Sometimes the answers to our scary challenges can be so simple.
My 6th-grade granddaughter Sicily told me one day that a classmate was terrified of getting up in front of her fellow students to give a talk or perform in acting or music class.
So Sicily, who has always shown an amazing compassion for others (at 2+ years old asking her mother in the hospital bed if she was going to be okay after giving birth to Sicily’s baby sister), assured her that she could be free of such fears if she just looked at one friendly classmate and told her story to that one person.
Sicily’s friend decided to try that approach…and lo and behold, she got her story out and actually had fun doing it!
We can all learn from the wisdom of a 12-year-old compassionate young person who helps people from the heart…
Just as you do with your identified passion and those you help, right?
If Sicily didn’t have a healthy sense of self-confidence and willingness to try new ways – if she too felt fearful of speaking and performing in front of audiences – she wouldn’t have been in position to help her friend.
We can give to others only what we’ve proven for ourselves.
I’ve learned from over 4 decades of developing learning systems and directing talent on camera in video productions that getting a healthy sense of your own self-worth is more important in life than any amount of knowledge we pick up along the way.
You have to be confident about what you have to share with others – your own “genius” ideas and special way of helping others adopt them one by one – or those you want to help will never get it.
Since public speaking is the scariest thing in life for most people besides dying…
And since a lot of folks get the heebie-jeebies when on camera or on stage…
Let’s look at the simple clarity that others have embraced to free themselves and their clients to be just themselves when sharing their learned wisdom with others.
1 – IT’S JUST NOT ABOUT YOU.
If you have the solution to your ideal prospects’ major problem or challenge, what do you imagine is the reason they come to hear what you have to say?
Certainly not to shoot you down or pick you apart…make fun of your wardrobe or your weight or your eyebrows…or even to laugh at your mistakes.
They come for the same reason you go to others – to find someone who (A) understands their problem, and (B) knows how to help them solve it.
Pure and simple. Nothing more to it. Not looking for their soul mate…just for help.
So when you talk in front of groups of people, it’s not at all about you. It’s about them and their hope and expectation that you can fix what’s broken and get them where they want to be.
You’re communicating because they need your solution and you want to give it to them out of true compassion and love for your fellow person.
When you start connecting with them, they don’t care what you look like or how glib you are with words. They want help…that’s what this is all about.
Just the other day, I heard a self-made public speaking expert named Debbie Allen (author of the best seller, “Expert Positioning” and “Confessions of a Shameless Self-Promoter” among others) share how she overcame her fears and learned to be one of the most sought-after speakers in the country:
- It’s never about me, but about who I can touch and help move forward in their lives.
- When you start to feel nervous, take a deep breath and exhale slowly…then get out of your own head and go from head to heart, to get you to a place of helpful service.
- Imagine you’re talking to a friend across the table, and give him/her your loving ideas that you know will fix the problem and free that person to live a better life.
- Share from your heart – be the real you – that’s who they’re looking to connect with and learn from for sure.
Marjorie Saulson (expert in human communications, founder of VibrantVocalPower.com, and author of international best seller “Empowering Business Owners to Overcome Speaking Fears, Whether You’re Talking With 1 Person or 1,000”), adds that when you let nerves keep you from sharing your life gifts of knowledge and experience, you’re robbing those who need them of the opportunity to get help.
So every hesitation you allow is a lost solution for some others.
The process of persuading others to do things differently to get better results, Marjorie says, is simply opening a door that leads to a safe, supportive change process that is all good.
This whole approach to redirecting your focus from you to your ideal prospects is what cured my of my own reluctance to be on camera.
Most of my career I’ve lived behind the camera a producer, director, writer, even editor of video and film, and also a writer/developer of learning systems. When I decided to be a coach and reach out to help people do a lot better on camera, I had to make this mental shift myself…in fact, “walk the talk” that I’ve been telling others to do for years!
Now, here’s a second proven way to avoid the deer-in-the-headlights reaction on camera:
2 – ONLY SOME OF YOUR AUDIENCE ARE YOUR IDEAL PROSPECTS.
You’re not talking to the whole audience and trying to get them all to buy your stuff.
Think about that.
You’re actually looking to reach only those special, unique people who naturally resonate with your vibe…who emotionally identify with your message and the way you express it…in fact, people thinking and feeling on your frequency.
They’re the ones who (A) know they need your solution, (B) feel like you’re a kindred spirit because you talk their language and identify their experiences, and (C) will buy from you and become long-term loyal members of your tribe.
You DON’T want everybody else responding, because they either won’t buy or will buy but eventually leave your tribe because it’s not the right fit for them.
So follow the wisdom of my granddaughter and talk to individuals instead of a sea of heads. Give each message personally to someone out there, and it will feel like you’re connecting individually with those who need it.
Then be happy when a few of your “peeps” start coming out of the shadows and asking for your help. It’s such a natural sorting system that you don’t have to do anything special about, except be yourself and talk the language of your ideal prospects.
The rest will just happen for you…and more often too, as you learn to just be your real, loving, individual self and give all you can to help them thrive.
Your honest giving will be validated every time one of your kindred spirits joins your program.
And let’s talk about a third proven approach to leaving the fear of speaking behind:
3 – YOU CAN LEARN TO BE BETTER AT ATTRACTING THE RIGHT PEOPLE.
Few of us go through formal training in public speaking in our lives.
Yet it’s amazing what you can learn about what to do and not to do, to make it easier for your ideal prospects to quickly understand and embrace your solution to their major need.
First, get an experienced coach to help identify what you need to quit doing – the habits that interfere and tend to chase people away. List them and eliminate them from all of your communications.
Then learn from that coach the simple but effective things the pros do to connect with people emotionally and create that bridge between you and them.
What I share in my Video Maestro Makeover Workshops, among other skills, are 5 proven techniques that draw all attention to your eyes and your message:
- Position yourself right on camera so you look natural and balanced. Not to close or too far from the camera…not too much headroom…etc.
- Get your lighting natural, with properly set up key and fill lights. We want to see your eyes (eye contact is critical to engaging), your natural skin tone, and in fact how you look across the table in a normal conversation.
- Fix your microphone so your sound isn’t like deep in a barrel and is pleasant to listen to over time.
- Eliminate distractions from your background and in fact purposely create a look and use colors that work with your skin tone and draw attention to your eyes and your message.
- Keep your physical appearance from being distracting – your clothes, jewelry, etc. – so viewers can easily stay mentally and emotionally involved in your story that, if heard and felt, will draw your ideal peeps to click the button and engage with you.
Keep in mind that we’re not robots, and it’s normal to feel a bit tingly before going on camera or on stage, especially with a big audience.
It’s not that we must never feel any fear at all, but that we trust our hearts and never let such feelings keep us from going ahead and doing what we love and what our peeps need us to do for them.
Once you get going, you’re going to be right back in your right place and it’s all good from there on.
Now, if you still need help making this mental and emotionally change, find yourself a transformative video coach who can…
- Help you look and sound like the go-to expert in your niche when on camera, and
- Support your process of shifting from your head about you, to your heart about them.
Never again miss an opportunity to share your good stuff that can heal others’ problems and bless their lives in many ways.
It’s a lot of what gives our daily lives real meaning.