An Audience is an Opportunity
By now most of us have heard Jerry Seinfeld’s joke about how research shows that people often cite public speaking as their worst fear, even over death. Jerry observes, “that means they would rather be in the coffin than delivering the eulogy.” As crazy as it sounds, this resonates for many of us. There’s something about giving presentations that brings out our most self conscious and vulnerable side. Usually this rooted in a fear of rejection. So, think about it… when was the last time you rejected a public speaker? Have you ever? In fact, as an audience member, it’s most likely that you are actually cheering on the speaker and hoping to learn something of value from him or her.
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
The best way to get through the anxiety that you feel is to understand the opportunity before you. Working with a coach and/or taking classes can help. It should never be about survival, it’s about having the gift of an audience’s time and attention and using that further your personal and professional goals. It’s also about giving a gift back to your audience. Imagine leaving everyone with something of real value: information, a unique perspective, guidance, or something that is truly beautiful. This is the opportunity before you. Don’t take it lightly; our public speaking opportunities are a direct route to bringing about the change we want to see at work, in our community, or even in the world. Once we step outside ourselves and think about bringing value to our audience the path forward is more interesting and less scary, and also an opportunity to let your creativity flourish.
I offer public speaking classes and public speaking coaching to individuals and groups locally in Bend, Oregon and throughout the Northwest. I am available for travel and I offer on-line classes and one-on-one coaching.