What is your biggest fear?
As we take our first breaths it has been proven that we have two instinctive fears that are built in us to help survival, loud noises and falling.
Recently my family and I visited Centre Parcs with another family and whilst dining one night the mother of the other family asked to move tables from the one we were sitting at as there was a birthday party on the next table and she was afraid of balloons.
This prompted around the table chat about people's biggest fears and just as I expected public speaking came out on top.
It is true that the three biggest fears in the UK are (in reverse order)
1. Public speaking
I personally fell at the final hurdle of The Apprentice delivering the worst presentation of my life to 180 people physically present and to over 9 million viewers on BBC1. Literally choking on stage and falling apart, I realised then that the cocky, over-confident sales person in me thought I would be amazing as I interacted so well with people every day. However, getting up on that stage was a completely different ball game.
Wounded but not defeated, I decided that there was no way that I was going to be remembered as the guy that couldn’t speak to a crowd, so I asked the BBC for the full video tape of my presentation so that I could work out exactly where it all went wrong for me. The two things that stood out straight away were:
- I hadn’t practised
- I wasn’t being myself
These two things directly resulted in my failure.
After the show, I went back to the 'drawing board' and from there built myself back up from zero into speaking hero, having now delivered my keynote in 4 different countries over 500 times and becoming a member of the Professional Speaking Association. I've now started to share the speaking skills I have learned over the years with others and how I got over my fear of public speaking and learned to harness the nerves it brought with it and turn that into positive energy.
The world we live in now requires us all to be confident speaking in public and to be able to get our point across, share our stories or sell an idea. Whether at your next sales pitch, presenting to your team or perhaps you may have a best man's speech or christening speech coming up - why not make 2017 the year that will make people sit back and listen to you for a change?
The more we face and overcome our fears to try new things the more opportunities will come our way and the more we will achieve.
I now run public speaking and sales workshops all over the UK, with proven results, full or half days available on a one-to-one basis right up to larger groups if you would like to master the skills to tell your story in style, start by getting in touch!