How to

How to hug-it-out with performance anxiety – the public speaking kind

Public speaking scares me up a wall

Glossophobia is real. Public speaking makes me doubt myself, sweat, obsess and worry like a wuss.

In a quest to overcome my fears, I’ve talked to legions of people and asked  tons of questions.  I’ve become a student public speaking.  I’m always trying to figure out how others successfully deal with their fears, how they rise to their occasions, perform and deliver.  I’m looking for ways to cool out fears, squelch performance anxiety, and enjoy the presentation opportunity, instead of fear it.  I think I’ve found it. It works when presenting to as few as two on a listing appointment, or on stage in front of twenty or two hundred.

I’ve found that pros and amateurs agree on the same two general areas of focus; relentless preparation, and a self-confidence-head-game.  The two go hand in hand.  The preparation-process of research, creation and practice rehearsal, creates self-confidence.  Self-confidence enhances performance.  I get that, and that’s what I strive for.

But even when I felt I was super-well prepared, I still sweated the whole deal.  Fears sorta sucked the joy out it.  Sometimes I was more relieved to be finished than I was joyful about the opportunity to share with others.  Until I figured out how to turn things around (most of the time).

I wanted to share the method of approach I use to help turn things around. It calms my anxieties, clarifies what’s important, amps enjoyment of  the experience and enhances performance.  I’m hoping you’ll find it as useful as I do.

Public sharing soothes fright

I call it The Public Sharing Method.  It’s super simple.

Here it is:  I replace the words Public Speaking with the words Public Sharing.  Instead of beginning and ending with my focus on Me-Me-Me Public Speaking, I flip it around.  I begin my preparation with a righteous focus on Them-Them-Them Public Sharing.

Sharing is fun.  Sharing feels good.  Sharing is appreciated.  Sharing is helpful.  Sharing is giving instead of taking.  Sharing is inspiring.  Sharing is positive!  When our attention is focused on the positives of sharing with others, our anxiety naturally melts, fears ebb and confidence in ourselves and what we’re doing blooms boldly.  When we’re prepared, relaxed and confident, everyone involved benefits more.

There you have it. Like I said, it was a simple method. What are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading.  Cheers.

Photo Credit



  1. Eileen N. Sinett

    August 15, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I think this is a good start and really glad it works for you. Now we need a desensitizing word to replace "public."

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