I’ve recently come across this quote by a famed business writer and professor, Michael H. Mescon: “Best way to conquer stage fright is to know what you’re talking about”
And actually, I see a version of this well-meaning advice in many blogs and books.
This advice seems to come from those who’ve never actually felt anxious or self-conscious when speaking. And these people tend to think that the reason they’re so confident is because they’re well-versed in their topic.
Now of course, for those of us who HAVE frozen up in front of a group of people, this advice feels a little insulting. Anxiety doesn’t discriminate. Even if you have the most expertise and experience, it doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically feel confident sharing it. In fact, you could still blank out, or have your voice freeze up, or not be able to communicate your thoughts coherently. Trust me, that has happened to me, and I’ll never let it happen again.
And what adds even more insult to injury, is when someone with minimal understanding of your topic is able to get everyone on board with their kinda mediocre ideas. That drives me completely insane.
The truth is, this is how most people perceive the world. They think that if you speak with ease and confidence, you’re the expert. And if you struggle to communicate, or if you’re not confident, then you must not be very knowledgeable. It’s not fair, but for now this is how it seems to go.
And on top of that, many of us think that there’s nothing we can do about it. That you’re either born with great communication skills or you’re not. You’re either born with stage presence and confidence, or you’re not.
And nothing could be further from the truth. If you feel like you’re lacking in these skills, you’re actually at an advantage, because you can LEARN what works and master it AND combine it with your current expertise.
Everything is learnable.
So don’t let those non-experts drown you out. I want you to connect with me to start learning the techniques to master stage presence and eliminate stage fright. Whether that’s at a keynote or a work meeting.