How to make your public speaking fear irrelevant

June 12th, 2015

hiding under covers afraid to speakI’ll cut to the chase:

It’s not about you.

“What do you mean it’s not about me?” you might be saying.

“I’m the one getting up there putting my heart on the line and telling the world the thing I’ve been too scared to tell even my best friend or my mom. Of course it’s about me!

You told me to be vulnerable. To tell the hard stories. To tell the ones I’ve been keeping under wraps.

Now my knees are shaking and all I want to do is go hang my head over the toilet–this better freakin be about me!”

Have you ever been so scared to give a talk that you just, well…don’t give it?

You stay home instead. The talk stays inside.
“It’s too personal/edgy/weird,” you say.
“I don’t want the whole world to know that about me.”
“People would judge me.”

Sound familiar?

Here’s a story about a talk I gave, and the terror that came with it at the Spiritual Women Leaders Conference in Boulder.

The invitation was to talk about
how I walk the edge.

I immediately knew what I needed to give the talk about.

In my Midwestern US, white, middle class, Protestant family, the fact that I didn’t get married and have babies was a BIG DEAL. Something that made my (very loving) mom and dad scratch their heads for years.

AND it was a deeply spiritual path for me to walk through my own fire of not having a child–as I had always thought I would–and walk my own very personal edge.

I’m not gonna tell the whole story here, but I will tell you that I was terrified about giving it right up until the moment I walked onto the stage. For all the reasons I mention above: It was too personal. I didn’t want to have to carry the judgement of the audience. etc…

The morning of the event I stayed under the covers trying to figure out how to get out of it.

In my head I was coming up with lies I could tell…”Oh darn. My car broke down and I’m in Denver. I won’t be able to make it back to Boulder in time. Oh well.”

“I am so sick. It just came on this morning. What a bummer that I won’t be able to come tonight.”

The excuses went on and on.

But my body finally made it out the door and I went. I showed up. I gave the talk.

I remember standing backstage preparing to step onto the stage. I was nauseous and thirsty and shaking and terrified.

I did all the practices I tell my clients to do.  (Like these mindset shifts)

But the thing that in the end got me out there was reminding myself…

There’s someone out there who needs to hear this talk.

That was it.

In the talk I speak about Jody Day, who gave a talk I needed to hear, and I knew there was a woman in the audience who needed to hear my talk.

So I did it for that woman.

When you step through the fear and speak in service of the person in the audience who will most benefit from your talk…

Your fear becomes irrelevant,
and anything is possible.

Have a listen to my talk. What’s the story you haven’t told yet?  Tell us in the comments below.

If you want a hand telling your story, apply for a free Discovery Session, and we’ll get you on track for rocking the stage with your brave story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

« | »

Recent Posts