“The Strangest Secret” – it isn’t strange, it isn’t a secret.
There are five big reasons people are nervous or afraid of speaking, presenting, or selling.
2. Low self image.
3. Low self esteem.
4. Afraid of ridicule.
5. Lack of self confidence.
Afraid or nervous are symptoms if these symptoms that feel familiar to you, you’re in luck. I’m about to give you a few “aha’s.”
Take heart. There are cures. Not band-aids, like “take a deep breath” or “picture the audience naked.” Those have nothing to do with the causes of fear. A cure is permanent.
Here are three action ideas that will get you on the “healing” track:
Just try this: Dwell on the past victories and successes – remind yourself of when you did it, not when you didn’t.
Just try this: Write down “why” you have the fear. Many people have fear and are clueless as to the cause. Sometimes that self-discovery is enough to make it dissipate or disappear.
Just try this: Feed your head. I strongly recommend “The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightingale. It’s a 30 minute lesson about the reality of your self thinking. Recorded in the late 50’s, it is still the single most powerful personal development message available today. Don’t just listen to it, study it.
Here are a few more exercises you can perform to build your confidence to speak or present, and heal your fears.
The Little Engine that Could. This is a book that was your first lesson in positive attitude and self belief. You got it when you were 2 or 3 years old and have somehow let it slip away once your business cards were printed. I’ll bet you can’t even tell me the little engine is. Go out and buy this book today. Make it an integral part of your library and a regular part of your reading.
Other books. I’ve prepared a list of books that I recommend which I will offer below as a GitBit. But there are 2 words in books that will help boost your self confidence more than any other 2. They are Dale Carnegie. His 70 year old volumes on winning friends, stopping worry and effective speaking are still the benchmark for building self confidence.
Practice alone. By speaking into a tape and listening to it, by walking on a beach and speaking to yourself, by sitting in your room with the door shut and reading aloud, over time you will improve. Fifteen minutes a day is all you need.
Record yourself. There is no better teacher than a recording of your own voice. You have 2 options. You can listen to it and think how bad you are or you can listen to it and note where you can improve and work at that. Your choice. Self recording is the single biggest element in self improvement.Join Toastmasters. Wherever you live a Toastmasters is close by. Go to www.toastmasters.org and join a club in your area. Toastmasters is an easy, fun inexpensive, non-threatening, supportive environment for you to improve your presentation and speaking skills. Ask any member.
Get a peer group and give your talks to one-another. 5 friends or business friends gathered in a living room once a week giving a 5 minute presentation to one another is better time spent than watching any rerun. It will build confidence, skills and friendships.
Lead a committee at a business organization. Be a spokesperson for some action committee. Lead the completion of an idea or project.
Test your prowess in a safe atmosphere. Speak for free at local civic groups. Every weekly group needs a 15-minute speaker. It should be you. The atmosphere is safe, and who knows, you may make a great contact, or even a sale.
Have some fun. Call a radio talk show. It’s anonymous and you get to say what you feel. It’s a passionate expression. Record it and see how it compares to your other recordings. I’ll bet it’s better. Reason? Passion requires less front of brain thought – it comes from the heart – that should be a clue. A BIG clue.
Real proof and improvement tool. Video tape yourself giving a speech or presentation. Wanna know how good you really are (or aren’t)? tape it is the ONLY way. Video is best.
Afraid to speak or make a speech? Afraid of what? If you can answer that question, the fears will go away.
Free GitBit…Want a great list of books that will build your success library — and your success if you read them. Go to www.gitomer.com – register if you’re a first time user, and enter the words SALES PILLS in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org