem, then I will go to the hospital and I don’t know whether the medicines are available or antivenoms are available or not available.
If it is available, that is okay. If it’s not available, then I will die results. And most of the time, the results of these imaginary incidences, are painful. And we start feeling that pain in our minds.
Someone has given a very good short form to word fear, false evidence appearing real, it means something going in your mind is false, but you’re reacting to it’s like reality.
And the mind is very powerful. It’s very difficult for the mind sometimes to differentiate between reality and imagination. Many times the way we react to our imaginations is almost as good as the way we react in reality.
So ladies and gentlemen, to be very precise, answer to this question how to overcome fear? Accept it, thought will be there, do not allow this thought to multiply, perpetuate and grow. Accept the thought don’t challenge the thought, I thought like this accept it.
But allow your mind to come back to the skill again, provided you have learned the skill. So only way to overcome the fear of public speaking to understand what is public speaking and really understanding the essence, the techniques and methods of public speaking.
So after that thought when you’re coming back to the skill, your mind is aware, okay, this is what I have to do.
Apply this in any part of your life whenever you’re scared, make sure to accept, cut, not keep thinking, come back to the content.
This is Praveen Wadalkar signing up until we meet again.