Monday Musings episode #2 – Take a RISK

Take a RISK

Have you ever NOT wanted to be on camera because you feel you might look stupid, or say something daft that’s recorded forever for posterity? Join the 25% of the human race for whom fear of public speaking ranks higher than death on their stress list. (Glossophobia is the technical term for this – derived from the Greek “Glossa” meaning “tongue,” and “phobos,” meaning “fear”).

Since today video is a common standard for communicating your ideas and presenting them openly in public, getting good at it is a pretty essential business tool!

Very early on in my video career while I was predominantly working as a business aviation journalist, I was experimenting with Facebook Live and jumped online to share my thoughts about some of the stories of the day. I was not prepared to take on more than one or two, so soon ran out of steam. Someone I knew from the industry messaged me in private to let me know how inept I thought I was and that I shouldn’t be doing that, I was making a fool of myself.

He was right in that I should have been prepared. Alas, I felt so embarrassed that I didn’t use the platform for a looong time afterwards. What a waste! I could have used my journalistic training to offer some neutral, informed and valuable insights to other industry practitioners. I don’t want that to happen to you.  

So before I give you my formula for nipping on camera shyness in the bud, here are a few reasons as to why we are afraid of public speaking.

According to Psychology Today magazine, it generates arousal in the autonomic nervous system in response to a potential threat. When confronted with a threat, our bodies prepare for battle. This hyperarousal leads to the emotional experience of fear, and it interferes with our ability to perform comfortably in front of audiences. Solution – try out some breathing or other relaxation techniques

Examine your beliefs about public speaking – Cognitive reframing approaches target your negative self-statements (I am not a good speaker, audiences find me boring), or any irrational beliefs about public speaking (People can see how anxious I am on stage). Are your beliefs supported by the facts or by your experience? Cognitive reframing helps you challenge negative statements and beliefs and replace them with positive statements.

Here’s what I’ve developed to help me through. I call it the RISK process

  1. ROUGH out in bullets what I want to say and practice this a few times. Have these bullets to hand if necessary.
  2. I’M not the VIP here, YOU are. Change your focus to communicating a message rather than performance on camera
  3. SHARE your message or teaching with others who will benefit from that
  4. KNOWLEDGE is power – empower others with a skill or information that you have that will help them.

Hope this helps. Would love to hear your thoughts. Let us know in the comments below how you conquer your camera shyness.