On Public Speaking Anxiety and Ridiculous Advice You Should Ignore

Public speaking fear cure mythsFact. With few exceptions, most speakers (including professional orators) experience some level of public speaking anxiety every time they face an audience. But, not all advice on tackling these fears is well founded. Far from it.

So, I had an interesting chat with a senior executive in a multinational I’ll name Bill (not his real name) during a recent public speaking skills masterclass. And truth be told, this is a more common conversation than you might imagine.

As we were beginning to discuss how easily he could use small changes to his body language to boost his audience connection, Bill made an admission:

“Oh, oh! I’ll bet you’re going to tell me I have to look at my audience when I’m speaking to them? But I don’t know how. This is the kind of stuff that used to give me the jim-jams when I was asked to speak in the past!

Then, he continued:

“Is this true? So I heard one of our HR people in London suggesting years ago that if you can just look over everyone’s heads, you’d be like that painting of Mona Lisa – where everyone thinks her eyes are following you and she’s looking at you! Except, they’re not. And then he hesitated before asking: “Any way that could work?”

I shook my head and asked him if had he ever tried this nonsense out and, if he did, what happened.

“Oh man”, he said. “Just once. What a disaster… stupid really! All it did was give me a shocking headache and then I couldn’t remember a fraction of what I was supposed to say! I was mortified.

And then he said, and this was the kicker:

“In fact, I was so embarrassed, that was the last time I tried to speak in public!”

What a shame, right? It’s easy to be derailed or undone by rubbish advice if you don’t know what you don’t know.

Reduce Your Public Speaking Fears By Knocking These 3 Myths on The Head

And, in response, my video in today’s post is about calling out 3 of the most common ‘stage fright reduction’ myths out there that deserve to be well and truly busted.

If you’d like to learn how to conquer fears with confidence so you can speak memorably, contact me at eobrien@thersc.ie. I’ll be delighted to help you.


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