The Vulnerability of Visibility and Other Reasons You Hate Public Speaking So Much

Practical steps to overcome public speaking procrastination, anxiety and our fear of rejection.

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Photo by Verne Ho on Unsplash
Photo by Verne Ho on Unsplash

This is not what you signed up for. 

When you made the big move to start your business you felt excited and motivated towards freedom and flexibility. You created a logo, prepared your offers, created the social media presence and your website and then started looking for clients. 

However, even though you’re working hard you’re not seeing the results you want in your business (yet!). You’re suffering from a severe case of invisibility. You may have started overthinking, losing sleep and dreading people asking how your business is going. 

Photo by Drew Graham on Unsplash

You know that by being more “visible” your audience would start to know who you are, what you do and how you can help, but you’re feeling guilty for not following through on ideas and anxious about what’s to come if something doesn’t change soon. 

And then there’s that big, hairy, out-of-comfort zone option that you know would make a huge difference. If you could just figure out how to tackle “going live”. (Cue sweaty palms, your racing heart, and your mind building the case for “why this is not a good idea”). 

Calm your out-of-control thoughts with these 3 steps to increase your visibility and create a consistent approach to connect with your ideal clients.

Your Public Persona vs Your Fears

We all have fears. Afraid of being rejected. Afraid of being seen. Of being known, and of being invisible. Afraid of negative feedback, and of no-one listening. 

Many entrepreneurs struggle with having a “public persona” beyond a carefully constructed “About Me” description on their website. For many, they didn’t consider being the face of their business and struggle with feelings of imposter syndrome and often procrastination, cleverly masked as perfectionism. 

As a coach or expert in your field, you may feel this burden more heavily. You need to be perfect, right? Surely this sort of thing doesn’t affect you?

What if talking about your experience and your struggles could help?  By bringing your authentic voice to the conversation you’ll build relationships with the right audience and repel people that are not a great fit for your business in the first place.

Action Step 1

Make a list of who your product or service IS for, and who it ISN’T for. Lean into not being all things for all people.


Reduce and Reinterpret Your Public Speaking Fears

If you have decided to “go live” on your ideal clients’ favourite social media platform – kudos to you! Have you taken action on your decision? Not yet? You’re not alone!

Whether speaking in person or online our can brains start sabotaging our efforts with thoughts of…

“What can I talk about that is valuable?”

“How will they react to ME (my hair, weight, accent, office decor)?”

“Will there be nasty responses?

Academic research will tell you that fear of rejection is nothing new. Forget live-streaming for a moment and crouch down in the bushes, hiding from the pointy-toothed animal chasing you. Your primary focus is survival. 

Our ability to communicate with fellow cave-dwellers helped us learn to make quick judgements on credibility and trustworthiness. To follow the wrong leader could mean injury or death. To speak up could mean being pushed out of the group, becoming an easy target for predators, human or beast. 

Today, speaking up provides your potential clients a chance to evaluate your abilities, just as you use your judgement with others. Planning and rehearsing in conditions as close to the “real thing” as possible has been shown to reduce the anxiety felt prior to and during public speaking, giving you the best chance to attract your ideal clients.

Action Step 2

Create an outline (not a script) with your key points. Record your rehearsal and review for improvement areas.

If it’s good enough for world leaders and live television, you can write and rehearse your key points too!

Photo by George Gvasalia on Unsplash

You don’t need motivation, you need a system

Overthinking can be exhausting. Do you endlessly deliberate, only to then question your decision? Or pick over the tiniest of details, and worry about how you think others view you on social media?

You become a mind-reader and a fortune-teller, and even though I can tell you that speaking online becomes easier very quickly, that people are generally kind online, and that your business will grow – I don’t think you will believe me without seeing proof. 

So instead, I’ll ask you to create a simple plan so can see the results yourself.

Action Step 3

Plan, Rehearse & Deliver live videos weekly for the next month to learn what your audience engages with and measure your progress.

The key to consistency is being realistic about what is achievable for you to deliver. How you show up builds trust with your audience.

We get caught up in the idea that all eyes are on us, and that the overwhelming reaction from others will be negative. This has not been my experience at all, however, please know that I still get the same physical and mental reactions as you do. I’ve just been to the other side of that process a few more times than some to know it’s absolutely worthwhile pushing through the discomfort.

Once you start to train your brain to focus your thoughts and processes around creating more visibility for your business, you can tap into a simple and truly effective approach to connect with your ideal clients through video and build real client relationships while you’re at it.  

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