How to Overcome the Fear of Speaking
By Bess McCarty, HHP, Coach for Network Marketers
Reprinted and updated from the April 2011 issue of the Network Marketing Business Journal,
the industry’s oldest, largest newspaper for network marketers.
I’ve been told by a number of mentors that the quickest way to more customers and prospects is speaking. Public speaking to groups positions you as an authority. Speaking to your target market may be the most effective way to market your products, services, or business.
Give them information of value that they can use right away. At the end, tell about your business and next steps they can take with you. Ideally, offer an incentive for immediate action, such as a special or a bonus for a limited time.
You can also hold a drawing for one of your products or services. Attendees can drop a business card to enter, then you can follow up later with a call or invitation to your email list, where you can keep in touch with items of value to them.
So why don’t we all speak? Well, there may be a catch, like your throat goes dry, your knees shake, and you perspire profusely. You know, little things…
Have you seen the surveys that rank the fear of public speaking as the #1 fear? (Death ranks #2!) https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-real-story-risk/201211/the-thing-we-fear-more-death
With my Body Mind psychology background, I’ve got something to fix that. It’s my simple 4-step process, Real Conversations®. It quickly troubleshoots any block you run into and solves it. I’ve helped lots of people overcome the fear of speaking.
You can do it yourself. Take a look at this chart: Real Conversations
Problems are in the first box. Solutions are on the last box. Problems are unmet needs. Meet the need, that solves the problem, and it goes away.
Let’s see how the 4 steps of Real Conversations solves the fear of speaking.
First step: Identify the problem: You’re not speaking, or you’re having the symptoms above.
Second step: Identify the feeling: Fear. Maybe even terrified, frustrated, or discouraged.
Third step: Identify the need underneath. One common need is for safety, or acceptance. If we fear judgment or criticism, we may avoid speaking so we can feel safe.
Fourth step: Find a solution. Meet the need for safety, but find a better way to be safe than hiding out! (I relate, since I was shy as a kid.) How do you meet the need for safety? There can be a different solution for each individual.
Just acknowledging it helps, doesn’t it? Here are a few more ideas: Validate your inherent worth. Tell yourself in the mirror that your worth as a valuable human being is constant, whether the audience loves or hates you. Ask a good friend to tell you so until any resistance of your mind lessens. See your Higher Power telling you so.
Now imagine your worst nightmare. Someone stands up in the audience and proclaims you don’t know what you’re talking about. Everyone throws tomatoes at you and boos. They throw you out and run you out of town and tell you not to come back.
We all fear being kicked out of the “tribe”, because the tribe represents survival. We want to be liked! And we want to be liked for being ourselves, because another primal need is self-expression.
So imagine yourself surviving, finding a tribe who likes you as you are, who you can contribute to and benefit from.
Also realize that the heckler or disapproving one is speaking about themselves. Here’s a secret: Another’s opinion is never about you! Psychology says that when we criticize or judge, we can’t stand that same trait in ourselves. When you’ve really got this, you’ll feel compassion for the heckler. You will know not to take it personally.
A last tip: think back to when else you felt this fear. When else weren’t you “good enough” for someone, perhaps as a child? Champion that child now. Be there for him or her. Tell him the truth of his value. A good coach or psychologist can help you transform this fear. Your greatest weakness can become your greatest strength. People do this all the time. You can too!
I feel very gratified when I see people break free with this process. As my gift, you can learn this Real Conversations self-coach method for yourself at http://www.bessmccarty.com/
Dedicated to Your Success,
Bess McCarty is a Coach for Network Marketers. She has a background in Body Mind Psychology, is an acclaimed speaker for radio and seminars, and is a published author with Network Marketing Business Journal and the book, 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. She was an award-winning network marketer and a single mom. Her specialty is helping Network Marketers find out why they get stuck and break through to their next level. She offers a free class: “How to Always Get a YES When Prospecting!” She can be reached at (512) 569-1139.