The dreaded day has finally arrived, 15 of your colleagues gather around the meeting table, you stand before them and all words vanish.
It should be a normal meeting, I mean come on, you normally speak with these people. Even during the last end of year dinner, you know those who got drunk and told unrepeatable tales. And for today, all you have to do is speak to them about the project you have been working on these last months and instead you’ve got the shakings.
As you stand there, your heart is beating at what feels like 10 times the normal rate. You feel like everybody in the room can hear the thunderous sound within your chest, when actually, they are so focused on what you are saying and their own fears and worries that they don’t notice. As the adrenaline is coursing through your body, your whole being is primed for a fight or flee response and you can even hear the sound in your ears to run out of the room. These are all normal effects, all you have to do is just focus on that friendly face in the audience and your presentation, this will have a calming effect on you.
But then, you feel your hands and legs shaking, from the nerves. You can feel the clicker in your hand jumping like a child in a jumping castle. You look at the audience certain that they are laughing at you, meanwhile, they didn’t actually notice the fact that you are shaking. As you look at them, the shaking continues to get worse, your knees are knocking together and your feet can barely hold your weight anymore. This is once more the effect of adrenaline running through your veins. Take a deep breath, and turn your focus back to the message you wish to pass on to them. They are actually listening and watching to learn more about what you have been doing.
Well, you finally get going and all of a sudden realize that you have mixed up the terms. Now, they most certainly think you don’t know what you are talking about, how on earth can you confuse such simple terminology. This can easily make you lose track and even your self-confidence. However, all you need do is make your corrections, simply take a step back, deliver the right content and keep on going. They are here for you and to get accurate information and not to make you fall flat on your face.
I have some disappointing news, you are not the first to fear standing before a crowd, nor will you be the last. Many a great speaker has stumbled when they stand up to speak, so you are in illustrious company. What will you do about this fear? Bear in mind that an open flame can be a scary thought, but it all depends on what you do with it. Would you rather put out the fire or light up the grill, warm yourself and make a barbeque? The same applies to fear of speaking, you could either avoid it by all means necessary or stand up there look them in the eye and tell your tale.