It seems that the whole world has some kind of nervous activity going on when they have to speak in public.
I was shocked to read the statistics.
Between 70 and 80% of humans have some kind of fear to speak in public…even more than flying with snakes on a plane! (No, I didn’t see that movie!)
The list of human ailments that come with this dis-ease is like one of those lengthy instruction leaflets that come free with every box of (legal) pills you buy.
You are familiar with the names: dizziness, stomachache, breathlessness, nausea, the shakes, the sweats, the runs, and the flushes…
It is extraordinary that the fear of speaking in public can create such reactions in us.
Mind you, I went through several horrific public humiliations during my years on different stages. The list is long and sad!
I have been ignored and heckled at, shouted and screamed at, (Fortunately, in a dialect I didn’t recognize or understand) I had someone blow smoke into the bell of my sax! (Those wicked days when smoking was legal everywhere!) I have even been chanted at, “Get off, Get off!’
Believe me, getting on a plane with 13 deadly snakes could have been an option!
I knew I had to change something. I couldn’t change “Them” so it had to be Me!
I did something so simple, so ridiculously simple that it might seem a bit crazy to even mention.
Only that week, (When this guy blew smoke down my sax and nearly suffocated me!) my music teacher (or music coach as she would be called today!) had told me to try it out…
I had laughed about it. I didn’t believe her. It was too simple.
I remembered her words, “Shake it up now, shake off them nerves. Wriggle about, flap and shimmy.”
Reluctantly, I started to shake my head, then my shoulders, arms and hands.
It felt like everything fell out of me! So, I did it again.
At first, it felt like I had found an enormous 6 legged creature on my arm and I was trying to get rid of it. But then, I really got into it and began to jump up and down, doing the “flap and shimmy” pogo-dancing style.
I kept shaking and jumping until I felt this new energy running through my blood stream.
I had literally shaken off the fears and nerves as if I was some kind of delicious smoothie drink that needed further blending.
Now, you are probably thinking two things.
- She’s mad!
- I can’t do that, it’s stupid!
Thing is, as I said before, there is something very simple and ordinary going on with the body when we give ourselves a good shake.
Shake yourself up a little!
Don’t listen to me.
Try it yourself.
Practice privately until you get confident and sparkling.
Next time you have to Step Up & Stand Out in public to;
- Face your boss
- Convince your bank manager
- Get that promotion
- Win that election
- Get proud and loud with your message
And you feel the fear coming on, the nerves climbing up, the butterflies flapping…just stop…give your self a moment, maybe move somewhere quiet and shake it on up!
I know you want to try it now…so I am going to sign off and let you do some shaking.