Up until 2012, I had a fear of public speaking. Not just a fear, but every time I got in front of a groups of people larger than four or five, I would go bright red, my knees would shake like crazy, my heart would hammer, and I would stutter over my words. If I didn’t have a script in front of me, or some kind of prompt, I wouldn’t remember what to say.
I had tried to get over the fear, but because it was a physical reaction, not just an emotional or mental one, I figured it was just part of who I was, and that I might never be free of it.
In 2005, during a short stint in Uni, I found myself in need of cash, and staring at a poster for a public speaking competition. The prize was £160. To enter you had to write and give a five-minute talk on any subject. I chose to talk about Geopathic Stress, because I had just come across the subject a few months before and I found it really interesting. I wrote a script and I rehearsed it.
On the day, I sat in the front of the lecture room, which wasn’t full, so there was probably only about 30 or 40 people there. I tried to keep calm but my heart was hammering away and my palms were sweating. Then the guy who did his talk before me, about dreams, decided to include me in his talk, by presenting me with a bunch of flowers. Cue bright red cheeks. When I finally got up there to speak, I had to grip onto the sides of the lectern because my knees were pure jelly. I stumbled through my talk, (getting my revenge on the dreaming flower man, by using him to demonstrate muscle-testing for Geopathic Stress lines) and was relieved when it was all over. We had to wait while the judges went out the back to deliberate, but by then, I didn’t really mind what the outcome was, I was just glad that I had done it. Even if it had been a bit embarrassing.
Amazingly, I won the competition. They liked the unusual topic, and I think it helped that none of them had even heard of it before, and so learnt something new. You’d think that winning the competition would be enough to get me over my fear.
Unfortunately, it did not have that effect. (Though the prize money was very useful)
So fast forward to 2012, when I attended a 4networking meeting. During the meeting, I had to stand up and do a 40 second pitch about my business. Cue bright red cheeks, jelly legs, stuttering and reliance on a script. Despite this, the guy running the meeting said if I joined the network, I should sign up to do a 4sight – which was a 10 to 15 minute talk on something interesting (not a business pitch). Gulp.
Determined to get my business off the ground, and to get over my fear once and for all, I did just that. I joined the network, and I signed up to do a 4sight. But no matter how many 40 second pitches I did, I still couldn’t eat my breakfast before I spoke, and I still couldn’t pick up my teacup for a few minutes afterwards because my hands would be shaking. I had no idea how I was going to speak for 15 minutes, and remain standing and not come out with gibberish.
Then, just days before my first 4sight, the Angels heard my pleas for help and sent me a video on youtube. It was an EFT video on how to get rid of your fear of public speaking. I followed the video, and then the next time I did a 40 second pitch, I noticed my hands and knees weren’t as shaky and I stumbled less over my words. I did the tapping routine a couple more times, then on the day of my first talk, after not enough sleep, thanks to a late night event the night before, I bounced into the meeting at 7.30am, ate a whole bar of chocolate, decorated the room with angel and faerie paraphernalia, got dressed in my faerie outfit complete with wings, stuffed down all my breakfast, then delivered a talk about Earth Angels that had the whole room in stitches. They laughed so much that I didn’t even have time to complete the talk. Afterwards, everyone wanted to know what I was on, because I had so much energy and enthusiasm.
Throughout the whole thing, the only physical symptom I had was a slight quiver in my knee.
I also did 4sights on Nanowrimo and Indie Publishing
Since my 4networking days, I haven’t done much public speaking, a couple of talks on Earth Angels, and a pitch to a film networking group, and though I still get a little nervous at times, I really quite enjoy it. Making the oracle card videos has also helped me to get used to speaking, even though my audience is just a camera.
If you have a fear or phobia, I would recommend trying out EFT, there are loads of videos on youtube. Here is the one that helped me: