Public Speaking and The Fear Factor: Just Do It!

iStock_000001957113-microphoneJerry Seinfeld said it best:

“According to most studies people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number 2 is death. Death is number 2. Does that sound right? This means to the average person if you go to a funeral you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

When people come to me for help with their presentation skills, the first thing they ask is: how do I overcome my fear? My response is simple: MEET fear; she’s your new best friend. Then go ahead and embrace fear and let her propel you onward to a great presentation! Put another way, like the NIKE adage: JUST DO IT!

That’s not to say you should get up in front of an audience without preparing. Being prepared is numero uno! But after preparing and knowing your material, get up, stand up and speak up, just as if you were telling me a story.

When I coach my clients, I ask them to think of all the times they have every single day to practice their presentation skills: with their co-workers, their friends, their spouses, or even with their children. Work on making clear concise statements in small ways and your confidence will grow.Then when you get your first big break, you will be ready.

And finally, remember, there are plenty of scary things we do everyday, without giving them a second thought: like driving a car, riding an elevator up 35 flights, and getting on airplanes.

So next time you have to present, let fear propel you and JUST DO IT!