What’s the #1 fear in North America, before death?

Experts tell me it’s the fear of public speaking. If you fear speaking in public, you’re not alone. You must first recognize what “fear” is. Fear is the anticipation of pain. Is your fear real or imagined?

Now imagine that you not only need to speak publicly but that you are being recorded on video. The imagined pain likely gets worse.

Then imagine your co-speakers – some of whom are on the same video segment as you, some on their own video segments – are acclaimed TV actors, inspirational speakers, media personalities – all used to being on camera. Now that’s pressure!

Last week, under the guidance of two amazing videographers, Madison Mathews and Andrew Cromey of Siren Films in Toronto, I video-taped 21 segments that make up my Success Blueprint online program, plus a few yoga and health focused segments. I not only had to come across professionally, but  I had to also direct the four other participants during their segments, as they were working from my core material, in their own words and flavor.

While I increasingly speak publicly to large audiences (just spoke on Self Leadership to 160 leaders in Calgary on January 19 with no notes for 1.5 hours), it’s quite another to have very tight time segments, be on video (in perpetuity, OMG!), and have “co-stars” who are so accomplished as comparators.

But I thrived and survived, and actually enjoyed most of the creative process!

Huh, you say? Was my fear real or imagined?

Well, every day, I re-read the ‘20 reasons why what I do is important’ document I had prepared, which tied me to my purpose instantly.

I let go of the pressure I was putting on myself, telling myself that I was perfect just as I was. I accepted who I am, just the way I am.

I pretended that the two cameras were my best friends, and just talked to them – though often, they were conflicted about who I should talk to!

And I stopped worrying about the awesome “competition” – my co-stars – and instead, chose to see everything they did with the deepest of gratitude, because as a team, I knew we could produce an outstanding series.

I am thrilled at the outcomes I have seen so far, and with skillful editing, I am very confident that the end result will meet my highest expectations, so that future Success Blueprint participants have a smooth learning process.

So what are some lessons here?

  1. Fear is in our head (False Expectations Turning Real). We can let it stop us getting to be the best we can be – or we can chose to overcome it.
  2. There are specific techniques one can use – I chose to stay grounded to my purpose including the impact my work has on growing numbers of people, and my desire that it impacts many, many more people in the future.
  3. Always set the bar high. I assembled a superb group – and then just did my best.
  4. Preparation is key.
  5. Practice is essential – had I not had the opportunity to create one video with Madison some two weeks prior for the IndieGoGo campaign – this series would have been a much lower quality end result.
  6. Know that you are enough, that your best is always enough.
  7. When all else fails, have a great video editor – the unsung heroes of videos and movies!

So let go of your fear, and speak publicly every chance you get. Slowly but surely, you’ll get over your fear – I did!