Our fear of public speaking is grounded in our evolutionary roots.
We are terrified of being ostracized from our tribes because this would have meant imminent death when we were evading predators and starvation on the African savannah tens of thousands of years ago.
This is why we might feel our palms get sweaty, our stomachs churn and our heart rate elevate prior to a public speaking engagement. We might have hundreds of eyes staring at us, and we want nothing more than their approval. We’re fearful of saying something stupid or saying the ‘wrong’ thing in a way that might compromise our status within that group.
Well, nowadays, you can experience the joy of public speaking anxiety all day, every day, thanks to the drop-in audio app, Clubhouse.
If you’ve found yourself wanting to chime in but remain fearful of doing so because there are several hundred to several thousand strangers in the room, here are some simple steps you might take to get over it and engage.
Seriously. What’s the worst that could happen? You mispronounce some words? You ask a question that doesn’t resonate with the speakers, and they move on to another question? You simply leave the conversation? The worst that could happen is probably not all that bad, and definitely not imminent death.
Make it easier for yourself and consider writing down your key points and/or what you want to say before joining the stage. Typically, we are fearful when there is uncertainty, but when you make certain what you want to say and remove the fear of not articulating yourself as well as you could have, much of that fear fades away.
Instead of raising your hand in a conversation hosted by Elon Musk and Marc Andreesen, perhaps join some smaller rooms with less than 20 people in them. Consider even starting your own room and ping some folks you know into the room. This will help you to generate some easy wins and help you normalize the idea of speaking in Clubhouse.
For many, Clubhouse offers an opportunity to get noticed, connect with influential personalities, rack up more Clubhouse followers, and build your personal brand. Focus on the outcomes, rather than the inputs.
Chances are you’ve given talks before, appeared on panels, or at the very least, asked questions in a conference or workshop setting before. Reflect on this, build confidence, and engage. You’ve got this!
It’s difficult to articulate yourself well when your heart-rate is cranking 180 beats per minute! Take several deep breaths before you plan on un-muting yourself, so you can speak with more authority over your voice.
To allay you of your anxiety, invite some friends into the room (the actual Clubhouse room, or your living room) to provide you with moral support.
Steve Glaveski is on a mission to unlock your potential to do your best work and live your best life. He is the founder of innovation accelerator, Collective Campus, author of several books, including Employee to Entrepreneur and Time Rich, and productivity contributor for Harvard Business Review. He’s a chronic autodidact and is into everything from 80s metal and high-intensity workouts to attempting to surf and hold a warrior three pose.