If you do some research about what scares people the most, you might be surprised at what you find.
In many different surveys, it isn’t snakes, spiders, or airplanes crashes that has people afraid. It isn’t getting mugged, being caught in their underwear, or falling off a cliff that terrifies them. No, the thing the seems most unbearable to people is to have to get up in front of an audience and talk. In fact, I’ve seen lists in which the 2nd greatest fear after public speaking is dying! That means that people would rather DIE than have to share something to a gathered crowd of individuals! That’s incredible!
Those of us that speak publicly for a living aren’t exempt from this fear. We have just as much anxiety and paranoia about getting up and sharing our story in front of people. I estimate that I’ve done over 1,200 presentations in my seventeen-year career and I don’t really ever remember NOT begin afraid before speaking. Now, I’m not talking about a paralyzing fear or debilitating phobia. I’m talking about the butterflies; the adrenaline; the moment-by-moment realization that all eyes are on you and that many are counting on your assembly or presentation to address pressing issues in their school, business, or community. That kind of fear.
I would guess that this fear is similar to other jobs that come with a huge rush of adenaline. I have a friend who flies airplanes for a living. Sometimes I think about the tremendous amount of pressure on him. There are more than 300 people on the flight who are hoping and praying he knows what he is doing. They are counting on him to be prepared, to be sober, and to take very seriously the task before him. At times I think, “Now that’s scary.” But, when I talk to him, he’ll say something like, “Hey, I’ve flown hundreds of times to many parts of the world. I’m up-to-date on everything I need to know to fly the plane safely. Now, it’s just a matter of going out and doing my job. It’s easy to be nervous, but with confidence in my preparation -and prayer for all the things out of my control- I just go out and do it.”
That’s how I feel. Having some anxiety about sharing my story is actually a good thing. It reminds me that I have a big responsibility and that people are counting on me to be prepared, be sober, and to take very seriously the task before me. I intentionally modify almost every presentation to fit specific needs for specific communities and practice my presentations to make sure everything is cohesive and flows well together. When I give an assembly or public address, I consider myself more than just a visitor to that school or organization; I am a member of the community and the larger vision they have for their people. Sure, it’s scary. But I love it.
Here’s my big announcement: To celebrate the beginning of my 18th year of public speaking, I wanted to make it a little easier this fall for schools, businesses, and communities to to have me partner with them in helping their people. If you book an assembly or presentation by September 30th for the remainder of 2014, I want to give you a 10% discount. That’s for anyone who is in need of a presenter this fall. It could be an elementary, middle, or high school assembly. It could be a college lecture or workshop for an afternoon or evening program. It could be a keynote speech for a conference. It could be diversity training for your business. Whatever your public speaking needs may be, now is the time to act.
In order to get the date or dates that you would like this fall, I would encourage you to move quickly and get something on your calendar. I’m only offering this deal until the end of the month, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions about how we could make it all come together. It would be an honor and a privilege to partner with you and the work you are doing. I look forward to hearing from you in the very near future!