Only recently I had a client who is actually quite successful on the job he is doing but had issues with speaking in public. Not only with the kind of public speaking when you have a huge audience in front of you but also on a low profile base. Speaking with colleagues who are in higher positions, presenting the work that he’s done, or doing sales pitches with clients.

 

Every time he had one of these meetings ahead, he experienced the typical kind of stress response. Sweaty hands and armpits, a trembling voice, and last but not least the feeling that he couldn’t be fully present with his mind spinning around the stressful thoughts and moments.

 

The client was happy about the circumstances of corona since he didn’t have to meet people face to face and shake hands. Also, his wet armpits were less obvious during digital meetings. But he knew that sooner or later the times would come back that he would again be more confronted with all the hassles that talking to others had for him.

 

He’s not alone in this

This client is not the only one that has issues with speaking in front of others. There are actually pretty many people who have an issue with it. Most people deal with it by simply not doing it, not speaking, not speaking up. Avoiding to be visible and to be heard. Of course, this seems to be a very effective manner to deal with this issue.

 

Why avoiding is not a strategy to overcome this

Avoiding speaking up in front of others makes people do it less and less. In the end, this leads to situations where when they have to do it and can’t avoid it, they react with panic. Instead of curing the issue, avoiding leads to a negative spiral and makes the fear bigger and bigger. Above all, the avoidance strategy makes people often don’t dare to speak up for themselves since this creates exactly the situation that they want to avoid. Nothing worse than this. Every voice counts and should be heard, especially when it is about speaking up for yourself!

 

What to do against the stress of speaking

Physiology

One of the important factors is physiology, the way you use your body when speaking. Using one of the power poses help you to bring your body in the right position and state to support your speaking.

 

Breathing

Breathing is the next important factor for speaking. Using the breath so that it calms your body is what you want to do in these kinds of situations. This means sending your breath down to the belly instead of having a shallow breath.

 

Visualisation

One of the strategies that some people use is the power of visualisation. Since the subconscious doesn’t know the difference between fake and reality, the past, the presence, or the future, you can simply just visualise a successful talk, as if it happened already. The more you repeat this, the more self-understood this becomes to your subconscious and in the end also your conscious.

 

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Lots of people use the ‘feel-the-fear-and-do-it-anyway’ strategy. Speak in public, even though you are afraid of it. Using a strategy like this allows you to overcome the negative spiral that results when avoiding speaking.

 

One step ahead

One step ahead you’ll get when you do what the bespoke client did, look for help from the outside. Look for a coach that helps you overcome what you can’t see and only do feel at the moment of having to speak.

 

Previous experiences

Quite often there are previous experiences that made speaking in public became an issue. Other kids at school laughed at you or maybe even about something else when you were telling something. Or a situation of a talk in your adult life that didn’t go well. A coach can help not to delete these experiences but make them fade away.

 

Limiting beliefs

Also limiting beliefs may play a role in the fear of speaking and speaking up. Make sure that there’s not a limiting belief like ‘it’s not important what I have to tell’ or ‘my voice doesn’t count’ hidden behind the fear of speaking.

 

Dissolve the trigger point

Dissolving the physical trigger point is a very successful tactic to deal with the fear and stress around speaking. All emotions do have a physical expression in the body. Often it is this trigger point that lets us evolve the stress reaction in the body. Dissolving the trigger point and all that comes along with it or is hidden behind it frees up the body and mind. This strategy allows you not only to speak up in front of colleagues but even in front of a big audience.

 

I hope you’ll experience benefits from these tips if you experience also stress from speaking in front of others!