About that rash …
Yes that rash … the one you were telling me about at the networking meeting.
“Oh public speaking,” you said, “I hate public speaking. I always get that rash that spreads up my neck. So embarrassing! I have to wear a scarf!”
Is it because of the rash that you hate public speaking or is it that you hate public speaking and consequently get a rash?
Or is it that you don’t mind public speaking, or you wouldn’t mind public speaking? In fact you would probably enjoy it, but somewhere someone said something that gave you the idea that you would be judged every time you spoke or that the stakes are high every time you speak – be careful!
And that created stress. Stress releases cortisol and adrenaline into your system and both are known to affect the skin. Or it could be that you are having an allergic reaction caused by stress.
Either way you need to relieve yourself of the stress. That way you bring back the enjoyment you expect from pubic speaking and the freedom to speak without worrying about that rash.
And in this case, though not for everyone, it was caused by fear of being judged and fear of failure.
And what could you use, what thought pattern could you introduce, what story could you tell yourself so that you lost those fears?
The first step is to lose the focus on you. Yes I know there might be a rash, but there won’t be if you stop focussing on you, your being judged, your risks in the high stakes outcome.
The second step is to focus on having a conversation with our audience. Look at it as a stylised conversation, perhaps, but don’t call it “public speaking”. This is different, if only so that it’s no longer associated in your mind and adrenal glands with the ”thing” (“public speaking’) that causes the anxiety, the stress, the rash.
And in this conversation, just as in any conversation, engagement and connection occur naturally. Be a natural, not someone being judged on a performance.
And while you are focussing on that audience and the conversation, think about what you are doing for them. What are you giving them that they need or want or like? Start with the mindset of service, of win-win for you and them. Research them and uncover what they need/want/like and appreciate and then give that. Make them aware, and reassure yourself, that you are there to serve.
It is not about you. It is about your audience and your service to them.
So while the high stakes may involve making a sale or persuading or impressing, that sale, that persuasion, that impression will all be made so much easier and less stressful if you aim to serve and make it obvious that that is your aim. And the outcomes will be so much more abundant as well.
Win-win for all concerned.
Know that your new techniques will take away the feeling of being judged and the stress of high stakes outcomes. Know that all you need to do is know your audience, hold a stylised conversation with them and offer them service. And the anxiety drops. The stress drops. The adrenalin and the cortisol drop. The rash goes and public speaking becomes something to anticipate with pleasure.
You CAN do this!
Now … about that adrenalin addiction – that adrenalin habit, the one you told me about at the dinner last night – ah that’s a whole other article…!