Getting Over Stage Fright Workshop 2005
I want to thank everyone for all of their help at the seminar. Since that weekend I have attended 6 Toastmasters meetings where I have given speeches and have done table topics. I have noticed my overall anxiety level coming down with each and every time I’ve had to speak.
My panic started last year when I gave a 10-minute presentation in front of 35 of my coworkers at a National Sales Conference. Well, last week I had to “return to the scene of the crime.”
I want to share with you my biggest success so far. I had my 4-day National Sales Conference in Arizona. The first three days were filled with different people throughout my company training us on new products. My 10-minute presentation was scheduled for Friday. In other words, it was pretty tough to totally relax the whole week knowing I had to give my presentation on Friday.
I was pleased with how things went from Tuesday-Thursday. Although I felt a constant anxiety level of about 4, I was able to work through things.
THEN COMES FRIDAY!
We had an all hands meeting (100 people) for 2 hours first thing Friday morning. The VP of Sales was doing his speech. All of a sudden, he announces 4 very big deals currently going on in the US and he wants each sales manager to talk about their deal for 2-3 minutes. Ten minutes later, someone hands me the microphone. I started speaking, I remembered everything I needed to say. My anxiety level got to about a 6 and that was it.
I then had to wait for 2 other presentations before my big speech. I looked up and I noticed that the CEO of my company just came into the room to listen to the speeches. I told myself to breathe and let whatever happens happen. Finally, they announce my name. My last thought before getting out of my chair was all of you guys that were with me at the conference in CT.
I walked up in front of the 35 people I had a panic attack in front of last year, and I delivered a clear concise presentation. I felt so good, that I even expanded the talk for another 2-3 minutes. The only anxiety I had was in anticipation of the speech itself.
Words cannot describe how I was feeling walking back to my seat. With that I want to thank each and every one of you. I felt like I was up there presenting for all of us who’ve had to go through what we’re going thorough.
I have a Toastmasters meeting tonight, and although I would much rather be home watching TV, I know this is something I need to continue doing. Thank-you all again.
Regards, D.R., Sales
This group member from Croatia wanted to share his experience of the workshop with others, with the hope of inspiring other people to consider attending a workshop. Here are his words:
When I first learned of the workshop, I knew I had to attend. I was tired of living a life ruled by anxiety, fear, and hopelessness, and by the depression that resulted from these emotions. As the date drew nearer, I began to have second thoughts. After all, I didn’t know Janet. What if her program was all hype or it “just didn’t work for me?”
I realized that I was using time, distance and cost as convenient excuses for not facing my fears. Luckily, I finally took a leap of faith and attended. The seminar was more than I’d hoped for. It restored my self-confidence and gave me hope for the future. Janet will tell you from the first minute that there are no silver bullets. However, I promise you that you will leave her workshop in much better condition than when you arrived. Janet’s program works. The rest is up to you. Take a leap of faith.
I took the weekend workshop Getting Over Stage Fright in 2005 to overcome a fear of public speaking. My job involved speaking to groups of about 50 people weekly and I had developed overwhelming anxiety. It was even affecting my performance on conference calls. I wanted to overcome it.
At the weekend workshop, my turning point came after I had spoken in front of the class for several minutes about a subject you had randomly chosen. I think that it was referred to as “table topics.” Even though I had spoken well, as I sat down I was full of personal criticism about things I should have said or done better or differently. I even raised my hand to ask if I could have another subject to try again because I wanted to do better.
I realized that I was trying to motivate myself by constantly identifying defects in my public speaking and criticizing myself for failing in even slight ways. I was spending 99% of my time criticizing myself in a futile effort to improve. My negativity was causing the anxiety about public speaking.
Once I lifted that negativity and accepted that after a speech, there were likely many things I could have done better, or other points I could have made – but that it was not a big deal – my anxiety dissipated. I tell myself now that I have done a good job and I delay thinking about ways to improve until I have more perspective – which may be a day later. I stay positive.
Now during a speech, if I miss points or phrase things differently than expected, I go with the flow. I do not criticize myself (or other speakers, for that matter). Speaking is now a much more positive and dynamic experience.
As a result, I recently spoke to a group of 300 people calmly and with humor. I have spoken to several groups of about 100-200 people with similar results. I also enjoy weekly meetings at Toastmasters to hone my skills – something I would not have done until your weekend workshop.
Thanks for helping me achieve that breakthrough!
Scott L., Management Consultant