2 simple hacks for the pros out there who want to either overcome their fear of public speaking or simply master it and get the Best Delegate award in any given MUN conference from now on!
A week ago, I was about to enter a room full of people to give a speech on social media and how to best utilize them. But, 5 minutes before my speech, something happened. I found myself reminiscing that very first time I spoke in public. I was only 15, in a huge student conference talking about the future of the EU.
I was literally shaking that day. Mybody was kind of out of control. My breathing was fast and shallow. I was sweating and I genuinely to this day don’t know how I didn’t throw up. My knees were weak while I was waiting to give my speech. Maaaan, how difficult life was. Fear was all over me, I just wanted it to be over. Does this sound familiar? If yes, keep going. I promise you, by the end of this article you will see a new perspective.
You can see on the video below.. I worked on that a lot. Here I am speaking in front of 2.500 people (Kofi Annan, Richard Branson, Bob Geldof, Mini Mandela - yeah the wife of Nelson Mandela sitting in the front row!) and another 50.000 people on livestreaming. It is no magic I just use the tricks I am about to explain!
The question is simple: Why are you letting stress take over you, if you are confident and you know what you are talking about and you own it?
Well, guess what? Because the human mind does not work only with logic. Feelings are more powerful than logical thoughts sometimes. And yes, public speaking and stage fright are amongst the 10 most common fears people face nowadays.
So, what we will do is analyze fear. And why is this going to help us?!Here is why and it is not just Ioanna saying so, it is science.
Emotions are the combination of thoughts and feelings.Emotions are binary.They can be either good or bad. That’s it.
On the other hand, feelings and thoughts are limitless.
Like that, when something happens and we find ourselves in a given situation, a feeling arises inside of us. This feeling triggers a thought according to how we perceive the incident or the situation we are in. This perception of what is happening to us when we are on a stage triggers certain feelings that are followed by counter thoughts that bring on fear — which is a bad emotion. And bad emotions tend to have difficult implications for our psychology and our physiology as I explained earlier.
But here lies the magic of science. When you become aware of this sequence and from a subconscious level you bring it to a conscious one, you actually are able to let it go.
PLUS, and this is SUPER IMPORTANT: Go back to every time you had to give a speech. When was fear stronger? Before the speech or while you were giving it? Of course it was before. And the tipping point where fear is at its highest is 1 min before you appear on stage.
And I am going to give you a practical example in order to understand exactly how fear works and why it is the same thing in every situation — not just public speaking.
Let’s take the example of free falling from an airplane, from 20,000 feet above the ground.
If you bring this example in mind, every time you are afraid of something you are about to do in your professional or personal life, then you will be able to let go of fear.
So, this is how it works…
When it comes to free falling you go through the theoretical part and you do at least eight hours of ground training until you know everything and you are completely capable of jumping off of a plane…
At least in theory you are. But then you enter that plane…
Oh boy, does your anxiety go up or what?
And then the plane takes off and you can feel the anxiety in your throat, sometimes you might feel like you’re choking.
8 mins later, you see that first person jumping and your first thought is:
“Hell no! I’m not going to do it! No way I am jumping into the void! I am going down the way I came up, inside the safety of the airplane”.
Suddenly, your turn has come. You look down. You get nauseous. You are so afraid and so anxious. It’s overwhelming. You’re shaking. There is cold sweat everywhere on your body.
But then you jump. Because someone else stands behind you in the line. It’s your turn. There is no way back.
And what happens at that moment?
Something magical happens. All of a sudden, fear is gone. You’re falling, you’re in the game!
Now all you think about is what you have to do. Check your balance to keep your back from hurting. Check the altitude. Grab your parachute in order to be ready. Then you check your watch yet again, you stretch your body, you calculate again and you get in the optimal position — all of that up there in the air. WHILE FALLING.
Lastly, the parachute opens.
Can you realize what just happened?
This thing you fear the most is inside our head. Fear is not something tangible.
But the moment you go in action mode, the moment you get on that stage, ten seconds later, fear is gone.
Why? Because you’re in the game, you’re giving your speech; you’re conveying your message! You are impacting the people who are listening to you. It’s like falling!
Next time you are afraid of public speaking, just bring it on your conscious level. Realize what is happening and understand that you are stronger than this now that you know how it works.YOU ARE IN CONTROL!
Just do the jump! Once you fall, there is no way back, my friend. The only thing that worries you then is how to best utilize the parachute and just stay alive.
Don’t let go of your life because of your fear. Just bring the free falling example in your mind. Every. Single. Time. Just bring fear on a conscious level. And just remember that when you jump… fear is gone!
If you found this useful, click the heart emoji at the bottom! That way you can help more people let go of fear and go after their dreams with less stress!
And as always, share your stories with me! What worked, what didn’t. How difficult was it?!Find me on instagramand share with me kick ass photos of you rocking that MUN stage!
Thank you for your time! With much love,