The Most Common Reasons for Saying No to Public Speaking

by Janice Tomich

…and why you shouldn’t say no to your the opportunity to take the stage.

Be forewarned. Today’s post is a little edgy…blunt and with a bit of cheeky fun intertwined. Hold on to your feathers…

Why is it that sometimes a blowhard with a big ego that doesn’t have much that’s worthy to say, will without apprehension take the stage, and those that have vision and ideas that have substance and value are sometimes/often hesitant to grab the mic (or toot their own horn)?

I’m generalizing, however, I meet lots of people each and every week and often learn that many don’t want to put themselves out there to use public speaking as a forum to share their experience and ideas. And of course, I have a major bias because I see first hand the positive difference delivering presentations and speeches has on careers and business growth – to grow strong wings and help them fly.

The three most common reasons I hear (and why each premise is incorrect):

I don’t want to be judged.

Here’s the thing with being judged. It’s Ying and Yang. If you can refrain from judging others you’ll be easier on yourself. Do you know what others remember about us? Often not much. People are usually too busy managing their own lives to be focussing on what’s happening in our orbit. Be kind to yourself and stop judging and comparing yourself to others. This will go a long way to putting you on the path from worrying about being judged.

I won’t be able to deliver a perfect speech. 

There is no perfect speech.

There isn’t a perfect human being.

You want to deliver an imperfect speech so that you can connect with your audience. If your speech is super slick and does not have any blips or flaws, your speech won’t land or connect – you’ll be seen as someone that is difficult to relate to.

“In a few sessions, Janice changed my perception towards presenting. In addition to her communication expertise, she can get right to the root of your presentation challenges. She is the most encouraging and thoughtful communication coach.

Angela Ferarro
Managing Director, International Education, Burnaby School District

You have something important to say
(info on communication coaching package)

The thought of public speaking makes me anxious and uncomfortable.

That’s great! We learn and grow to be better human beings and public speakers by getting uncomfortable. Our minds are always on the lookout for danger. It’s looking for shortcuts and how to make life easier, however, it’s to our peril because that’ll land us in the world of status quo with the recliner and remote becoming our best friends. As Michael Singer says in his the untethered soul, “It’s as if you said to your mind, Mind, get me everything I want and avoid everything I don’t want. And your mind said, “Cool! I’m on it. I’ll think about it 24/7.” So you make up fantastic stories and your mind incessantly chatters, which fuels anxiety.

During my past ten years of offering my services, helping people and organizations become powerful communicators, I’ve come to know what separates those that succeed and those that don’t. The desire to succeed exceeds the perceived investment to get there. They look at skills like public speaking as purely that…a skill to be built, which means that you’re a learner. You’re not an expert. It takes trial and error to achieve success. You need to put your blinders on about being judged, perfection, and feeling uncomfortable.

​​​​Do you have an important presentation coming up?
You don’t have to plan it alone.

If you’re lost and unsure about how to make your presentation compelling, I can help.

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