12 min

The 3-Part Superhero Public Speaking Framework Becoming Superhuman

    • Society & Culture

NOTE: This is a longer one and if that is intimidating, overwhelming, or cause for you to sit this one out despite being interested in the topic, I’m going to encourage you instead to try the podcast version (Apple Podcast | Spotify).You can also skip over the whole post and jump straight to the framework -- though the story is what will give it context.







Some people love public speaking, others can’t stand it. But, anyone who has ever done it, wants to be good at it. They want to be light and funny, entertaining and informative, and perhaps most importantly transformative. They want the audience to walk away changed, seeing the world through new eyes, ready to tell someone about it.



The obvious problem for most is something we call “stage fright.” It’s this natural tension that unleashes our fear of freezing up and looking like “a total loser.” Everyone starts pointing, sneering, whispering, and even laughing. You can feel the judgement creeping down every hair on your back. It is embarrassing, possibly even shameful.



Everyone thinks stage fright comes from general anxiety about this nightmare unfolding. The truth is that there are three things that cause stage fright, and none of them are anxiety -- though all three can cause anxiety.



If you can wrap your head around what I’m about to share with you, not only will it help you avoid freezing up but it will change how you speak in front of groups, no matter how larger or small, for the rest of your life.



I’m going to tell you how a single moment 8 years into my speaking career changed everything.



These are the events that led up to me falling apart on stage and how to make sure it never happens again.



The First One



I did my first speaking engagement in August 2010.



I had been hired to talk about social media, for 90 minutes, in front of 200 people out in Los Angeles. Again, this was my FIRST speaking engagement. Luckily, I was passionate about the subject matter and knew what I was talking about.



I reached out to one of my peers and he gave me some advice about breaking the talk into smaller chunks or acts. I broke the 90-minutes into three 30-minutes segments.



I was ready.



When the time came for my talk, I was nervous. I waited anxiously in my seat waiting for my time slot. When I heard my name called I felt butterflies turn to panic. Can I really do this?



My heart was racing, beating out of my chest, and my only relief was the knowledge that my blazer was covering the sweaty armpit stains on my dress shirt. I walked up the stairs on the side of the stage, and I'll never forget what happened next.



As my foot hit the stage and I shook the hand of the person who introduced me…I felt an immense wave of calm wash over me. It happened in an instant. I was in my zone.



Not everyone has this happen but I did. I loved it and I was hooked.



The First Season



After that, I took any gig I could get and for the next 6 years, I spoke in front of thousands of people, all across the country and even internationally. I was giving talks on a variety of social media topics running exclusively on coffee, passion, and subject matter expertise. I was comfortable, funny — at times — and deeply invested my audience walking away with practical, tangible information.





My audiences responded well, I got overall good feedback, and I thought I was great speaker.



The First Awake

NOTE: This is a longer one and if that is intimidating, overwhelming, or cause for you to sit this one out despite being interested in the topic, I’m going to encourage you instead to try the podcast version (Apple Podcast | Spotify).You can also skip over the whole post and jump straight to the framework -- though the story is what will give it context.







Some people love public speaking, others can’t stand it. But, anyone who has ever done it, wants to be good at it. They want to be light and funny, entertaining and informative, and perhaps most importantly transformative. They want the audience to walk away changed, seeing the world through new eyes, ready to tell someone about it.



The obvious problem for most is something we call “stage fright.” It’s this natural tension that unleashes our fear of freezing up and looking like “a total loser.” Everyone starts pointing, sneering, whispering, and even laughing. You can feel the judgement creeping down every hair on your back. It is embarrassing, possibly even shameful.



Everyone thinks stage fright comes from general anxiety about this nightmare unfolding. The truth is that there are three things that cause stage fright, and none of them are anxiety -- though all three can cause anxiety.



If you can wrap your head around what I’m about to share with you, not only will it help you avoid freezing up but it will change how you speak in front of groups, no matter how larger or small, for the rest of your life.



I’m going to tell you how a single moment 8 years into my speaking career changed everything.



These are the events that led up to me falling apart on stage and how to make sure it never happens again.



The First One



I did my first speaking engagement in August 2010.



I had been hired to talk about social media, for 90 minutes, in front of 200 people out in Los Angeles. Again, this was my FIRST speaking engagement. Luckily, I was passionate about the subject matter and knew what I was talking about.



I reached out to one of my peers and he gave me some advice about breaking the talk into smaller chunks or acts. I broke the 90-minutes into three 30-minutes segments.



I was ready.



When the time came for my talk, I was nervous. I waited anxiously in my seat waiting for my time slot. When I heard my name called I felt butterflies turn to panic. Can I really do this?



My heart was racing, beating out of my chest, and my only relief was the knowledge that my blazer was covering the sweaty armpit stains on my dress shirt. I walked up the stairs on the side of the stage, and I'll never forget what happened next.



As my foot hit the stage and I shook the hand of the person who introduced me…I felt an immense wave of calm wash over me. It happened in an instant. I was in my zone.



Not everyone has this happen but I did. I loved it and I was hooked.



The First Season



After that, I took any gig I could get and for the next 6 years, I spoke in front of thousands of people, all across the country and even internationally. I was giving talks on a variety of social media topics running exclusively on coffee, passion, and subject matter expertise. I was comfortable, funny — at times — and deeply invested my audience walking away with practical, tangible information.





My audiences responded well, I got overall good feedback, and I thought I was great speaker.



The First Awake

12 min

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