public speaking

Working Women Of Florida hosted a conference on September  5th and 6th at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, FL. I was honored to be asked to speak on the subject of fear. Standing on the stage with 400 women present was an awesome experience. (Notice the picture at the top of this page.) The love and energy of this group of women inspired me to keep doing what I love most. I met some pretty amazing ladies, whom I hope to share with for a long time to come.
The presentation included the 5 “A’s” to remember when you desire to overcome fear. Those include:
  • Acknowledge
  • Awfulize
  • Appreciate
  • Ask (Afform)
  • Act
Acknowledge your fear and what it really represents for you. Is there a deeper reason for the fear? For instance, I once experienced a fear of driving that was more about a fear of success than it was about driving. Once I acknowledged that, I was ready to let that go and move forward!
Awfulize those dreaded experiences. In other words, take it to the extreme. That can help you realize that things aren’t going to be quite what you imagine. If in fact they are pretty bad, you might be surprised at the tools and skills you have in place for handling the situation.
Appreciate that in the past those feelings have served a purpose. Once you can accept and honor that, it is time to understand that you have outgrown other old behaviors (i.e. thumb sucking for comfort).  You no longer need these limiting thoughts and beliefs.
Ask questions that will help you. Rather than continuing to ask questions based in negative programming, begin to ask the questions that a changed you might ask. Instead of asking, “what if this went wrong”, imagine asking, “what if this went right”? (More information on questions that work for you can be found in the works of Noah St. John, originator of Afformations.)
Act on your new beliefs and understandings. To decide you have overcome a fear of elevators is great, to ride in one is real victory. Find someone you trust to support you in taking those first steps and celebrate the new you!

Take steps today to begin creating the life free of fear that you desire. Please, let me know your stories. I’d love to share your successes with others.

I have written about this fear before. My friend Brenda had a fear of public speaking that she overcame through one hypnotic session. It has made a big difference for her in her career since then. She stands before groups and keeps them enthralled with her talks.

The fear of public speaking is considered to be the number one fear people suffer from, even more than the fear of death! Three out of every four individuals has such a fear, that is 75% of the population.

This fear knows no boundaries of sex, race, class or anything else you can imagine. Ironically, the audience wants the speaker to succeed.

And yet…..

We perceive the audience as the enemy. We have visions of the audience waiting to pounce on our every word, find our faults, shine a light on our weaknesses.

I once was that fear filled person. I hated being called upon in class, hated giving speeches or even being noticed! Now, I teach at conventions, speak anywhere and everywhere I am invited and make appearances on television on a regular basis. I know the fear, I know the thrill of overcoming it.

Think about the freedom you could have if you were to overcome a fear of public speaking.

I belong to a networking group that meets on Fridays. Each meeting, we stand up and introduce ourselves. Each week, three different businesses share a short (5 minute) talk about what the business is about. To better know about the businesses, we are encouraged to make appointments with one another for a brief personal meeting. It is a wonderful group of people, many different professions are involved and all the participants seem to be of a very high caliber.

The Friday before this last one, a woman (I will call her Brenda) stood up to share about her business. She suffered from the single most common phobia, fear of public speaking. It is said to affect as much as 75% of the population. Public speaking is also considered one of the most valuable skills a person can have in business. Well, Brenda was unable to get through the entire 5 minutes of speaking time. She shook visibly and was near tears several times. What was amazing, was that through all of that, she had a tremendous and powerful story to tell. Her business is her passion and her goal is to benefit special needs individuals. Brenda touched my heart.

It was announced at the end of that meeting who the next week speakers were to be. I was one of the speakers. How fortuitous! Some days life just hands you solutions without even having to look. I called Brenda and she agreed to meet with me in exchange for my speech time. We met in my office and had an incredible session regarding public speaking. Brenda was open and receptive to the idea of overcoming her fear. Brenda is bright and charming. We worked together for a few hours. That’s it. One hypnosis session, we recorded. She had one opportunity to listen to the session again before Friday. Brenda left my office saying she felt self empowered.

I arrived on Friday, with great anticipation. How exciting for Brenda to be able to share everything she had told me about her dreams and goals with this group. I just knew when they heard all she hoped to do, they would love her as much as I now did. When I stood up to introduce myself, I did it using sign language as well as speaking. This was to support her upcoming talk. People weren’t sure why, but I tend to go against the norm in that group, so they played along.

I was announced as the first speaker. Brenda stood up, went into the center of the room and asked a powerful question. There were immediate responses. She played with the crowd, creating word pictures and spinning her tale. The group was mesmerized! (She was hypnotic!) Brenda went around the room, making eye contact and drawing everyone in. There was no back ground chatter, she had taken control of this crowd. When she finished her talk, the room burst into applause, giving her a standing ovation. Tears of pride and joy streamed down my face. Brenda had delivered her message and it was received. Imagine the difference for Brenda now that she has this level of confidence making her presentations for her business. Now, that she has the power to make a difference.

I was on a different plain for the rest of the day. It helped to create a great start to my weekend. Now, as I sit here this morning, I wonder, how many opportunities I will be offered this week to experience such amazing change. How many opportunities will you encounter for personal change? Will you take advantage of them the way Brenda did?