Category Archives: Public Speaking Fear

Are You An Eloquent Speaker?

Ideas To Words

The other day I attended this rather interesting lecture. It was downtown at the Learning Annex, where they have pretty interesting talks from time to time. Sometimes they sound pretty interesting, but the speaker is not quite as energetic and charismatic as you’d hope.

Once I went to see a lecture that was about Greek history and politics that surrounded the era of Plato, and how it led to his various philosophies. It sounded great on paper, and they must’ve had some pretty decent writer come up with the marketing material, but the speaker just didn’t give the topic justice. Most agreed that he was uninspiring, to say the least.

It’s amazing the difference between knowledge that’s in your head, and the knowledge that comes out of your mouth. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the experience of getting ready to say something, and when you think about saying it inside your head, maybe even hear yourself saying it in your own voice, it sounds really fantastic and persuasive and eloquent. Then when you open your mouth and spit it out, you sound like a complete dufus. People look at you as if you’d just announced you discovered mustard for the first time.

Then maybe you backtrack, thinking maybe you didn’t set it up enough, and your point didn’t quite fall on ears that were ready to accept your magnificent insight. So you begin to give your background preamble, only to feel the bored stares of your friends and colleagues. Suddenly that brilliant doesn’t seem that brilliant any more.

It’s like that old skit that Jim Carrey did, way before he was famous, on the old show “In Living Color.” In the skit he played some rich snobby guy, on a date with his girl to see a hypnotist. The hypnotist called him up on stage, and put him in a trance. While in a trance, he’d only be able to cluck like a chicken, no matter how hard tried otherwise. So he did, and everybody got a good laugh. Only the hypnotist had a heart attack and died while Carrey’s character was still under a hypnotic trance.

Then the scene flashed forward twenty years, and the once pompous rich guy was a homeless bum on the street, still only able to cluck like a chicken. They showed him begging for money, and somebody gave me a dollar. So he went to the nearest fast food place to buy a hamburger. You could hear him practicing in his head:

“Ok, take it slow. Just say one hamburger please. One hamburger please.”

Then when he opened his mouth, all the came out was a cluck.

It makes you wonder how many brilliant minds are out there, wandering around, with brilliant, perhaps world changing and enhancing thoughts in their heads, but without the skills to persuasively verbalize them.

And I’m sure you’ve known a few people that had powerful skills of persuasion, and magnificently eloquent speaking skills, only their ideas were crap, or worse.

Adolph Hitler is considered one of the greatest public speakers of the twentieth century. You don’t have to understand a word of German to watch videos of his speeches and see how charismatic and persuasive he was, and how he could powerfully move a crowd. Of course, his ideas were poison, and it’s a tragic shame nobody put a bullet in his brain before he had a chance to do the horrible damage that he did.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read a powerfully moving book, only to find the author speaking either in person, or on TV. Many times it’s a disappointment, as effective writers are seldom as eloquent in real time as they are in print.

It’s been long believed by evolutionary psychologists that after language became part of the human repertoire, the leaders of the various tribes around the world weren’t the biggest, and the most aggressive, as in our non language using cousins, but the most eloquent and verbally persuasive. Even tribal chiefs today in various areas of the world where Stone Age life styles are still practiced are the most persuasive with words and other speaking skills.

It’s no secret that in order to become a leader of any of the world democracies today, you need to be a fairly persuasive and charismatic speaker. Even if your ideas aren’t all that great, you can sometimes get yourself elected if you can talk a good game.

It would make sense then that developing powerful verbal skills could give you a leg up in almost any field. The more you can persuasively convince others of your thoughts and ideas, the more you’d be worth to whomever you work for. For salespeople this concept is a no brainer.

As I realized in the lecture I attended recently on Greek history and the development of Plato’s ideas, you have to have a strong pre-set intention to learn in order to get through a less than effective speaker. If you are on the fence, if your neutral about any of the ideas being presented, then a speaker is obligated to not only grab your attention, but effectively lead you to naturally come to the conclusion that he or she wants you to come to.

This can be difficult, but there are plenty of ways to learn how to do this. Toastmasters has long been recognized as a great place to practice your speaking and persuasion skills. Many of the public speaking skills you’ll learn at toastmasters will easily translate into one on one skills of salesmanship.

Of course, many people are deathly afraid of getting up to speak, let alone committing to doing it on a regular basis in order to improve themselves. But in a competitive world, every edge can help. There are plenty of ways to get over you fear of public speaking. Some of the audio programs available through the link below can go a long way to eliminate your fear of public speaking altogether. If you’re interested in improving that area of your life, give it a go and see how it works out. They have a 30-day money back guarantee, so there’s no risk. You owe it to yourself to try it out for a couple weeks just to see if it can help.

Powerful Metaphysics

Powerful Metaphysics

The Dangers Of Your Comfort Zone

How To Expand Your Limits

I had this fish once a few years ago. Actually, I had several fishes. I don’t know what go into me, but I got the idea that I wanted to have a tropical fish tank in my apartment. And as luck would have it, there was a tropical fish store in the mini mall just behind where my apartment was located. I suppose there is a connection there; as the tropical fish store was right next door to the cleaners I took my shirts to. (Marketers take note.)

So I went in one Saturday afternoon, not sure what I wanted, and started looking around. I priced difference size tanks, equipment, shapes that would best fit in my apartment, etc. Finally I settled on size and a price, and now was time to pick the fish.

“I need some fish,” I asked the guy. He explained to me how the shop was set up. On the left, were fighting fish. Fish that can’t live with other fish or else they’ll kick the crap out of each other. On the right were passive fish, or fish that just stare at you bug eyed from inside the tank. Since I had in mind a tank with a bunch of different fish swimming around, I decided on the passive fish.

I remember once I took this public speaking class. The guy who taught it started it off with some story, which of course was a metaphor for personal growth. The story was told to him by his original teacher at this public speaking course. It was a famous course, and most of the instructors are former members who realized incredible personal growth through the course and wanted to continue their growth by teach others.

I’m not sure if they actually designed the course that way, or if it just naturally grew that way, but it seems to be a pretty good way to build your business. The people that teach others are people that were successful in it to start, so they really know the ins and outs. And the instructors are always being created, as more and more people join the course.

That way, they really only need to worry about getting new people to sign up for the course, rather than always be on the lookout or new instructors. It is kind of self-feeding business. Just put people into the funnel and they will either spread the word to other potential members, or become instructors themselves.

This particular public speaking class has been around for many years, at least fifty or so, and has slowly grown through this method. Unless you know somebody who’s gone through the course, you likely haven’t heard of it. Of course, if you are looking for one of the best public speaking courses around, you’ll likely find this one, if you do any kind of searching.

Anyway, this guy went into a fish store, and noticed that there were several different sharks. Some sharks were pretty big, while other sharks were kind of small. At first the guy thought maybe they were different breeds or species or whatever the word is that they use to classify sharks, but then he noticed that they were all very similar in appearance. They only differed by size.

So he then assumed that maybe some were younger, and some were older. But when he asked the shopkeeper, he was surprised.

These sharks only grow as big as their cage. It has something to do with their swimming patterns. They don’t have air buoys like other fish, so they can’t just sit and float. They need to keep moving. If they are confined to a relatively small area, they won’t grow very big. They have evolved this as a way to not out strip their resources. If they are in bigger tank, or a bigger area, then they grow bigger.

Of course, the sharks really have no idea that they are in a container; they just swim around and are automatically constrained by their boundaries. Those with larger boundaries expand to meet them, and those with smaller boundaries stay small.

He asked what would happen if you took a small fish and put it into a larger area. The shopkeeper told him that they would naturally adjust, and grow bigger. He said that’s the interesting thing about sharks, is that they are like people in this regard. They are always growing to match their boundaries. If they want to grow bigger, all they need to do is increase the limits of their boundaries, and they will naturally expand to meet them.

But like most people, sharks sit around and wait for somebody else to put them into a bigger container. They expect some outside force or entity to change the shape of their cage. Some people have figured out the secret. That our cages are really only a figment of our imagination. All we really need to do is imagine that our cages are bigger, and we will expand accordingly. Most people never figure this out, and are always waiting for somebody else to guide them by the hand to bigger and better cages.

Once you know the secret, you can just re-imagine our limits until they are big enough to contain all the goals and things you want to achieve in life.

That’s when this guy realized he was at the first day of a public speaking seminar, and the instructor was giving them a kind of pep talk. Over the next twelve weeks, they would be expanding their comfort zones considerably through the practice of public speaking. And they would learn the best secret of all.

All of your boundaries are set by your fears of what you think is on the other side. When you face those fears, and realize they are only figments of your imagination, you boundaries or comfort zone will expand immeasurably. Which is exactly what they learned at this public speaking seminar.

The funny thing is that I think the shopkeeper made a mistake. Because even though I picked all passive fish, from the passive fish side of the store, it didn’t take long for one fish to eat all the rest. I started out with about six fish. Every other day or so there would be one more fish missing.

And all I had left was one fighting fish that had been mistaken for a passive fish, which was now proudly the only fish in his tank.

How To Change Beliefs To Skyrocket Your Capabilities

If you’ve ever been hampered by a limiting belief about your capabilities, you are in luck. Today I’d like to show you an easy way to gradually shift your beliefs from limitation to enhancement. Although it may take some time, from a couple days to a few weeks, its simple to do, and the results can be absolutely profound.

First, a little bit about how beliefs work. Beliefs are the sum total of labels or meanings that you’ve given to your past experiences. The stronger the emotional response to any past experience, the stronger the belief. For example, if you had to give a speech in third grade, and the teacher corrected you in the middle of it, you likely would have felt pretty bad. Then maybe later, when you had to speak in front of several people in fifth grade, and something else bad happened, like maybe nobody really listened to you, or maybe somebody laughed at you. Then maybe in high school you tried to tell a joke to people that you weren’t really familiar with, and it didn’t go over well.

These experiences will add up to the idea that you suck at public speaking. When you think of public speaking, your brain will quickly reference all the instances in your past, and come back with the belief that you suck at it. This happens in microseconds much quicker than the conscious mind knows.

When you project yourself into the future, you will filter any possible future through this belief. So when you think to maybe giving a best man speech, or giving a presentation at meeting at work, you will likely get nervous because you are projecting your future through this filter.

The good news is that you can easily change this belief. In the example of public speaking you can slowly shift the belief to a positive one where you will not only believe that you are a good public speaker, but you will actually seek out and enjoy opportunities of public speaking.

The easiest way to do this is through journaling. Sit down and start from as far back in your memory as you can go, and recall any positive experience of speaking in front of other people. Describe each experience in as much detail as possible, to the point of reliving it as you are describing it. You can even make stuff up if you want, and add really cool things that happened. (Just make sure to make them plausible, like people clapping, or strangers smiling).

If you do this for a few days, or even a couple weeks, your brain will automatically access these memories whenever the idea of public speaking comes up, and your fears will slowly start to vanish. Pretty soon, you’ll get to a tipping point where the good memories outweigh the bad memories, and you’ll suddenly feel like speaking in front of a huge group of people is as easy as chatting with your best friend on Skype.

This only takes a few minutes every day. The best time is to spend five or ten minutes journaling at night, just before bed. After a couple of weeks you’ll be amazed at how you can dramatically shift your beliefs about your capabilities.

And when you start to do this on a regular basis, and choose a new enhancing belief to reprogram every month, just imagine how powerful you will be a year from now. Pretty much any belief you want you can easily reprogram into yourself. For example:

Good a public speaking
Make money easily
Easy to persuade people
Natural seducer of the opposite sex
Learns quickly and easily
Lose weigh easily

These are just a few examples of things that are absolutely easy to reprogram yourself to believe. It’s simple, and quick and can powerfully enhance your life.

Have fun with this.

Two Tips To Quickly and Easily Eliminate Public Speaking Fear

If you’ve ever had to give a public speech, you know how incredibly nerve wracking it can get. I remember I once had to give a best man speech/toast at my brothers wedding. I kept drinking glass after glass of wine with seemingly no effect.

Even worse is when you get tapped all of a sudden to say a few words when you aren’t expecting it. If you aren’t prepared, standing there with everybody looking at you can be tremendously terrifying.

Luckily, there are two approaches to easily overcome this fear so that next time you give a speech, you’ll not only be confident but also will feel secure knowing that the people hearing your speech will actually benefit from.

I remember reading an interview with actor George Clooney several years ago. He was recalling his early days as an anchor, having to go to audition after audition. He said that he finally discovered the secret of confidence. He found that confidence was the most important thing when giving an audition. More important than acting skills, and more important than remembering the lines.

The same is true in public speaking. Something happens to people when they see a person giving a speech who is extremely confident. It’s like their logic circuit shut off completely, and they take whatever the person says as true and sound, despite how crazy it may sound.

Its no wonder politicians have been able to lead people with such crazy ideas for so long. When they stand up and speak as though they believe in what they are saying, everybody else believes them as well.

So that is the first secret. Confidence. The best way is to simply “fake it till you make it.” You’ll be surprised how faking just the first few seconds of your speech will give you an incredible boost of real confidence. Once you set the tone, you’ll notice the audience looking at you with much less scrutiny, and much more openness and acceptance.

Which leads us to the second secret. The liberal use of pauses during your speech. Especially when used near or at the very beginning of your speech, pauses can have a profound effect on your air of authority. When you pause in the middle of a sentence, where people least expect it, it creates tension and a strong desire to find out what your important message is. Experts call this “building response potential.”

For example, instead of saying this:

“Today I want to talk to you about the importance of dental hygiene.”
“Dental hygiene is important because without dental hygiene, your teeth will rot.”
“And if your teeth rot you can’t eat candy.”

Try this:

“I want to talk to you about…”
“Hygiene. Dental hygiene is important because…”
“Without dental hygiene…”
“Your teeth will rot. And if your teeth rot, you can’t…”

You get the idea. The first pause may be terrifying, as you’ll be standing there with everybody staring at you, and the silence can be extremely intimidating.

But you’ll soon notice that the interest you generate with your silence will literally destroy any thoughts of criticism in your audience’s mind. And quickly give you authority and confidence.

The best way to practice this would be to go and join a local toastmasters group. They are filled with kind people who are learning to give public speeches just like you, and are very supportive and helpful.

Of course, these techniques are also very powerful in one on one conversations or conversations in small groups. When you do this people will quickly be hanging on your every word.

Public Speaking for Sales, Persuasion, and Popularity

If you’ve ever had to give a speech, you know how nerve wracking it can be. What to say, how long to give it, how to begin. Should you memorize your whole speech or use note cards? What should the topic of your speech be? Informative, funny, persuasive?

If you are in sales and you have to give presentations on a regular basis, you know how tough some audiences can be. The kind of audience you give a sales presentation to is a completely different animal that your friendly neighborhood toastmasters group.

One is completely accepting and supportive, the other sits there with their arms crossed wondering what you have of value to offer them.

One way that you can deliver a powerful presentation to either group is to harness and leverage their criteria. Eliciting criteria is fairly straightforward in an individual setting. You merely need to ask the other person what they are interested in, and explore that through some probing questions.

With a large audience, however, this can be a bit more difficult. With the two different groups mentioned above, you’ll need to develop two different strategies, both involve a bit of creative thinking

With a group of toastmasters or a class at school, everybody has the same criteria: To improve their speaking. Simply by taking turns speaking you are all fulfilling each other’s criteria. This is relatively simply. If you want to supercharge your popularity at your next toastmasters group, give a speech on how to give better speeches. It’s a pretty safe bet that is what’s on everybody’s mind, so it would be much better received and appreciated than a speech on why you visit the dentist regularly.

For a sales speech, you can get a leg up by imagining what is important to your audience based on your product. Old school sales techniques dictate that you rattle off a series of features and benefits, followed by “what this means to you is…” Unfortunately that is a bit presumptuous, and can be a little off putting.

A simple way around this is to speak of your potential clients criteria in vague terms. Make statements that sound specific to your audience, but are relatively true for any given business. What do most businesses want to do?

Increase revenue.
Decrease overhead.
Increase productivity.
Increase efficiency.
Increase public image.

These are just a few, but most companies would agree to those in principle. The trick is to carefully explain why your product will do all those things for your prospective client. A great way to do this is to give examples of how you helped to do this with others.

Another very powerful way to do this is to elicit deeper level criteria. Again, this is much more difficult in a group setting, so it takes time to develop this skill. But once you learn how to do this on a regular basis, you will have astronomical closing percentages.

The way to do this is to structure your speech so that the audience is thinking of their deeper level criteria while you are speaking. One way to do this is to future pace, or getting them to imagine them in the future working with you. For example:

“Now I’m not exactly sure how you measure your efficiency, but with our services, we will work with your company, just like we have with many others, to ensure that those increases in efficiency that are specific to you. When you begin to think of the ways you’ll realize that you have an increase in efficiency, you can be confident that we have done those exact things with other companies.”

The trick is to be vague enough, and refer to the past when you’ve helped other companies do what your prospects want to do. When are vague enough, and confident enough, your clients will begin filling in the blanks on their own. Which will result in more sales for you.

Easily Banish Public Speaking Fear For Good

If you’ve ever been called up to give a speech, either on the spot, or maybe you’ve been given a few weeks preparation time, you know how incredibly terrifying it can be. I’ve had to give a few best man speeches, and although having a few drinks beforehand helps a little bit, it takes more than a few shots of whiskey to kill public speaking anxiety.

One of the reasons people get so nervous when speaking in public is because it’s easy to imagine that you are being “judged” somehow by all those people sitting there watching you. But I had a startling revelation once when I took a public speaking class at a community college.

We had to draw straws to see who spoke first, and I picked the short one. And halfway through my speech, I noticed something interesting. If you’ve ever given a speech maybe you’ve noticed that after you started speaking, you might have calmed down a little bit after you realized nobody was going to throw tomatoes at you.

That’s what happened to me. I was about a minute into my speech, and I started to get a little relaxed, to the point of being able to actually pay attention to the facial expressions of the rest of the class. What I saw was interesting, to say the least. Every single student in the class had a look of utter fear and terror on their faces. They were no doubt petrified about their upcoming turn to speak. That’s when it really hit me. Everybody in the class was so far into their heads that I could have been speaking Portuguese and they likely wouldn’t have noticed.

The following week I decided to try my “experiment” again. Only this time I went about halfway through. I noticed something a little different, but still extremely helpful. The half of the class that had yet to give their speeches were still paralyzed with fear. The other half, who had already gone, had looks of complete peace and relaxation on their faces. For them, the worst was over.

For those still waiting to speak, I could have been speaking Klingon, and they wouldn’t have noticed. To those had already gone, I could have been speaking about the impending destruction of the Earth, and they wouldn’t have been fazed.

So when you get up to give your speech, whatever the situation, people are likely thinking about a million different things that the quality or content of your speech. So long as you don’t vomit on the front row, or start shouting obscenities, you’ll likely be fine. Especially if it is a situation where many other people will also be speaking. Half will be looking to their turn in dread, the other half will be so relaxed the will applaud your speech no matter what you say.

When you take this consideration into mind, you can relax and give the message you intend to give. One thing that really draws people’s positive attention is a relaxed and confident speaker. When people listen to somebody that is relaxed and confident, they are much more likely to see the person as an authority figure and take what they are saying as truth.

And of course, the more you practice, the easier this will get. Which is why I really recommend joining a local Toastmasters group. It will really boost your self-confidence and speaking ability, and you’ll be surprised to notice your new charisma showing up in other parts of your life as well.

Powerful Memories to Increase Public Speaking Skills and Obliterate Fear

I was talking to a friend the other day; actually I interrupted my friend the other day is a more accurate way of putting it. He was reading a book about public speaking, and how to overcome the fear of public speaking. He had recently been promoted at his work, and he was going to have to do a lot of traveling to other divisions, and meet with large groups of potential clients. He was going to have to speak in front of some very large groups, so he was a bit worried about overcome his fear of public speaking. He actually had a stack of books he was working on. It seems he was kind of worried that his new promotion would take him places that he wasn’t quite ready to go.

I can recall another friend from a few years ago that was in a similar situation. He was always getting promoted at work, and he was always learning new skills. From public speaking, to sales, to negotiation, he was always making himself more valuable to the company. He would always invest at least twenty percent of his salary in himself, from books to seminars to self-improvement programs. And he always reaped fantastic rewards. He was telling me about a particular useful tool that he used, which was a memory-improving product.

He explained to me about emotional memory, and how the history of any human is so incredibly rich and powerful and so completely overstuffed with memories that we can choose anything we want to create in the future, and look back into the past to find an appropriate memory. The cool thing about the human brain is that it can apply almost any memory to any situation. Memories don’t really have any particular meaning except the meaning that we give to them. And the cool thing is that we can give the same memory different meanings depending on how you’d like to project yourself into the future.

For example, I’m sure as you sit there, reading this, you can bring to mind some memories from the past. Maybe from yesterday, or maybe from a year ago. And some of those memories that you are remembering now can be helpful, while others will cause a certain amount of anxiety. And if you can just take all those memories that cause some anxiety, and put them aside, you can free your mind up to bring to bear all the memories that give you feelings of pleasure and happiness.

Like that one time, a while ago, where that one thing happened that was particularly pleasant. Maybe you were planning on it happening, maybe it happened spontaneously. Either way, as you bring it to mind now, you can start to see what happens when you project it into the future. And whether or not you can close your eyes and think of that is not really important. What’s important I that you can begin to realize that you can recall any memory from your past that you want, and deliver it to your future, so when you get there, it will be waiting for you.

But emotional memory wasn’t even the main gist of the program my friend had so successfully used. It was more of a technical memory program that taught how to easily remember complex sets of facts and information, so when you needed to present them to a large group of people, you would not only be able to feel extremely comfortable giving a speech in public, but you would be persuasive as well, which could naturally increase your ability to sell and make lots of money.

How to Remove Public Speaking Fear and Skyrocket Your Sales Skills

If you are in sales, any kind of sales, there is one skill you can learn that will have a powerful effect on all your other skills for selling. And when you realize in almost every interaction you have with others, you are selling something at some level. An idea, your point of view, a behavior that you want others to perform. Whether you are going to convince that gorgeous woman to come over to your place for dinner, or persuade your kids to finish their homework before watching TV, you are selling something.

And there is one powerful skill that can dramatically help you in all aspects of this. That, of course, is public speaking. I’m sure you know that public speaking is the number one fear of people today. Almost everybody dreads the idea of being called up to speak. If you’ve ever had to give a toast, or even introduce somebody to large group of people, you know how nerve wracking it can be. Overcoming public speaking fear can be the singularly most beneficial decision you can make. It will increase your self-confidence, increase your self-esteem, and give you much more clarity of thought when choosing your words during normal, every day conversations.

And if you are in an honest to goodness sales job, where you have to put yourself in front of people day in and day out, overcoming the anxiety of public speaking can do wonders for your closing ratio. It’s a well-known fact that giving talks on a regular basis, regardless of what business you are in can do wonders for your income.

So how does one go about reducing public speaking fears? How can you banish public speaking anxiety once and for all? There are two ways to approach this. One is through various forms of mental imagery and visualization, training your brain to think of speaking in a different way, so it doesn’t cause you the anxiety that it might have before. These can be a wonderful way to make it feel easy and natural to not only feel comfortable giving public speeches, but to look forward to doing them as well.

One way to do this is to imagine the feeling you will get when you finish your speech, and you can hear the applause of the audience. Really get a good picture in your mind of what that looks like, sounds like, and feels like. Practice imagining that on a regular basis, until that thought becomes second nature, and not whatever thought you used to think that gave you the problems.

Another mental trick is to imagine the benefit the audience will receive from your speech. How will it help them? How can they use the information? When you think in terms of this, you will be less likely to imagine them judging and scrutinizing you, and more likely to imagine them thankful to you for doing them favor by sharing your unique information with them.

The second way of extinguishing your public speaking anxiety once and for all is to simply speak as often as possible. Every time you think of speaking, and grow anxious, and then get out of speaking, it reinforces the thought that public speaking is dangerous. When you begin to speak in public as often as possible, anywhere were there are people within earshot that don’t know you, you will gain confidence. Anywhere you can do this will work. Talking to strangers in line at the supermarket, making an announcement at the dinner table at home, if you have a large family, volunteering at your church. Toastmaster is a great place to practice these skills in a friendly, supportive environment.

When you combine the mental tricks outlined above, and the habit of speaking as often as possible, any fear or anxiety you have associated with public speaking will quickly vanish, and your skills of selling and persuading will skyrocket, not to mention your self-confidence and self-esteem. Learning to feel comfortable while speaking in public can very well be one of the greatest, and cheapest, self improvement and self-development programs at your disposal.