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Conquer fear when presenting

 In Author, Body language, Delivery, Environment, Learning from Luminaries, Meetings, Mindset, News, Owning space, Philosopher, The Winning Voice

We may think that fear works, in the following way:

1. I feel fear.

2. I run away.

In practice, it is the opposite. That is,

1. I run away.

2. I feel fear.

Chris Walsh in his book Cowardice, elaborates on the fear response . . .

“Generations of Psych 101 students have been given this shorthand for this theory of emotion: “I run, therefore I fear”. It’s hard for them to wrap their heads around this theory, because it runs counter to “common sense” and what feels like personal experience.”

Here’s how fear works.

After you behold a frightening object, your body responds with an elevated heartbeat or by automatically performing some action (eg. running away, moving away from your audience). This bodily response is then interpreted by the mind as fear.

The frightening object for you is public speaking/speaking in front of an audience.

Ambrose Bierce defined

a coward as “one who, in a time of perilous emergency, thinks with his legs.”

The take-away point for you from the above comments, is that when you are delivering a presentation, move closer to the audience, versus moving back from the audience.

When you move closer to the audience plant your feet, stay at that spot and speak. During the presentation you can move. But after you move – stop, plant your feet again and speak from that spot for a time, and so on.

By moving closer to the audience you’ll feel more confident and the audience will perceive you as more confident (Obviously you can move too close to the audience and I’m not suggesting this).

Own the Conversation

Implementation suggestion.

In the next seven days, when you feel anxiety in a business pitch, presentation or chance encounter, move toward the person(s). Reflect on how this movement affects your emotions.

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