The Fear of Speaking
As a psychologist, I help people to speak without fear. As I see it, the fear of speaking as one of the biggest blocks to people moving forward in their lives. When they have to speak in front of others, or even when they anticipate doing it, many people are filled with dread. The nerves can shake them to the core.
If they can’t avoid the spotlight, they might over-rehearse, take medications, cover up, pretend, or just white-knuckle their way through. But the best strategy for those who are anxious is to simply avoid any circumstance that might require speaking in front of others.
Facing the Fear of Speaking
What I’ve come to see is that people are afraid to face their own fear of speaking. Every so often someone who has enrolled in my workshop does not show up. Later, I hear from that person who admits that he was just too anxious to attend.
The programs that I lead at The Essential Speaking Institute are designed to help people move through their insecurity, whether it is severely debilitating or mildly annoying to them. The first step can be hard to take.
I think showing up to a Speaking Circle, knowing that one is taking a step toward changing their fear, is part of what goes into the transformation. There is a recognition of readiness or at least a willingness to move forward and take action. And, there is some belief that has been activated. This belief leads them to our groups where we invite them to explore another way to be in their own skin, feel some measure of confidence, and develop more ability to stand in front of others and not be afraid to talk and be themselves.
What we offer in our promotions is something that catches the eye of the participant. People are drawn to us for different reasons but what seems most important is to tap into what they really want. Perhaps it is “fearless speaking” or “speaking with ease” or “authentic presentation” or “the power of presence” or any number of other ways we can capture the essence of the work and our vision.
It seems we need to acknowledge that both there is a problem…fear…and a solution…Relational Presence. The hope we provide people who join us is the light we shine on another way to be where change happens easily and naturally. We know we can guide people to a new way of being that allows them to step closer to their dreams, achieve desired results, and live more fully with joy. We know they can access their true voice and in so doing, they can change their lives.