Anxiety to Engagement

Do your audiences remind you of these masks? In my 35+ years helping emerging and accomplished leaders enhance their capacity to lead by becoming great speakers, I have noticed that all of them have expressed at least some hesitation, fear, anxiety, or pure terror at the prospect of facing their audience. On some level they are sure they will screw up, be harshly judged and will bring shame to their organization and themselves.

Why are we so very frightened? Certainly there is a herding animal phenomenon making us, on a primal level, react to being separated from the “herd”. And in that mindset we see our audience members, staring at us, as predators. Our bodies often behave in a fearful way as if we are about to drown in that huge wave of adrenaline we feel. Our habitual way of interpreting that rush of energy is to call it “fear”.

However, there are several simple strategies that can transform your experience. Because speaking/presenting is primarily a physical practice rather than an intellectual activity, the strategies we employ deal with the body of the speaker, not the content of the talk. By changing the way we physically respond to the “herd” and by practicing new habits we can shift from a feeling of loss to one of ease, engagement and effectiveness with our audiences, teams and groups.

If you feel challenged with the symptoms of fear: shortness of breath, shaky voice, rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, trembling, loss of memory, sweating, blushing and the rest, contact Connie for a 1-1 coaching program to cure your speaker’s anxiety or come to one of our new monthly Saturday morning workshops on September 23rd, October 21st or November 18th, 2017. See registration information here