Speaking Fear - Afraid They Won't Like You

by Janet Hilts

One way fear of rejection shows up as speaking anxiety is this: You're afraid they'll reject you as a person. Will your listeners like you?

How This Fear Might Look

Each of us has her own insecurities about this. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • You have something important to say which might not make you popular. So you're writing and re-writing your talk, trying to figure out how to present it.
  • You're comparing yourself to someone people are clearly attracted to, thinking there's no room for you. So what's the point of speaking?
  • You're unfamiliar with the people you're about to speak to, thinking, "I don't know who I should BE for this crowd. Maybe I should stick with people I know."

"Know, Like and Trust" Factor
We've all heard the marketing wisdom that people do business with people they know, like and trust. And that's absolutely true. But remember - you're doing business! You're not speaking to find a date or a new best friend. So it's important to keep your perspective here.

You can't force people to like you, anyway. There are some folks you click with, and others may feel lukewarm about you. That's fine. There's plenty of business to go around, so there's no need for everyone to like you - even if that were possible.

The know-like-trust factor builds over time. It's a by-product of your showing up consistently and being genuinely you. If you set out trying to get people to like you, it backfires. People feel manipulated and distrustful.

The Solution
Change your question from "Will they like me?" to "How can I serve?" It's that simple. Focus on what you can do for your listeners. That's what they ultimately want from you, anyway. Right? Get your thoughts off yourself and on to your clients or customers.

Take the time to remember your passion for what you do and why you got into in the first place. When you bring those feelings - that enthusiasm -- to your speaking, with your desire to serve, that fear of rejection is history!

From the desk of Janet Hilts MPH, EFT-ADV

Copyright © 2010 Janet Hilts, Speak Up & Shine | Clearing Pathways, Inc.

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