The 5 unexpected benefits you’ll get from facing your fear of public speaking.
In this post, you’ll read exactly why overcoming your fear of public speaking will be one of the most powerful gifts you can give yourself.
It’s been said that more than 80% of the population fear public speaking more than they do death. The very idea of standing in front of a group of people to speak or give a presentation can bring the even the bravest person to battle with a sudden case of nausea, shaking knees, and the sweats. We’ve seen it happen, and that’s ok.
However, if you feel a strong resistance to speaking in front of an audience, we’d like to ask you to have an open mind while reading this article, because we’re here to tell you that overcoming your resistance towards public speaking will likely be one of the most powerful and rewarding gifts you can give yourself if your goal is to be successful in your career (no matter your industry).
Facing your fears and taking the time to hone your public speaking skills is the key to doors of opportunities you never thought possible.
How do we know?
Speaker Nation founder, Eric Edmeades, has consistently faced his own fear of public speaking, turned pro and as you may have noticed, has since gone on to guide thousands of others to experience the power of public speaking in their own lives.
Eric went from being deathly afraid of even stepping on a stage to being prepared for a world-class speech on a whim, and to prove to you what’s possible, here’s an excerpt from a blog post he wrote about the topic a few years back.
Whether or not you have plans of becoming a professional speaker, or ever stepping on a big stage any time soon, overcoming your fear of public speaking will enhance your life in ways you might not expect. Here are a few powerful examples:
5 Ways Speaking Will Change Your Life
The ability to express yourself fully
Getting effective in your public speaking skills helps you formulate your thoughts in a way that clearly establishes your point. Not only can this be helpful when you are sharing a presentation, but it makes you a more effective communicator in general. Think of the possibilities that could come your way by having the courage and ability to communicate in a way that never made you feel misunderstood or unheard again. You would never again find yourself walking away from a meeting or argument thinking, “Oh man, I wish I had said that more clearly.” Instead you’d finally feel totally free and comfortable to express your true self. Public speaking will give you that.
Get comfortable in any social situation
Do you consider yourself to be shy, introverted, maybe even a bit socially awkward? You’ve probably at some point found yourself in a social setting feeling alone or like you had nothing to say. You might be surprised to hear that developing some public speaking skills is the best way to prevent that… As nauseous as that might make you feel.
In a social setting, it can feel extremely awkward to approach someone and start a conversation, but what if you didn’t have to be the one doing the approaching? If you equip yourself with the skills it takes to tell engaging stories to large groups of people, you can make people want to approach you instead. You can effectively introduce yourself to an entire room full of people (or an online audience, if you’re speaking on video) and you’ll find that people you’ve never even met start treating you like an old friend, and before you know it social situations become much more comfortable and even *gasps* fun!
On top of that, by becoming a skilled public speaker, you’ll know how to deal with any sign of that pesky anxiety or shyness that appears just before giving a speech. If done properly, you can learn how to shift anxiety into true excitement about going on stage, and that skill automatically translates into how you feel in any social situation. You’ll notice you feel more grounded, confident, and at ease.
Be seen as an attractive leader
By no fault of their own, people are naturally drawn to confidence. Someone who is comfortable making their points with charisma and authority in front of any size group is someone who naturally becomes an attractive leader because they seem to know what they’re talking about, and others seem to be listening.
This is what we call “The Stage Effect” and it’s one of the most powerful forms of influence available to you should you choose to take advantage of it.
There once was a college Professor who did an experiment where he walked into a room full of students who had no idea who he was. Standing at the front of the room, he said, “Follow me.” He then led them on a 20-minute walk throughout the campus before returning to the classroom and breaking the news: he was actually not their Professor at all. By simply being confident while standing in front of an audience and speaking 2 words with authority, he managed to get an entire room full of strangers to walk out of their class and follow him for 20 aimless minutes. That’s how powerful The Stage Effect can be and how attractive public speaking can make you as a leader.
Opportunities will come knocking
Opportunities typically stem from the people you find yourself connecting with in life. So it only makes sense that the more people you talk to, the more opportunities you might find. It then also makes sense that the better your ability to confidently communicate your value and your message, the more likely it is for people to give you those opportunities.
Once you break into the realm of effective public speaking, you’re giving yourself an opportunity to communicate your value to hundreds, if not thousands of people at once. A video of you speaking could go viral! Then imagine how many of those people in your audience might hold the key to opportunity for you. And since The Stage Effect makes you a more attractive leader, those people will naturally seek you out just to give you those opportunities.
Give your life experiences a deeper meaning
By telling your own stories to your audience, you’re in turn teaching them lessons by your experiences. The best part? Telling your stories helps you to understand yourself better. You are forced to dig deeper into their meaning, allowing you to think about the most empowering meanings of even the bad events.
Developing the ability to connect with an audience gives you insights into human connection and relationships that you may not have had the ability of getting at any other way, and it helps you see things from a perspective most people never get the opportunity to. Public speaking has the power to deepen your understanding of not only your own life experiences, but also other people’s, which is an immense gift that should not be taken lightly.
Just like it did for Speaker Nation’s Founder Eric Edmeades and hundreds of our clients, becoming comfortable with public speaking and honing your communication skills will in turn completely alter your life.
Remember, just becoming a better public speaker doesn’t mean you need to aspire to stand on big stages and become the next Tony Robbins. Public speaking is just what it says, speaking in public, in front of an audience.
Once you master it, you’ll find you’re no longer hesitant to stand in front of a group to teach, inspire, or simply share your thoughts, and there’s an entire new world waiting for you on the other side of the resistance you might feel.