My client’s issues often come in waves. This past month it seems to be the fear of public speaking. I find this to be interesting because it makes me wonder what we really fear. And why is this dread so severe that it continues to out rank death as our greatest terror.
Exposure, vulnerability, blowing it so badly in front of others that it cracks the shell of our persona and exposes the gentle yoke of our being? Maybe, but I imagine that’s still not the whole story. I don’t think we fear exposure as much as we fear the perception of incompetence. The shear agony of being judged by a group of peers to be a complete and utter moron. Yep, most people would rather die.
So what’s the antidote? I tell my clients to ask a question to the audience. Get them involved. If one person besides you speaks the attention shifts and you can relax. As far as the deeper issue goes, stop judging yourself a complete and utter moron when you blow it. Many of our fears subside when we accept that all we can do is our best. And recovering from a mistake in public can be much more endearing than a perfect performance.