Episode 136 – Overcoming Speech Anxiety in Public Speaking

Sending a clear message about your brand or business in front of a large audience could mean increased or zero sales. If you are not used to public speaking, Adam Stott talks about ways on overcoming speech anxiety before you get on-stage. Listen in as Adam Stott dives in on how to remove jitters and add more confidence to the way you present your ideas to the public.

Show Highlights:

  • How getting yourself speak more in public events and gatherings can make you acclimated in public speaking
  • Adam Stott’s experience on how to overcome his own speech anxiety
  • How to get rid of being self-conscious on-stage
  • Teasing your audience can make your audience feel they want more
  • Why it matters how you make the other person feel when you are speaking

Links Mentioned:

Big Business Events Members Network


Please note this is a verbatim transcription from the original audio and therefore may include some minor grammatical errors.

Adam Stott:

I want to start at number 5, nerves. Every single thing that everybody did here was impacted by the fact that they were nervous. The emphasis of your voice, you felt nerves because you didn’t understand how to use that and portray it. You felt nervous before you came up on stage, therefore, it caused you a problem in communicating your message. It all links together. The nerves is what’s killing us and the nerves is what is hurting us a lot of the time. If we can get rid of the nerves, then we’re going to start to get better results. 

Now, the best way to get rid of the nerves is actually to do more of it. The more that you speak, the more that you do this. The more that you communicate, the better you’re going to get. I remember the first time I ever spoke publicly. The first time I ever spoke publicly was when I was asked this one time before. I’ll tell you the first time I spoke publicly where it was going to become a profession. 

I was asked to go to the Excel and speak about my story in front of 2,000 people. I remember going up to that stage and I’ve taken this chair, I was sitting down on the chair throughout a 90-minute presentation. As I was going to speak, there was another 8 people that were in this chair. So as I sat in the chair, I was literally like this the entire time.

Sweating, struggling control, thinking do I want to do this? I was stressed and I was nervous and as every single person in the other chairs were getting closer to me. I was becoming more and more and more nervous. When I finally got my turn and they came around to me. I got up and I walked forward and I did it, I spoke and I got a really good reaction when I spoke. When I spoke, it felt like this weight had literally come off my shoulders. I actually felt so much lighter. Then all of a sudden, I realized that actually, that wasn’t that big a deal. So the next time I got asked to speak was not in the Excel, it was actually in the Ibis and that was in front of 800 people. 

The same situation, I was in this chair and what I noticed was, as they came around to me. Instead of going like that, my heart was like that. It was beating a little bit and I was nervous. What I remembered and what I focused on was that light feeling afterwards. I know how I was going to feel after the result. When I got up, I did the thing again and I spoke. I felt great. I can honestly tell you the 3rd time I did that, I didn’t feel any nerves. All I felt was excited to give people my message. The more you do this, the more the nerves will evaporate. 

There isn’t a magic wand for getting rid of nerves but forcing yourself to go again and again and again. Grace, if I called you up at our next event and made you speak. You wouldn’t feel half as nervous as the time before. The reason you won’t feel half as nervous is your circle, for example, you don’t know what this part where Grace is like “I probably could do that”. I’m not sure if I could do it, now, she’s done it. She’s expanded her comfort zone and she’ll say you know what? I can do that. Same as the fact when Phil was nervous, when you came up, you did a sales, done! The more repetition, the more you do it, the more it’s going to alleviate. Then the more it’s going to feel better.

Now, you should get yourself in as many situations as possible where you can speak in front of people and you’ll watch this problem disappear for you and you’ll start to get better results. That’s an absolute guarantee so get yourselves into situations as much as you possibly can.

When it comes to the self-consciousness, every single one of you has got something that they’re a little bit self-conscious about when you’re getting up here and sometimes, it doesn’t help when every single thing you’re doing is being pointed out but the good thing about going for that process of having everything pointed out that you’re doing wrong is that you’re going to start to, usually next time, no one’s going to point out what you do wrong so the key thing I want you to understand here is nobody cares when you mess up a word.

Nobody cares when you make a mistake. Nobody cares when you rock backwards or forwards or when you stand on your foot like that the whole time. It doesn’t matter. The mistakes do not matter. They only matter when you’re going to get to the higher levels of the game because then, you’re going to start to influence more people so the thing that I want you to focus on from self-consciousness is something different. 

Every time you go and speak, I want you to focus on your heart because what is unique about every single one of you is that you are you. That is one thing that no one is ever going to take away from you. The moments that I move forward when I was listening to you talk was when Rachel discussed a part of the story about her Dad about a week ago and was really nervous so I was interested so I was looking and I was elated when you started to speak about your story, I was related.

Now, what is missing from the way you use these stories currently is that you’re not engaging the audience through that process so, for example, Rachel could have said, how many of you have ever been in a situation where you saw somebody who was in great pain and you knew that you couldn’t help them? Put your hand up if you’ve been in that situation before. Now you’re engaged. Now you’re related to me.

The story is not enough. The connection is how you use that story to connect is really what’s important but I want to move backwards a step because I don’t want to go super branched out. I want to just talk about this core. Every single one of you is unique. Every single one of you is special. You should not feel nervous when you come up and speak with other people. you’ve got something about you that makes you want to do this which means that you are something special. You have a message, you need to go out and communicate that message. I don’t care how much you mess up. I don’t care the little mistakes you make because the game improves, we’re going to get better at that, naturally because this is an improving process and never-ending journey. 

What I want you to do is to make me like you, connect me to you and make me feel that you are a person of value. I’ve got to go and speak to that person and I’ve got to connect to that person. I’ve got to understand more about that. All of these examples, I didn’t see how you are connecting back to the audience so Rachel, I’ll give you another example, when you did your meditation.

If you would have said to the audience, ok, everybody, if I told you that for just 3 minutes a day, if I was going to show you a technique and a strategy that took you 3 minutes that would allow you to feel unstoppable, confident, get the resources that you want in your life, attract the kind of wealth you want in your life, to attract the kind of love you want in your life and I was going to show you how to do that in 3 minutes, how many of you would be excited to do that? The good news is, I’m going to do that right.

Now, you’re like this is good! This is actually really good! I can’t wait to do this so you’ve got to tease your audience as well. You have to tease your audience and I think that people don’t understand that. When you tease the audience, they’ll feel like they’re getting more value rather than just giving it all to them and then go out speaking and going ra-ta-ta-ta, ba-ba-ba-ba, I’m going to get my point across. 

I want you to step back and I want you to tease them a little bit and that will make them feel like they want it more. Even if you are a horrendous speaker and you’re stuttering, if you communicate the point of what you’re going to give them is important, they’re going to feel like it’s important and one thing that Cindy was taught and I was taught by the same person is when it comes to speaking with clients, it really doesn’t matter what you say, it matters how you make the other person feel and that is one thing that I took away from him that changed me almost entirely because I used to think, it’s all about what I say. It’s all about the content I give, about them feeling like they’re learning, it’s all about them feeling like they’re getting better but it’s not.

If you leave this room feeling a hundred-foot high and more confident, then I have done my job well. Does that make sense? Make sense for everybody? Start speaking from the heart. Every time you get stuck, every time you get nervous, every time you get self-conscious, I just want you to take a step back and say you know what? I’m me. I’ve got something valuable to give here and I’m going to give it and I don’t really care how that comes across. I just want to make sure that I give value to them. If you always come from a point that I am giving value to the audience, your confidence will be inevitable. 

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