A couple of night’s ago I attended my local Toastmasters club and one of the guest’s comments got me thinking….When people come to the club for the first time most are nervous and not a little afraid.

Standing up and speaking in front of a group of strangers can certainly be scary, at least in our own imagination. So where does that fear come from and what are we afraid of?

  • Fear of making a fool of ourselves
  • Fear of being judged and found lacking by our peers
  • Fear of forgetting what you are going to say (and therefore looking foolish…)
  • I wonder what is the worst thing you could possibly imagine happening to you in a presentation? Now imagine that you worst nightmare came true! What would be the real impact?

    • Would you die? – Not really!
    • You would get the sack? – Unlikely
    • Would people laugh at you? Well possibly but most would be sympathetic
    • Would they remember you? Yes!
    • Would you learn something from the experience? – I hope so.

    One of my students once described a situation where she actually fainted in the middle of an important business presentation. She was certainly embarrassed at the time but afterwards, when I asked her what had happened, she said that her boss had been very sympathetic and supportive and so had the client! She still worked for the same company and had learned a lot from the experience. No next time you are fearful of a presentation, ask yourself the following questions;

    1. What am I really afraid of?
    2. What is the worst thing that could happen?
    3. How likely is it to happen in reality?
    4. Even if it did happen, would it really be the end of the world?
    5. What would you like to have happen instead?
    6. What would it look like, sound like and feel like if you gave a positive, confident and well prepared presentation? Hear the applause, feel the good feelings and see yourself successful.

    1 Comment

    1. Mark on 25/01/2008 at 06:00

      “A couple of night’s ago…”
      Plural takes an S only, not apostrophe.

    Leave a Comment