Q: I have been invited to teach a program, but I am not a open speaker. How do I conquer my fear?
Fear of speaking before a group is on very top of many people’s list of worst anxieties. (Others are passing, fiscal troubles, and isolation.) Consequently, many prevent situations which require them to talk openly, and this may negatively affect their livelihood, whether it’s by decreasing chances for marketing or decreasing the others’ perception of the competence. Here are a few suggestions which can help you conquer what I call FOPO (Fear of a Podium):
• Discount the information to calm down. To begin with, it’s hopeless; a racing heart, shallow breathing, and sweaty palms are all signs that there’s nothing calm about the situation you’re in. Secondly, it does not make any sense; a chilled-out speaker will put everyone to sleep.
• Reframe it: Social scientist and Harvard Business School assistant professor Alison Wood Brooks urges reinterpreting stress in a more favorable light. In a study, participants that stated”I’m excited” done better than people who strove to calm themselves down. Adopt your pre-speech jitters as enthusiasm. Bear in mind, fear is merely excitement needing an attitude adjustment.
Dr. Samantha Boardman is a clinical instructor in psychiatry and an assistant attending psychiatrist in Weil Cornell Medical College in New York and the founder of positivepercription.com.