Last year, Andy, a shy entrepreneur approached me with a big challenge: he had severe stage fright. He felt extremely nervous and completely froze when he had to express his ideas to an audience. He couldn’t do a smooth introduction, he couldn’t articulate his value proposition and he couldn’t deliver a webinar or do a podcast.
This was a huge problem.
Till then, Andy had worked for other people. He could put his head down, work behind the scenes and get the job done. But as a digital entrepreneur, being invisible was no longer an option.
Andy was petrified and felt stuck. So we started working together. After two months of intense coaching, he did his first podcast.
He aced it. He was able to articulate his ideas on the spot. He felt capable and confident – more confident than he had ever felt in his life.
Today I’ll show you exactly how we did it:
1. We did a deep dive into the cause of his nervousness and anxiety
The first step was to do a deep dive and get to the root cause of the problem. It was time to face the challenge head on. We asked the difficult questions – and investigated this through self-evaluation, peer evaluation and role play exercises. We asked questions like:
- What kinds of speaking situations scared him more than others?
- How long would it take for him to recover after going blank?
- Was he more comfortable face-to-face or online?
- Did he only freeze when he had to improvise?
- Were certain subjects easier than others?
2. We prioritized getting rid of the nerves
We created a list of his strengths and opportunity areas – and prioritized combating his nervousness through working on his speaking skill set.
- We focused on building his articulation skills for unfamiliar audiences.
- This skill would enable him to overcome nerves & stop feeling blocked.
- We worked on improvised speaking as well as delivering his origin story.
3. We used improvisation techniques to combat the nerves
- I guided Andy through improvisation exercises in every session.
- The goal was to get him to start articulating without inhibition.
- We put in place strategies to help him recover after he froze.
- I coached him to feel relaxed and in control when speaking.
- We started with easier exercises and worked our way up.
4. We developed an origin story that he could prepare and deliver
- We focused on delivery skills while developing his story.
- He learned how to use his voice, energy, body language.
- This complemented the spontaneous articulation of ideas.
5. We used real-world practice opportunities
- First, Andy started expressing himself easier in one-on-one sessions.
- Then, we practiced with a few trusted friends and friendly strangers.
- We analyzed his skills, his confidence, and addressed any nerves.
After two months of coaching, this is what happened.
- Andy was able to introduce himself in new networking rooms.
- He started taking on bigger speaking challenges every month.
- He had relaxation techniques to calm down when he felt anxious.
- If he felt blocked, he knew how to get his thoughts back on track.
- He felt equipped to overcome his nerves and express his ideas well.
Now he’s able to speak on podcasts without preparation. He just delivered a sponsored webinar to a community of 200+ prospective clients. And he’s able to jump on sales calls and handle conversations that were once awkward with complete ease.
Speaking in public isn’t just about putting on mannerisms. It’s about gaining inner confidence and strength.
Feeling fully capable of expressing your thoughts and ideas under pressure is a life-changing skill.
I hope you never let the nerves stop you from being the powerful presence you can be.