You may have heard how public speaking is the number one fear over death. This is an apocryphal tale that I don’t have the word count to go in to, but it’s true … Glossophobia (the fear of public speaking) is something that affects many, many people and some worse than others; but if you tell me you get no nerves at all in ANY situation, I would suggest you’re not being entirely truthful.
That said, whatever your state of comfort in front of an audience, the other thing I would suggest is that you are probably less afraid of speaking than you think. Yup, you heard me right, it’s quite likely that it’s not so much the act of speaking that has you quaking in your footwear of choice … but that you are being seen.
Sorry … did I say being seen? What I meant to say was being SEEN.
Let’s think about it. When you raise your hand, you put your head above the parapet. You’re saying, “I’m here!” Of course, when I say ‘raise your hand’ that may be literal, like sharing your ideas in a team meeting, or it may be metaphorical – like writing a report, or a blog, that gets you noticed. It could even be being nominated, or nominating yourself or your business, for an award.
When you share your voice – in whatever form that takes – people turn to look at you. You put yourself in the spotlight, and it’s the scrutiny of that which is the thing that can set off the nerves.
“If I write that blog/ article/ book and publish it then people might notice me, they might check out my website and judge me … what if it’s not good enough?”
“If I submit myself for an award then people will look closely at me and what I do and might find me lacking.”
If you’re out there being seen, people might see your vulnerabilities, your weak spots, your failures; they might see you for all you are, and all that you believe you’re not.
When you’re standing on stage accepting that award, are you trembling from pride, from the fear of speaking – or because you’re afraid that someone might think you don’t deserve it? Are you quicker to believe the doubters than the supporters? Are you afraid you’ll be seen as an impostor, showing all the things you aren’t great at? Are you ignoring all the reasons you deserve every piece of praise and recognition?
So, if you know you want to be up there doing the best that you can for your business; if you want to be winning awards, accolades, and clients, it’s time to start really seeing yourself through the eyes of those you help. Look past the things you want to improve (or wish you were better at) and start seeing all the good things you do – the results you get for others, the positive impact you have on the lives of those you work for and those you work with.
See the good and start believing it. When you believe in who you are and what you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to be both seen and heard.
Guest blog by Vocal Confidence specialist, Public Speaking Coach and Sound Healer, Judith Quin.
To find out more, visit her website www.yourwholevoice.com or follow her on social media @YourWholeVoice