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fear
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planet earth
public speaker
open heart
taking responsibility
loneliness
human beings
musician
bugs
No More Fear Of Public Speaking
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No More Fear Of Public Speaking

Did you know that the No 1 on the Top Ten Human Fears was Public Speaking behind the fear of heights, insects and bugs, having financial problems, becoming sick, die suddenly, being scared of flying, loneliness and dogs.

Makes you wonder...This means we are most scared of each other. Of people and what they think of us.

We are most scared of other human beings who are just the same scared, vulnerable and in needing of love and support as we.

Lately, I have been doing a lot of thinking and writing on many different topics. Most of them seem to relate to our human life and existence on Planet Earth. Reaching our full potentials as human beings to contribute to our society the most useful way and to enjoy life to the fullest.

How could we enjoy life to the fullest if we are scared of what others will think of us, how they judge us instead of living with open heart embracing life, people and everything that our human life and the Universe has to offer?

Public speaking is about sharing our views, our thoughts and part of ourselves with others. It is about standing up for ourselves and what we believe in.

Those who are fearful of this act don't believe they have a powerful message to deliver that interests others. Those who are scared of public speaking don't trust themselves that they have a strong enough voice to tell their message and will be listened to. They are worried that others will criticize their views and the way it was delivered to the listeners.

To become a good public speaker one must start taking responsibility and face who we are. The good and the bad. Once we do that, the change only can be positive. Because what is the worst that can happen? That someone does not like what we said, how we said it and what it represents. Is that our problem? Not really! However, is it concerns us, we might change our message or how we deliver it next time.

Can't help drawing parallel with my experience as a performing musician. As a great choir singer and a pretty average pianist you do the hard yard to prepare your music to go through the performance to present a great concert. I have been doing this from the age of four. I just grew up doing this and it is second nature to me. I am a much better choir singer than pianist so I get much more nervous when I have to play the piano then ever when I have to sing. Which means, I need much more preparation of my piano pieces than my singing repertoire.

However, my main field of expertise if conducting and teaching. As a conductor, you are in the hands of your choir singers, orchestra players and soloists. During the performance, you can't do anything instead of them, you just coordinate, direct and shape the performance. All work and all the preparation is done in rehearsals. So the preparation has to be 600% so to speak! It means that when the performance takes place, depending on the type of production, it can be anything from 20 to 1200 people on stage performing. As a conductor you are dealing with 20-1200 people's nervousness, mistakes, confusion, insecurities, memory blocks, vocal or instrumental problems plus your own personal issues.

However, you just have to raise above it all, clear your head and get into your higher self and in your creative zone and get on with the performance! It tests you, it tries you and it presents you with such challenges occasionally for which no human being can prepare you. All you can do is respond right there on stage in front of all your musician colleagues, the audience and the critics in the performing hall. However, you are the only one, who knows what to do and what's the best way to approach the given situation to reach the most satisfying outcome concerned everyone.

Once the applause breaks out in the audience and you look at all the people in your charge then you put down the baton and turn around to face the audience, you know that you all have done what humanly was possible at that time in the given situation. It is finished. Nothing more can be done. The singers move off stage, the orchestra grabs their instruments and go to the pub for a drink to wind down before they go home and spend the night sleepless tossing and turning.

However, the audience received our gift that we prepared for them. And they are always grateful and appreciative. Even if they have observations and criticize, the good of the performance has reached them and changed them. The gift was delivered.

All we can do is do a better preparation next time. This is how we learn and improve. learning from the previous experience.

The same applies to public speaking.

Long time ago I heard a brilliant interview with legendary actor Anthony Hopkins. He was asked about his fears of going on stage, performing and preparations for his many and varied roles.

He honestly admitted that he gets nervous every time he goes on stage. It does not stop, no matter how many decades you live your life as a Oscar Winner world famous actor celebrity. You just learn to cope with it. His secret is preparation. Prepare for the moment when you step into the light 300% so at that moment when the nerves kick in you can produce the 100%.

The best advice I can give you as a long-time performing artist and lecturer. Prepare your presentation. Select a topic that you are passionate about. It is much easier to talk about something you care about and passionate about. Be yourself. Forget what others think about you! Enjoy yourself! It is an experience that won't lasts forever so why not enjoy. At the moment of your nervousness before delivering your speech focus inside and feel your fear. Grab hold to that fear and the feeling. Face it than release it. Watch your breath and take a few deep breaths to regulate your heart beat and to slow down your pulse.

Than walk on stage, face your audience and look into people's eyes. If you even can bring a smile on your face you are the winner. Because whoever can smile in the face of the 'enemy' wins the battle!

Enjoy your speech!

Cheers, Piroska


Street Talk

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