Stage Fright & Public Speaking Workshop

Stage Fright & Public Speaking Workshop

Stage Fright & Public Speaking Workshop

We conducted a Public Speaking Workshop on July 22, 2018. As always, Stage Fright appeared top on the list during the workshop and discussions.
I had read a book by Peter Desberg, PhD titled:
Speaking Scared Sounding Good.
There are various exercises relevant to the subject. Select your thoughts from various given below to understand your difficulties. One such exercise is detailed below & I recommend to my readers who are interested in Public Speaking to carry out the exercise and read the book which is available at the book stores in India.

Selecting Relevant Fear Provoking Thoughts

The following is a list of common situations in which people get nervous while speaking. Place an ‘X’ next to any of the fear-provoking thoughts youve had in similar situations.

Public Speaking

The following statements were made by people who were about to speak in front of an audience. These or very similar comments were made by the participants.
  • I will probably forget I’m supposed to say.
  • I’m going to appear disorganized.
  • They’re going to see my hands tremble.
  • Everyone is going to think Im boring.
  • A lot of people in the audience know more about this topic than I do.
  • People are going to feel sorry for me.
  • I’m going to sound stupid.
  • I’m unprepared.
  • People aren’t going to take my presentation (or me) seriously.
  • I’m going to make people feel uncomfortable.
  • They will hear my voice quaver.
  • I’m going to come off as cold, distant, and unlikable.
  • I’m not going to be able to answer the questions they will ask me.
  • I’m not going to get the promotion (get elected, pass the class and so on)

Talking to the Boss

The following statements were made by employees who were just about to talk to their bosses about various issues, ranging from presenting new ideas to asking for a raise. Which do you identify with?
  • I’m going to choke under pressure.
  • I’m going to sound incompetent.
  • I’m going to put my job in danger.
  • My boss will think I don’t have the necessary abilities to perform my job.
  • I’m going to forget my purpose and start to ramble.
  • I’m going to sound like I’m kissing up to my boss.
  • My boss will think he or she has overestimated me.
  • I’m going to lose my temper.
  • I’m going to laugh nervously.
  • My ideas will sound lightweight.
  • I’m not going to achieve my goals for this meeting.

Interviewing for a Job

The following statements were made by people who were about to go on an interview. Which do you identify with?
  • I wont understand some of the key questions.
  • I’m either going to say too much or too little.
  • I’m going to wilt under pressure.
  • I’m going sweat too much.
  • I’m going to seem desperate.
  • I’m going to wear the wrong outfit.
  • If I’m asked about my weaknesses, I wont be able to come up with any believable ones.
  • I’m going to sound stupid.
  • I’m going to quarrel with the interviewer.
  • I’m going to sound insincere.
  • I wont have the right qualifications for the job.
  • I’m going to give the wrong answers.
  • I have the wrong image for this job.
  • I haven’t done enough research and preparation for this interview.

EXERCISE: Identifying Your Fear-Provoking Thoughts

As you answer the following questions, keep in mind that the fear of negative evaluation or rejection is a common thread that runs through all thoughts related to stage fright. One key to identifying your fear-provoking thoughts is to recognize a fear of negative evaluation or rejection during your own internal dialogues. Also be on the lookout for any harmful predictions you can do little or nothing about it.
Ask yourself the following question and record all of your responses in the space provided. (These are tough questions, so if you have some trouble getting started, first read the feedback for this exercise for some assistance.)1.
1. What will happen when I speak in public?
2. What past experiences have I had in this type of situation and what were the consequences?
3. What have I seen happen to other people in similar situations?
4. Whats the worst thing that could happen to me in this situation?
5. If the worst thing were to happen, what would happen then? And then what? And so on.

Summarize Your List of Fear-Provoking Thoughts

Use all of information youve recorded above to make one consolidated list of your fear-provoking thoughts. Explain these in any manner you think will be most helpful. (Keep it handy and refer all the time during your practice sessions for developing Public Speaking Skills)
Thanks for reading.


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