Wednesday, January 11, 2012



I ain't gonna lie, public speaking is a little scary. Prior to speaking, and sometimes during speaking, your heart pounds, your blood pressure increases, your breathing becomes shallow, and you may even tremble. It's definitely an adrenalin rush. But as I eluded to in my previous article, anyone can get over the fear of public speaking, including the introvert.
I KNOW. I was an introvert.


Simply put, we are afraid of being ourselves. Much as we try to not admit that we want the approval, and positive regard of strangers, we in fact , all do want it. At least, to some degree. No one wants to be thought of as incompetent, dumb, ugly, or "uncool". It's maddening to not know how people are predicting us, and that creates fear of rejection. I feel this is the major reason why people shy away from speaking. Another fear is that we feel people will see through us, and see our insecurities. When we speak we do tend to reveal things about ourselves through our posture, our gestures, and our voices. We want to appear strong and capable, not insecure and hesitant.


The fact is that we are simply being too hard on ourselves. The so called introvert who wants to avoid public scrutiny feels this eternal pressure in greater degree than perhaps the so called extrovert, but BOTH personalities are prone to the same opinion, and that is "EVERYONE'S LOOKING AT ME!!!" While it's true that you are being watched, for the most part, the vast majority of your audience WANTS you to succeed! Yes, I will admit, that there are a few who want you to fall flat on your face, but more people are with you than against you. It's important to remember that your audience is there because they are perceiving you as an expert, as an authority. They are anxiously awaiting to receive information from you that they don't have knowledge of. You owe it to them to deliver. It's also empowering, and a tremendous ego boost to know that people have gathered to hear YOU. That fact in itself. Should be enough to increase your confidence, which is precisely what you need to give a great presentation


That "butterflyfeeling" in your stomach is not going anywhere. Im willing to bet that it is this physical sensation that makes you feel like you're "afraid". But let's analyze that feeling. I bet that you feel those same "butterflies" when you're enjoying a ride on a dollar coaster, about to board a plane, en route to your dream vacation, or watching a nail biting football game! Adrenalin is just your body's response to an intense activity. That's it. The great thing about it, is that it makes you more energized, and alert. If you simply reframe the way you feel about the adrenalin rush, it will no longer be viewed as fear. Instead of TELLING YOURSELF how nervous and afraid you are,TELL YOURSELF how excited you are, how charged up you are. There's something that is truly magical about positive self talk. Your mind, body, and emotions tend to believe what you SAY! let's face it, it believes you when you say that you're scared,dent it? Why not reverse what you say to yourself and have it work for you? I guarantee if you do this, it works!


So far, we've already established that teaching art(or anything else) is just public speaking, art only being our subject. We've examined why we must speak public ally in terms of benefits, and also the things that hinder us as speakers and some solutions. We haven't quite answered the question yet about how we actually, in an idiot proof way, teach the subject of art. I've wanted to save the best for last, so tune into the next session where I will go into a few of my teaching methods.

Oh, just in case you were admiring the black and white sketch in the above photo,HERE IS THE PICTURE OF THE GUY I WAS DRAWING .

This picture is a revised version of my subject in the top photo. Its taken from a lecture that I gave at a NYC DARE TO DRAW/DRINK AND DRAW presentation I gave on the art of character design.This picture was eventually used as the cover for an ebook of mine on the art of character design. The ebook is available for purchase on this blog in the Ebooks and products section in the upper right corner


print2paint said...

nice blog post there Elgin, I was encouraged recently well yesterday that i should be teaching...really? me??? so this was good timing to see this post. I have don't public speaking and I have taught some art classes as well but I guess I too might still have that fear.
the thing about fear or is fear of the unknown isn't that what we all fear? in one way or another once you just go for it through it you have those references to fall back on...My big one is the first time I had to take my Harley out of the parking lot that I had learned to ride, start, shift stop and hold the damn thing up in onto the busy street during rush hour...whenever I am afraid I think of that and I know I can do it!

Soooooo after reading your post maybe I will think more about teaching some sort of are class thanks Elgin!

Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling said...

Glad this was timed right! I guess YOU was the reason why I devoted my entire day to writing and uploading. For some reason, I was unable to stop until everything was completed.

You're right about adrenalin and the unknown. Since it isn't known we don't know who we will be at that moment.

One way to minimize that fear is to practice. A lot. Get accustomed to hearing yourself speak, and demonstrate. Having done this for years myself, I can guarantee that if you are diligent, ou will be able to talk in front of groups as easily as you speak on the phone. Trust me your wallet will thank you.