On a list of biggest fears, public speaking is #2, death is #6. So we’d rather be dead than give the eulogy. Michael Port will help us overcome our fear.
And Michael doesn’t drink so his tips don’t involve liquid courage. We allowed him to finish the interview anyway even after that disturbing revelation.
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Matt and Andrew lost their fear of public speaking through “exposure therapy.” This is Episode 217 so they’re comfortable now. But most of us don’t have the chance to practice that much. We need a short cut. Michael suggests the “act as if” technique. Act as though you’re already comfortable. This has a powerful effect on your brain, fake it until you make it sort of a thing.
The old “pretend the audience is naked” advice is terrible. The only thing worse than talking to a room full of people would be talking to a room full of naked people. I don’t see a lot of naked people when I’m in public so would find it distracting. Instead, remember that you’re doing something good for the people in that room, your speech will impart knowledge to them, always something important and to be valued.
Michael also suggests raising the stakes. Commit to the speaking engagement and have a lot riding on it. Make a deal with your boss that if you pull off the speech, you get a raise or a promotion. That way, you cannot allow yourself to fail.
We were very pleased to have Michael on the show. He’s a New York Times best selling author and a very sought after public speaker. Michael usually charges $25,000 per speech and we were lucky enough to get an hour of his time.
Ommegang BPA: A Belgian style pale ale.
Flying Fish Red Fish: a hoppy red ale.
Book Yourself Solid: Michael’s site about small business coaching.
Heroic Public Speaking: Over come your fear.
Think Big Revolution: Michael’s key note address on raising the stakes.