Public Speaking Myths to
Clear Up Right Now
Myth #3 - Great Speakers Donít Get Stage Fright
Mark Twain once said ďThere are
two types of speakers: those that are nervous and those
that are liars.Ē
Hereís the truth about stage
fright: everyone gets it to some degree. Now, having
said that, I can tell you that there have been times
when I have taken the stage as a performer with zero
anxiety and I am not proud of that fact. Years ago, when
I was playing music in bars for a living, there were
nights when taking the stage meant no more to me than a
job to make money and I did it because thatís what I was
hired to do.
On some of those late nights in
lonely pubs with a handful of very intoxicated patrons,
I felt no stage fright when I took the stage. That made
me realize it was time for me to get out of that
business, and I did. However, I canít remember a single
time when I took the stage to speak without having some
measure of fear.
Some speakers show no sign of
fear, thatís true. Thatís because those speakers have
learned to acknowledge the fear, respect it and turn it
into a constructive energy so what they feel drives them
toward a better performance. They prepare so thoroughly,
and they know the techniques so well, that they feel
excitement more than fear. As a speaker, you want that
fear and excitement. You need that fear and excitement
because if you donít have it, youíre probably taking the
stage only for the money, because thatís what you have
been hired to do, and that could mean itís time to get
out of the business.
Why is this important to you?
Because you need to know that when your hands shake,
when your pulse races and when your blood pressure
rises, thatís precisely whatís supposed to happen! If
these things donít happen, it means that youíre not
emotionally involved and you should think twice about
taking the stage. A lack of emotional involvement likely
means a lack of respect for the opportunity, leading to
poor preparation and thus right back to the first myth.
Therefore, ďFEAR,Ē in regards to public speaking,
doesnít equal false evidence appearing real. Rather, the
fear of speaking in public is based on factual evidence
thatís absolutely real. That fear will drive proper
preparation, which will translate to sensational
performances resulting in the best possible outcome.
So, whatís the lesson? Love that
fear, you need it!