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Why do we fear being judged?

How to be the most boring presenter

Often when addressing potential speakers, I put it to them that one of the worst fears as a presenter or speaker is the fear of being judged. We are our own worst critics, or can be, naturally, however, what do we know of our audience?

When we assume that they are judging us, we too are guessing – we’re making assumptions that they are thinking certain things and making conclusions about us.  Perhaps the conclusions we assume they are making are in fact our own fears of ourselves and our lack of performance as a presenter or speaker. Perhaps we are making the assumptions that those judgment calls we think others are making are in fact our own inhibitions coming to the surface.

What do you think? Are you one to make these judgement calls yourself? What have you done about it to get over it?  The fact is that judgement, or fear of, can make or break a speaker and can turn your presentations around – for better or for worse.

Assume for a moment that you’re thinking the absolute worst before taking that first step on to the platform or before stepping in front of the camera…. how do you think your presentation is going to work out? Not so great. That’s a given.

Now let’s assume you have put all judgements aside and are now considering how fabulous you are going to be, how much your audience can’t wait to hear what you have to say and how amazing you’re going to feel once you step away from the audience and their applause. Not bad eh? Bit of a contrast?

Let’s face it. We are not mind-readers and we can’t possibly know what our audience is thinking. Secondly, do a self-check and establish whether those fears of inadequacy are in fact a means to rectify something, learn more or even change something for the better.

I put it to you… consider it. What have you got to gain? What would it mean to you to turn your thinking around and approach your stage or video presentations from a different angle to your norm?

Lose the judgement call and get yourself right. Then, when you get on the platform, remember it’s not about you, it’s about them and what you’re delivering. If we shift that focus and deliver what they came for, then they’ll be happy and so will we… all judgements aside.