Have you read Dale Carnegie? Maybe. Maybe not. Am I questioning your literary proclivity? No… he wrote a book about Winning Friends and Influencing People which has since been parodied, but he also wrote a book about Public Speaking. ‘Tis all.
I can’t recall anything he said in that Public Speaking tome. Did he suggest that oft suggested thing of imagining your audience as naked? How on earth is that supposed to help you if you have a fear of public speaking!?! A naked audience would be a sight to behold which would terrify the most audacious public speaker! The naked body is beautiful, just all at once, all together… strangers… naked and…
Imagine your audience going to the toilet… no… thank… you!
I have been and always am… excruciatingly shy. I know why… that doesn’t help!
But I blog, and have more than one blog, and the levels to which I expose myself on my blogs and other social media outlets would probably make most observers think that I am an exhibitionist and an extrovert.
I’m a professional pretender… and some other things.
A few yonks ago I joined the local Quiz Night at the local pub. Cue images of The League of Gentlemen… but only if you’ve seen the series. Seriously!?! You’ve not seen it!?! I recommend it… and viewing it from behind the sofa. Scary, creepy, excellent!!!
I was Quizmaster one night – which means setting the questions and then asking them. In public. Out loud. In two rooms, as the pub and the quiz was full capacity that night. No problem! I’ll do what I always do when interacting with people – pretend that I am not there. That I am not me. I did my duties. All was well. Quiz was too easy. It was my first time and I like people to think they’re clever rather than feel stupid. Go figure!
I like to play Internet Riddles. If they’re too hard, I get bored and think the creator is an intellectual ass. Too easy, I love you, but it’s too easy and I didn’t have to use Google. Just the right mix of easy and hard… and I’m in riddle orgasm heaven!
My partner, who shares my shyness, his version of his own which is similar to mine, asked me how I dealt with public Quizmaster speaking, because it would have made him too nervous. I knew that had it been him instead of me, he’d have made it look like a piece of piss. That’s what shy people do. They pretend so well, others do not know the agony inside. Life is like that for shy people. But I pretended he would not have handled it better than me, and simply said – I forgot that I was me.
Which is true.
To overcome the fear of public speaking all you really have to do is forget that you are you… and remember that your audience is made up of people who are not thinking about you, but are thinking about themselves, and perhaps what you are thinking about them. Because those terrifying others who are thinking all sorts of things about you which chill you to the bone… they’re not doing that at all! They are chilling themselves to the bone thinking about all the things which you are thinking about them… or worse still, they’re imagining that you haven’t noticed them at all! Gasp!
So… blogging… that’s public speaking, isn’t it!?!
Things I have noticed…
You apologise too much for not posting… stop it! I did not notice you were not posting regularly until you pointing it out to me and apologised to me for it… now I feel obliged to be annoyed! Offended even… and I’m not good at that, so now you want me to do something at which I suck!
Not really, but it could happen if you say sorry enough times. Hypnosis and stuff.
You apologise for posting about yourself instead of posting things which you think would interest others… stop it! If I’m following your blog… it’s because of you, not because of me. If it was because of me, I’d only follow my own blog, which I am already doing in a… well, I do read my posts before I post them, don’t I!?!
Being shy and being self-conscious… same thing? Different? Both or neither?
Being shy is trendy… more to the point, being an Introvert is trendy… I trend-watch for a living… many ‘Shy’ people are not shy, they’re pretending to be shy because it is cool or in or something along those lines.
FFS! I’ve been excruciatingly shy all my life, I know the difference between pretending to be shy and actually being shy. But, I get it… you’re shy, that’s why you shout about it!
Anyway… Public speaking… are we talking about getting up on a makeshift stage and talking to a bunch of strangers or just saying anything in public, internet or otherwise, like asking to pay for something in a shop when the shopkeeper is busy chatting or texting on their phone?
Just say it… chances are, no one is listening, if you think they are… are you shy, self-conscious, or just a megalomaniac? Introverted megalomaniac or extroverted megalomaniac… same thing? Different? Both or neither?
ps. YOU! Yes, you… I see you, I’ve noticed what you are doing, I’m just pretending I haven’t… I’m a professional pretender! Welcome to the shy side.
pps. If you follow my blog, you’ll know that my internet connection is dodgy… so I’m posting and running!