The fear of public speaking is the greatest fear of all.
Overcoming the fear of public speaking involves a shift in your focus, so that you can find the opposite of fear.
Surprisingly, the opposite of fear isn’t courage. It’s something more.
Courage is what allows people to act, even when they are afraid. Courage and fear co-exist, as you will see in this story. So, what exactly is the opposite of fear, and how can you harness that emotion to overcome your fear of public speaking? An excerpt from The NEW Elevator Pitch
How people can move forward, even in the face of fear? Coping with fear is the secret to a great presentation. So, to find out more, I talked to someone who deals with life and death situations on a daily basis. Could his ability to cope with fear help others to overcome the fear of public speaking?
Kevin Molitor is a firefighter and EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) in the suburbs of Chicago. He’s not famous; he’s not a politician, preacher or rock star. He’s a guy whose business is saving lives, every day. Kevin typically rides with a special ambulance crew that can be dispatched to traditional medical emergencies, or to fire and accident scenes. On a regular basis, his job requires him to:
- Put himself in danger to rescue people who have been injured in car crashes or fires – including underwater rescues (he’s certified for SCUBA)
- Make decisions about how to treat traumas before putting a patient into the ambulance – decisions that, if incorrect, could cause harm, injury or even death
- Enter into burning buildings, frozen rivers and other extremely dangerous places in order to save lives
While Kevin has undergone extensive training for a variety of emergency situations, there is always an ‘x-factor’ of unknown potential harm. Kevin often finds himself in clear and present danger, and yet he has to move forward.[box] “You see the slogans on t-shirts,” Kevin says, “you know, ‘We Fight What You Fear’. But, without any fear, you’d get yourself into situations you couldn’t get yourself out of. There’s always fear, anybody who says they aren’t afraid isn’t telling you the whole story. But you focus on your training, you focus on the job at hand, if you want to save a life (including your own).”
According to Kevin, focusing on your fear only makes it stronger. Overcoming fear is a matter of focus, and reliance on expert training. Here was his secret to turning fear into action:
Make the other person’s situation more important than your own.
By focusing on others, and believing in our talents, we find the opposite of fear:
Overcome your fear: Where there is trust, there is no fear. Trust in yourself, your talents and abilities – and make the other person’s needs the most important thing in your world.[/box]
Do you have the skills you need, to deliver your message?
Trusting your talent doesn’t mean filling yourself with flimsy self-esteem or unearned confidence. It’s possible for you to feel great, and still fail at delivering your message. The key to trusting yourself is through real skills and knowledge. Learn how to make the audience – your listener – more important than any nerves you may be feeling. You’ve got to have a process for telling your story, especially when the stakes are high. More resources are available on my YouTube channel, just click here.
Trust me, that’s the only way to overcome your fear.
For more information on how to make your story strong and compelling, check out The NEW Elevator Pitch.
And for world-class guidance on how to connect your company’s message to your audience, there’s the latest book by Chris Westfall: BulletProof Branding. Find it on Amazon here.
Images courtesy of allensima and stopthegears. Used under creative commons license, some rights reserved.