Video – VLog #47
What causes fear of public speaking?
How can I be confident in public speaking?
How common is fear of public speaking?
Script – VLog #47
David Logan: Hi and welcome everybody to The Techno Dinosaur Meets the IT Geek vlog 47.
David Logan: My name is David Logan, the IT Geek, the guy who takes the jargon out of technology for you the home-based worker, the small business owner. With me today is my usual suspect, Willie Nicol. So, Willie, how are you and where are you?
Willie Nicol: Thank you David. The usual suspect? I think you meant partner in crime but anyway. Hi everyone, I’m Willie Nicol, the Techno Dinosaur due to me being technologically challenged. However, my business is personal life coaching. I’m based in Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland.
David Logan: Excellent Willie Excellent. I’m based here in Annan, Dumfries and Galloway, south west of Scotland, where the sun is shining today.
David Logan: Willie, this week’s question for you. How do we overcome the fear of public speaking? Or could I even change that to, the fear of speaking in front of a camera?
Willie Nicol: Yes David. I think two slightly different things but what I would say is we we’re going to finish of our last vlog about VPNs. Can we do that first?
David Logan: Good point. I’ve forgotten that, good point. So, lets rewind. We’ve talked about VPNs. It stands for virtual private network. The missing link, if I’m right, is I didn’t give you some options. So, bear with me, I’ve taken a leaf out your book this week and taken a look at some reviews.
David Logan: So, the easiest and best VPN software which you can purchase for the first-time buyer is a system called TunnelBear VPN. So that’s TunnelBear VPN. That’s a simple, easy set up and easily affordable. Downside is, you’re given a small amount of data, so you need to pay for that higher bit if you’re going to surf the internet a lot.
David Logan: Other ones are CyberGhost, Surfshark, Private Internet Access and NordVPN. The one I use surprisingly, or not surprising, is none of those. It’s one called Private Tunnel. So that’s PRIVATE tunnel. Website is privatetunnel.com. I find that simple to use and I paid for it about five years ago and I’ve not had to pay anymore since, for six gigabytes of data.
Willie Nicol: Okay.
David Logan: Hopefully that answers that question and helps the job.
Willie Nicol: Thank you very much.
David Logan: So, my question to you – how do we overcome the fear of public speaking?
Willie Nicol: It is a good question. The fear of public speaking, the technical term is Glossophobia and I looked that up on the internet.
Willie Nicol: It turns out that seventy five percent of us have some degree of fear of public speaking. Which can range from slight nerves to sheer terror. And if seventy five percent of people have got this problem, shall we say, we need to look at it.
Willie Nicol: However, we need to remember that we speak in public every day. We say hello to the postman, right. We buy stuff out the shop. We’re in a public place speaking to people and we think nothing of it whatsoever. But when it comes to ‘public speaking’ in a meeting or in a conference room, that is an entirely different story. However, you would be pleased to know that public speaking is like riding a bike. The more you do it, the better you get at it. And also remember that even the greatest public speakers, with very few exceptions, didn’t start out that way. It took them time and practice.
Willie Nicol: So here are some reasons why we have this fear of public speaking. The first one is fear. It’s a stressful situation and we come back to our old friend – the “fight or flight” syndrome. So, a potentially stressful situation, might even consider it to be dangerous, and this automatic reaction sets in. Racing heartbeat, churning stomach, sweaty palms and so on and so on. But, as we also talked about, the fight or flight syndrome, there are ways to combat this. Relaxation techniques, breathing techniques, even visualisation. Sit down and visualise yourself doing that speech or that public speaking before you do it. So, that’s one reason. We have the fear of it and some ways round it.
Willie Nicol: There’s also confidence. We’ve had the fear. Now we’re on confidence. And it’s a mindset thing because we tend to go with a negative mindset. “What if my speech is rubbish”? “What if people laugh at me”? “What if they don’t laugh at me”? “What if I don’t get my point across”? “What if .…”? “What if .…”? “What if it’s a disaster”? You can flip that mindset round and say, “What if none of that is true”? “What if it’s great”? “What if I get my point across”? “What if the audience loves it”? So just flip that round to more positivity.
Willie Nicol: Another thing that affects people is their voice. They don’t like the way they speak. But what you have to remember is what you hear is not what other people hear, right. Record yourself. Even better, video yourself speaking and then you’ll see that, “Oh, that’s not quite as bad as I thought it was”. And you don’t have to go all BBC and posh with your “radio announcer’s” voice No, be natural, right, but do record yourself. Video yourself to see if you do certain gestures, right. Another tip is, get someone to listen to you. Someone you trust obviously who’ll give you positive feedback or constructive criticism.
Willie Nicol: Finally, and there’s more to this, but finally we think, “What will I say”? What will be your content? “Oh, my goodness. What on earth am I going to talk about”? Well, sometimes the circumstances dictate what you’re going to say, so that kind of solves it for you. But what you do is – know your subject inside out. Be prepared for questions and be ready to answer the questions.
Willie Nicol: The final thing I would say about public speaking is …. it’s practice, practice and more practice. All these great public speakers didn’t become great public speakers overnight. So, conquer your fear, build up your confidence, be comfortable in your own voice and know your subject inside out. And if you do that, public speaking will no longer be the chore, the stressful situation, the thing to worry about that it was before. I hope that’s helpful.
David Logan: Fantastic. So, is public speaking, is there another term for that, maybe stage fright?
Willie Nicol: Well, stage fright could be the first bit of it, the fear, the fight or flight. And that’s why, and I’m digressing slightly here, that all thespians would say to people, “Break a leg”. They didn’t want you to break a leg. But if they said something kind of negative or, how can I put it, unhelpful, you say, “We’re not going to break a leg”, right. So, it was a kind of reverse psychology thing and that overcame your stage fright, and you went on and delivered whatever it was, your Shakespearian speech or whatever it happens to be.
David Logan: Great. So, thank you for that topic there Willie. So, in a nutshell, we just get out do it and practice, like riding a bike as you say.
Willie Nicol: Like riding a bike. Now, that’s me being a wee bit superficial. If anyone has any problems in this regard, please do get in touch with me. Because number one, I can help you with the nerves. And number two, I can help you with the delivery. Once you’ve conquered the nerves then you’ll become more confident and you can deliver in a more effective manner. So, by all means get in touch with me. I do have a little cheat sheet that I can send you David. You can put on the website, and it’s more of the tips and hints I’ve just given you.
David Logan: Fantastic. Thank you, Willie. That’s us for this week. Great, thank you for those tips. To the viewer, the life coach has just spoken, the Techno Dinosaur has just spoken. If you’ve got a fear of public speaking, going out on that stage as and when we’re allowed to – this is your man. We’ll put the sheet on the website. For now, please follow us on the social media channels. If you don’t know how to contact us, drop a comment down below or send us a private message up above. Our personal accounts or the social media accounts. So, all for me to say is thank you for that this week, Willie. To you the viewer, be safe, be healthy and have a great week. Thank you.
Willie Nicol: Thank you David. Yes, I’ll just reiterate that public speaking needn’t be scary. It can be quite enjoyable in fact. So, from me Willie Nicol, the personal development life coach and the Techno Dinosaur, it’s goodbye. Remember to stay safe, stay well and have some fun while you’re doing it. Cheers.
David Logan: Bye all.
Additional material – Willie’s cheat sheet