Why Stories Can Chase Demons Away

What can adults learn from kids about getting past fears?

A lot. Read on:

Me:   So what are you going to dress up as for Halloween?

Meg:  A dead bride

Me:   Will that be scary?

Meg:  It will. You don’t know what happened. When she was at her wedding and didn’t know her husband was a serial killer, he poisoned her wine.

Me:   Then what happened?

Meg:  He put her in the sea. But she wasn’t dead and she was so mad she stayed alive for a hundred years. And someone found her and she was furious.

Me:   Oh, oh! So, what did she do next?

Meg:  She found his grave and put him in the sea…  …Revenge. Ha-ha-ha (evil laugh)

You’ve just been privy to a conversation I had with my 10-year-old girl last night as she was making last minute preparations for Halloween.

Of course, it’s all make believe and even the youngest of the kids who’ll be running around my neighborhood in a few days canvassing for sweets with giant buckets or bags won’t be the slightest bit scared (or scary).

But it’s funny to hear what passes for a frightening tale in the mind of a child. And, even if I say so myself, I really quite liked Meg’s back story.

The interesting thing about Meg and all the other children who’ll shortly head out to roar trick or treat in most every doorway that’s lit and looks half way inviting…

…is most of them seem to put quite a bit of thought into the image they want to present, which audiences they want to target and what kind of pitch they want to make. After all, they can’t really go back to houses they’ve visited. So it’s a case of trying to make the most of each trip.

Hmmm. Not a million miles away from making speeches.

With a plan, practice and preparation – public speaking doesn’t have to be scary either.

And if you add stories into the mix – your audiences will enjoy the experience more and so will you.

Now don’t eat too many sweets.

Having to face a dentist with a drill in hand is actually a much more frightening experience than standing in front of people who’d like to hear what you have to say.

And if you’d like any help in chasing any lingering demons away that block your path to speaking up…

…Get in touch. You’ll be glad you did.

 What Helps You to Overcome Fears?

 

Photo Credit: Angela Halpin

(FYI My pal Angela doesn’t normally look like this. She was having a bad – or maybe a good – night!)

About Eamonn O'Brien

Public speaking master, Eamonn O'Brien is the founder of The Reluctant Speakers Club.