Give from your Heart and Speak like a Pro!

Public speaking has been said to be the greatest fear in North America – even over death! It has become like a societal epidemic – we have made it into such an important and frightening experience. So how do we overcome our fear of public speaking?

Why is public speaking so terrifying?
One of the reasons that public speaking has become so terrifying for most people is because our society has become so “I-focused” over the past few decades. We have lost our sense of community and togetherness. So when it comes to public speaking, this means that we spend tremendous amounts of energy worrying about how ‘I’ look, how ‘I’ sound, how people will like ME, how important MY words are, etc, etc. With this perfectionist-type attitude, we are setting ourselves up for failure, not to mention the enormous amounts of stress that we are putting ourselves through.

What can I do to reduce the stress of public speaking?
What if, instead of focusing so much on ourselves, we focused instead on what we have to give to our audience? What service we have to give them; how we can help them in some way. We all know how good it feels to give to someone selflessly, whether it be a gift or a compliment or our time or our love, just for the sake of giving with no expectation of having something given back in return. What if you gave in this way to your audience? What message do you have that can perhaps inspire or give hope? Do you have something funny and uplifting to tell? Or perhaps you have an interesting piece of knowledge that you wish to impart. Even if you have nothing that you feel is of real value, you can still send a positive intention to your audience before you get up and speak.

How do I send a positive intention or message to my audience?
For a smaller audience whom you know, one way is to think of each person in the audience and think of one thing that you appreciate about each person. In your mind, focus on what you appreciate about them and then say in your mind to that person, “I wish for you all that is good” (or choose another short and positive message). Do this for each person and I guarantee that you will have the warmest greeting that you’ve ever had with this group.

Can I send a positive intention to strangers?
This exercise also works if you do not know your audience. Just imagine the people in your audience and send thanks to everyone who has come out to see you. Be appreciative that you even have an audience! Then, just as with an audience that you know, say in your mind to the entire audience, “I wish for each person in this audience all that is good”. It’s important when doing this exercise that you send these wishes with sincerity. Get into the good feeling state and that good feeling state will follow you into your talk.

How will I feel when I do this?
Speaking with others in this way is liberating and incredibly rewarding. It takes the pressure off of you to perform. Your audience will sense that you care about them and the message that you are delivering and they will respond accordingly. Before you know it, you will enjoy speaking before an audience!

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Author's Bio: 

Pamma Durnin is the founder and president of SpeakEase, an organization dedicated to helping people overcome their fear of public speaking. A lifetime of stage fright, including an experience nearly 20 years ago of “blanking out” before an audience of 2,000 (more), motivated Pamma to develop a gentle yet highly effective program of transforming fear into confidence and inner power.

She is a workshop facilitator, keynote speaker, personal coach and EDxTM practitioner. EDxTM, similar to EFT, is a form of energy psychology which addresses the root of the issue, leading to lasting results.

Pamma is very skilled at creating a space in which people's most magnetic, authentic and confident selves emerge.