⁉️Do you feel scared, nervous, or overwhelmed just THINKING about speaking in front of a group? (whether online or in person.)⁉️
Guess what? You are not alone. I’m serious…we all have fears and concerns about one thing or another (or two, or three, or four). I think that is human nature and common with high achievers…like you!
Having a fear of giving a presentation is actually rooted in our genes. It is based on a fear of failure and, ultimately, a fear of being ridiculed and ostracized.
You may think that I have never, ever been afraid of giving a presentation. But, believe me, I sure have had those butterflies in my belly…a swarm of butterflies that I was sure would attack me.
I remember one particular presentation I gave in the Toastmasters club I belonged to way back in the early days of my marketing communications career. I was giving a four-minute presentation about myself. I flubbed up halfway through. I felt nervous, embarrassed, and ashamed. I am pretty sure I apologized a few times for messing up. By doing that, I made it worse…each time I apologized, I was reminding myself that I had just flubbed up.
When I got back to my desk (the Toastmasters club was a company-sponsored group), I was absolutely mortified. I was sure that every one of my co-workers, managers, and directors would find out that I blew it. And, that they would be saying, “Wow! Julie did such a horrible job on her presentation today. She will definitely never get promoted. No career advancement for her!”
I didn’t give a presentation for at least a few months out of fear of messing up…again.
A life-changing experience can change your perspective.
My mom passed away from breast cancer at age 59. I was 25. After some of the dust settled (Dust doesn’t ever really settle after a loss. But, that’s a topic for another email, blog, or podcast episode.) Once I started getting back to finding my groove in life, I went back to giving presentations.
This was my epiphany:
“My mom suffered through cancer. I can give a silly little speech. And, who cares if I mess up.” I didn’t have control over the cancer in my mom’s body but I did have control over me.
I have control of what I do and say and how I look at a situation.
I laugh at my foibles…they become fodder.
I take challenges as opportunities for improving myself. Whatever you are afraid of, this is what you need to do:
💪Show your fears who’s boss!!
💪Learn how to laugh at your gaffs with a lighthearted perspective and move forward with tact and grace.
==> I’d love to hear what’s holding you back…
❓ What scares you about giving a presentation?
❓ Where do you get stuck when you prepare for your presentation?