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From the desk of Steve Lowell, Master Speaker and Mentor to those who speak in public.

Public Speaking Myths to Clear Up Right Now

Myth #2 - The Fear Is All In My Head

What happens to you when itís your turn to speak in public? Do your hands shake? Does your pulse race? Does your blood pressure rise? For most of us the answers to these and other physical manifestations would be a resounding ďYES!Ē

In his book, Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina explains what happens in your body when youíre stressed. He explains that when youíre faced with a stressful situation, either positive or negative, a structure in your brain called the hypothalamus reacts to the stress and sends a signal to your adrenal glands, which immediately dumps loads of adrenaline into your bloodstream, triggering what is known as the fight or flight response.

When adrenaline enters your system, it helps the fight or flight response by boosting your heart rate and increasing your breathing rate. This reaction allows more oxygen to course through your body so that a lot of energy is available when needed. Your pupils dilate to improve your vision, and most of the blood supply is directed to the skeletal muscles that help you run or fight, all the while restricting blood flow to your gut and skin by constricting blood vessels to these areas.

This all means that the fear of speaking isnít just in your head. It affects your entire physical being and alters the way you present yourself when you finally take the stage.

The fear of speaking isnít something you can talk yourself out of. Itís something to be acknowledged, respected and dealt with properly. When dealt with properly, you can leverage the natural physical results associated with the fight or flight response into a powerful tool to help you be sensational when you speak.

As you prepare to take the stage at your next opportunity, remember that the fear you feel is real. It has physical manifestations and you must face them, acknowledge them and deal with them.

So, whatís the lesson? Never try to talk yourself out of the fear or the anxiety. It will only frustrate you when you take the stage and that will make matters worse.

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