Public speaking fears

The Daily Post Prompt   Frozen lips, red face, speechless?  One of the greatest challenges to many people’s emotional fitness or emotional intelligence remains speaking out in a crowd.

Polar bear hiding eyes in shame used in an Emotional Fitness (EQ) post about the fear of public speaking.

“Please, please,make me invisible. “

Image by Body Shape Style 

I am a public speaking blubber mouth equiped with full body armor when it comes to public speaking.  Want proof?  Watch this tape from one of Oprah’s shows way back when.  And I am not the sad teen with big hair first shown, I  am “The expert in the audience.” My job was to advise this gir’ls  family when it came to dealing with their daughter’s love affair with the wrong guy. My advice was good or so I was  told.  See if you agree?

I quip now  that I rose above Oprah, not a good PR strategy and she did bring me down. Still this does prove I am a public speaking fear-naught. I’d rather be a fool than invisible as  I have become with age – something I noted in yesterday’s emotional fitness blog post.

Emotional fitness thoughts about fear

Fear is a signal danger exists; fear says “Run and hide.” Problem?  Feeling signals are not discriminating.  Fear can make a lion out of a mouse;  a death threat out of public speaking.

Emotional fitness tips about taming fear

Fear is properly tamed using EFTI’s  two step solution:

Step one: Reality check.  A gun pointed at you. Run if you think you can out  run a bullet; faint if you can’t run.  Might save your life if being robbed. Might not if the gun is in the hand of a terrorist or cruel crazy person. Fainting works the same way if if a bear is set to attack you. Even the worlds fastest runner cannot out run a bear. If the bear is hungry fainting won’t help, but otherwise it has been known to save lives.

Step two: Face your fear.  No true danger? Then facing fear is the way to build courage with small facing-fear steps.  Afraid of public speaking? Start by visualizing success at a small meeting or in a small, cozy classroom with a kind teacher. Visualize the group applauding you.  Then actually speak up in those situations.  Then enlarge the audience.  Soon you might stand up on Oprah and not faint.  This is called by the Behavioral Therapists Systematic  Desensitization or Gradual Exposure Therapy. This really works but at the saying goes , only “If you work it.” Remember  as Franklin Roosevelt said in his first inaugural address: “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Roosevelt was speaking of the need to face economic fears.  Winston Churchill is often said to have originated this quote, but apparently he stole it from Roosevelt. A side rant: politicos, ad men and women, media’s talking heads encourage uncertainty and fear.  Fear drives people to behaving as you want.   Not healthy for individuals, America, or the world. End of rant.


Finally, remember what matters:  find time to laugh and play,  face false fears,  keep learning,  to be thankful for all you have been given, and to think about what matters. For all you do, thank you and if you think someone will enjoy this post, please share it. Doing so always helps me and hopefully some others. Katherine

Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.

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