Overcome Your Public Speaking Anxiety With These Tips | Eric Edmeades

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Not one person in this room was born afraid of public speaking. Nobody, no matter how fearful you are of it today, no matter how nervous you might get about it today, not one person in this room was born afraid of public speaking.

Nobody I am about to share with you one of my favorite things in the whole world to share with you. I have devoted this part of my life to giving people the gifts that I believe are the most valuable in the world.

I have been honored over the last three weeks that we’ve been here in Tallinn to have people walking up to me all the time and telling me the stories about how their life has been transformed from a health perspective, people are telling me about the weight that They’Ve lost and the pain and symptoms that are gone that their children have.

Even you know. I have had people come up to me and go after a month of watching your videos every single day my kids started getting curious, and now they want to change their food habits and so on, and I think one of the greatest gifts in the world you Can give anybody is their relationship with food? Is that true – and you know who’s trying to take away your relationship with food, the entire time, the food industry, and so that’s my job is to undo what they’re doing, and I love doing it and one of the other gifts that I really love to give People is the gift of communication, the gift of being able to communicate your thoughts effectively persuasively influentially, and the challenge is, is that our society has done everything it cannot on purpose just the way it is to train that out of us and and and I think That that makes life a lot harder to live.

I think some of you find yourselves having an intense conversation or a negotiation, and every now and again you walk away from that conversation and you think to yourself afterward. I wish I’d said this who’s had that feeling I’d like it to go away.

I’d like you to not have that feeling I’d like you to say the things that you want to say I’d like you to express yourself. The way you want to express yourself, I suspect that if you do that, it will change your relationship with you.

It’Ll change your significant relationships, your romantic relationships, it’ll change, your relationships with your parents, it’ll change your relationships, professionally, it’ll change everything, and, for those of you, are interested in getting an incredible professional advantage.

I’m talking the biggest professional or business advantage possible. What we’re going to do today is going to be unbelievably valuable, and I’m going to give you some of the sort of theory and science behind this now this is going to become.

This is going to be shocking for some of you, especially those of you that are younger. There was a time before the internet. I know I know and then and then this will be even more shocking to some of you that are a little older than that there was a time before television.

Can you imagine what did families do? Did they sit around the radio? No kidding families used to sit around the radio, and so what’s really shocking is there was even a time before the radio and what did families do? Then they sat around the fire, they sat around the fire and I have been privileged to sit around that exact fire and what i mean by that is that in my research for wildfit, i have had numerous visits with the hadza bushmen and the hadza bushmen live Very much the way most of our ancestors did for most of our history and they sit around the fire and – and i want you to think about something if you’re sitting around my fire a hundred thousand years ago, and i share a story with you.

I share a story with you and it’s entertaining and it’s engaging and it makes you think, and maybe it makes you laugh, but in that story i tell you about the time that these big white rhinos tried to kill me because they really did i’m not kidding You, it really happened to me and i’m standing there, and these big white rhinos are running toward me and what i knew about white rhinos is that they don’t have good eyesight.

In fact they barely can see, they can smell and they can hear, and so the reason they’re running toward me is that they could smell me and – and i knew as they were running toward me and let me tell you something: rhinos are bigger than you think Have any of you guys been in that cafe with the big white rhino head on the wall that is to scale? That is what a big male white rhino that’s the size of its head.

Then you add the body and and they’re way faster than you would think and when two of them are running toward you you’re, this is basically how it feels in your feet. They’Re running toward you and you’re doing this because they’re shaking the ground.

What does every inch of my being want to do when they’re running toward me run? But i know that if i run they’re going to hear my footsteps and that’s going to give them the ability to follow me and if i, if i let them follow me with those big horns, i’m gonna get some interesting piercings, not good right, and so Instead of running, i stood there and stared them down and waited, and they got about 15 feet from me and they stopped and they turned around and walked back into the bush, and then they got curious again when the wind shifted directly.

It came running again at me and then they got about 10 feet 3 meters and then they stopped again and they walked away. If i had run, i would be dead today, or certainly i would have interesting piercings one way or the other, and so imagine that we’re sitting around the fire – and i share that story with you and a week later – you’re off in the bush, picking berries doing Whatever you want to be doing, and two white rhinos come running at you and you suddenly remember: oh my god, i’m supposed to just stand still and you stand still and it saves your life whose fire do you want to sit around for the rest of your Life, do you understand? This is why we have this thing called the stage effect for millions of viewers, your survival and your ability to thrive was completely dependent upon the stories being told around your campfire.

It was the most valuable thing there was. Nothing could be more valuable than you sitting around the fire and hearing the stories and – and you started listening to these stories when you were two and three years old and by the way can two-year-olds understand, even though they can’t speak.

Can they understand everything they understand? Everything the other day, i’ve got my little girl here in tallinn with me and my little boy, who’s, not so little. My boy is 20 years old and my little girl is two years old, and so they don’t get to spend much time with each other and so they’re hanging out and i go to zoe, i go zoe, do you love daniel and she goes and i go Daniel’S your brother and she goes and i go.

That means daniel that i’m daniel’s daddy too, and she goes she understands it all and so we’re sitting around the fire listening to these stories and they are making it possible for us to survive the most difficult circumstances and they’re making it possible for us to thrive In the most difficult circumstances – and so our dna loves stories – that’s why hollywood will spend 200 million dollars making.

Do you understand that think about that? They will spend 200 million dollars, creating a story and they won’t begin to see any revenue on that story until after the 200 million dollars is spent it’s risky, but they know that we like stories.

They like we like stories because it is the primary operating system of the body, and once you begin to recognize that stories are the best way to write information in then you can look at history and recognize that it’s completely true every great revolution, every great revolution, Whether it’s a a political revolution, a war uprising, a technological revolution has been preceded by great speeches and great oration.

I remember reading that. Roosevelt president, roosevelt was trying to pass some legislation through the u.s congress, and none of the congressmen would vote for this because it had to do with changing their lives.

It was legislation about congressmen and they didn’t want to change it and he he was getting nowhere and then he recognized that the world had changed and he could speak directly to the people, radio, town halls, and so he started doing that.

He started giving speeches, and – and do you know what’s amazing – is when they put that legislation in front of congress. It passed with only three dissenting votes, because he’d gone directly to the people speaking is one of the most powerful things we can create in the world.

Look and by the way can powerful things be used for both good and bad adolf hitler gave 8 000 speeches. He knew exactly what he was doing. He wrote in his book mein kampf many years before world war ii.

He wrote in that book essentially that the microphone was more powerful than the pen. That speaking was more powerful than writing that, if you really wanted to stimulate people, if you really wanted to change their hearts and minds, you did it with great stories.

You did with great speeches. Speaking is one of the most powerful forces there is in our society. It creates an advantage in business and your professional life that is far past any other advantage here.

Let’S test out a few things: are you aware that in american corporate world – and i imagine this is probably fairly consistent in the westernized civilized corporate world in the american corporate world – people make slightly more money for each inch they are taller? Did you know that they actually make slightly more money, they’re more inclined to get the promotion they’re more inclined to make the sale slightly more taller and then, by the way, is there? Is there a gen? Is there a gender pay gap issue? Yes, and – and so there are all kinds of little tweaks in our society that are little optimizations – the gender gap pay gap.

How big is that? These days they say they say it’s about 10, it’s about 10, but if you remove the fact that, for example, it came out, do you guys know that uber uber pays male drivers more than they pay female drivers? Yeah? Okay? This is the way.

Statistics lie. Female drivers choose not to drive as many hours and they try. They choose not to drive during peak hours and they choose not to drive in dangerous neighborhoods and so uber doesn’t pay them any less.

Uber pays them exactly the same. They choose to do things differently. Women choose not to take jobs where they die. Women men die in the workforce, something like seven times more often than women do, and so, when you remove all that stuff, the gender pay gap closes a little.

It’S still there, but it closes a little. Does that make sense, but these tiny little professional advantages that height or maleness or or whatever they’re tiny, but the most massive massive advantage you can give yourself in in the corporate world and in the entrepreneur space is to be able to speak if an inch of Extra height can make you 0.

01 more income, being a speaker being comfortable. Sharing your ideas being influential in the way you communicate can triple or more your income, it obliterates all other advantages. It is the most powerful thing you can do for your professional life.

The problem is we don’t because we’re afraid and the crazy part of it is not one of you was born afraid not one of you now, because i understand this whole fear. What we did before you guys came in here this morning is we took 15 envelopes.

15 envelopes and we wrote in those envelopes a few words a couple of questions. One envelope, one word one question, and then we stuck those envelopes under don’t check, we stuck the envelopes underneath the chairs and don’t think we didn’t notice the bean bags we stuck them.

Underneath and in a minute when i say, go you’re going to check underneath the chair underneath the beanbag and you’re going to see if you’ve got an envelope if you’ve got an envelope, i want you to check in with what happens in your body and here’s.

Why? Because if you’ve got the envelope, you must not open it, you will simply stand up. You will walk over here. You will come up on the stage and then i’m going to have a handheld microphone and i’m going to hand you the handheld microphone and then you’re going to tear the envelope open and you’re going to see the word or the question and you’re going to speak.

For three minutes about that topic in front of this audience, i will tell you that some of the words some of the words one of the words, is orgasm. Another word another word: that’s in there is brexit another word.

That’S in there donald trump, so who’s ready go ahead and check. Okay, stop it. There are no envelopes, [, Music, ]. Now the reason i do that did you find an envelope. I do sometimes have envelopes, so they might be stuck under there.

The reason i did that is, there were a different. There were a variety of different emotions that came up in the room. Now i want a totally honest answer here. Please don’t worry about looking good. I want a totally honest answer.

There were a few people in this room that were absolutely genuinely excited about this idea, who were they wow welcome to mine valley university, because it is not like that out in the rest of the world.

That was a good 15 of the room in the rest of the world. In a room of this size, it would be one or two people and they would almost always be one of my clients. That’S how it is that’s how it is, how many people were like a little excited, but also your stomach was doing a little backflip thinking, routine, okay, all right and how many were thinking, i’m not the least bit excited and i feel like i might actually vomit Who was in the category and then how many of you are thinking? Please no, no envelope, i won’t do it anybody and then there was a couple of you that thought.

If there’s an envelope, i’m not pulling it out, [ Laughter ], i know, and so what i want you to know is that i used to be in the category of that. If i was sitting there in that chair and i found and i reached under and i touched an envelope, i would have immediately pulled my hand back and pretended i didn’t have an envelope.

I kid you not. I was so terrified of public speaking that if you called me on a friday, if you called me on a friday – and you asked me to do a talk, no, if you called me on monday – and you asked me to do a talk on friday, i would Absolutely have said no without question.

I don’t care what the topic, how big the audience was. I would have said no and when i said no, i would then have started feeling sick and i would have continued to feel sick on tuesday and on wednesday and on thursday, and i would have woken up on friday morning feeling sick and i said no, i Don’T even want to think what would happen if i said yes, that’s how terrified i was, but you know what’s so important about this.

Not one person in this room was born. Afraid of communicating. Not one person in this room was born afraid of public speaking. Nobody, no matter how fearful you are of it today, no matter how nervous you might get about it today, not one person in this room was born afraid of public speaking.

Nobody, it’s really important for you to understand that. Can you imagine what would happen if a baby came out afraid of public speaking? How would it ever get its diaper changed? How would it get food? What happens is at first when babies are born, we are so thrilled by their noises.

Aren’T we baby noises? I mean: aren’t they incredible, i i get home if i miss zoe’s bedtime like if i miss it occasionally i come home and she’s already in bed. I want to go wake her up. You can imagine my wife’s reaction when i say that i’m going to go away, i will never go wake her up, i’m going to go wake her up.

No, but you know in the morning now, when she wakes up she wakes up and immediately. She starts talking and she talks in some strange mix of english and spanish and now estonian and it’s beautiful and we love it and most parents do.

But then there comes a point in time after the age of three and four, where the talking isn’t so great, where you’re on a plane and the chill child is being too loud and that’s where you’re trying to go shh, [, Music, ] indoor voice.

Think before you speak, children should be seen and not heard, and it begins, and almost every person in this room was subjected to at least some of this stuff. When they were a kid and that’s where your apprehension of communicating that’s, where your apprehension of speaking came from, because social conditioning started putting a cocoon around you and started telling you to control yourself to not be so excited, is it true and and and then we Continue to live with that fear, we continue to live with that, and then it gets even worse because we go to school and one of the things that teachers forget teachers forget what it’s like to think like a child.

They do look guys when children are born. They have no meanings, they don’t know what stuff means, and so their entire job for the rest of their life is to assess meanings. Oh, i have pain in my stomach from hunger and when i cry i get fed.

Oh look at that. When i cry somebody sticks a boob in my mouth, wait a minute. Why did i stop doing that anyway? [ Laughter ], but the fact is that the children make a meaning they make a meaning and and and then they continue to make more meanings.

And the problem is: is that some of the meanings that we make when we’re children they become rules that we then keep? I shared? I spoke to the teens on the team track here at mein valley university. I spoke to the teens.

I told them a really embarrassing story, i’m going to share it with you one day i was eating an apple. I was eating this apple. I was about six years old and then i decided that i needed to use the washroom.

So i went into the washroom in our house. I went in closed the door. Put the apple up on the shelf, went in and did my business. I won’t act that part finished up. Flushed washed hands grabbed the apple, took a bite, open the door and walked out, and my mom was standing.

There now think about this. From my mother’s perspective, all she heard was toilet flush and son, walking out with apple in his hand that he was eating while he was in the bathroom. How does my mom feel about this? Not good right, so my mom goes eric.

You can’t do that and i said what she says: you can’t eat an apple in the bathroom and i said why not she goes it’s dangerous and then she got distracted and went off and did mom stuff and i’m sitting there with it’s dangerous.

Why is it dangerous, and this was this – was when i was six, so this was a few years bg before google, and so i couldn’t like go. Why is eating an apple while you go to the toilet, dangerous? I i couldn’t do that.

I i i, the question was just in my head and do you remember like, but back in the days before you could just ask the universe for the question like you did you ever have that thing where you had a question bouncing around in your head, bouncing On and it’s like the rest of your life kind of got filtered through that question, that’s what happened to me, and so i was sitting out with some friends one day and we’re at a restaurant and and and we have the straws you know, you’re drinking out Of a straw and – and we were doing like kids – do where you block off the top of the straw and you pull the liquid up and then you uh and you drop the liquid in right.

It’S physics, basic physics, it’s fun and then and then i was doing it and suddenly i was like oh wait. If you block off the bottom of the straw, the liquid won’t come out. If you block off the bottom and the top the liquid won’t come out.

If you block off the top, but you open the bottom, that’s the bizarre part right, you block off the top and it won’t run out the bottom. Maybe we’re the same. Maybe maybe the danger is that if you swallow and open the top at the same time that you poop and open the bottom, you just fall out.

[ Applause ]. I figured it out she’s right, it’s bloody dangerous. I won’t be doing that again. I’M telling you for months after that i could be chewing gum, just chewing gum and i go to the bathroom we’ll get rid of that gum wouldn’t want to have an accident.

You know where i slipped out of myself and so children children are doing stuff like that, all the time is it true, and so we forget that and so you’re in a you’re in a in a class and you’re teaching.

If you’re a teacher – and you want to teach the children a bunch of things, you want to teach them the curriculum, but you also want to teach them how to learn. Is it true and so you’re teaching the class, and you recognize that one of the students jb is just not paying attention all distracted by her recent nuptials she’s, just not paying any attention to my class, and so how am i going to teach her the lesson To pay attention, how am i going to teach her i’m going to call on her? You see what i’m going to do? Is i’m going to teach something like i’m going to teach the great story of the war of 1812.

? Most of you that are from america have no idea about this war, but this is where america decided to invade canada and take over. They invaded canada with numbers, seven to one seven to one. They invaded canada and, by the way canada burnt.

The white house. Did you hear donald trump talking about this recently? The war did not go so well for the united states and i could teach you all about how they invaded canada in the war of 1812 and then at some point during the lesson i am as the teacher going to go.

I have some questions. When did the war of 1812 happen and and a number of students are going to raise their hands, which students are going to raise their hands the ones that have been paying attention and know the answer? Teachers will typically not call on the children that have raised their hands the teachers when they ask you a question like that: it’s just a poll.

They just want to know how many of you got it, and so, if you raise your hand, they know you got it. If you don’t raise your hand you’re asking for trouble, i figured this out young. I taught the kids this by the way i taught them a trick.

I had in school, i’ll teach it to you. I went to school and i hated that because i didn’t like school very much, because i would typically pick stuff up on the first pass and do teachers stop on the first pass.

No, they teach it again and again and again, and it would drive me crazy. So i got into meditating, they called it daydreaming now. I know it’s meditating, but i i got into meditating and i would be doodling and meditating out the window and then the teacher would call on me and i didn’t hear anything and then i would feel like an idiot and i’d feel stupid.

And so i learned that if you do this in september, you can give yourself freedom for the rest of the year. What you do in september. Is you pretend to meditate you pretend to daydream. You pretend that you’re not paying any attention you doodle, but you’re, really listening and then she goes.

What is h2o and you don’t raise your hand, you pretend you’re not paying any attention and then and then she goes eric and you go water. You just do that. Two or three times in september, you’re free for the rest of the year free pass now the trouble is is that when children do this or sorry when teachers do this, what they’re trying to do is teach jb the lesson they’re going.

When was the war of 1812 jv doesn’t raise her hand jb when was or of 1812 jb wasn’t paying attention now in that moment, is she maybe going to get startled if she gets startled? What kind of chemicals is her body going to produce cortisol adrenaline, even and if she produces chordal, cortisol and adrenaline? Here’S something a lot of people don’t talk about, but the minute you start producing, cortisol and adrenaline you step back in time in your brain.

You go to the more primitive parts of your brain. The more scared you are, the more primitive you go. The idea is, is if you’re scared, you become pessimistic. It’S safer. That way you see if you’re walking along in africa, and you suddenly see some lion tracks.

That’Ll startle, you tell me it’s happened to me: it’ll definitely startle you, and in that moment every rock that could be a lion starts. Looking like a lion is that is that true, is that safer than mistaking a lion for a rock? Of course it is, and so when we have some adrenaline and cortisol, we become slightly more pessimistic and we lose touch with our proper brain, and so in that moment, even if she knew when the war of 1812 started.

The answer is in the question. After all, she might not know it is that possible, and so i go jb when was the door of 1812 and she’s like uh, 1814. and now she’s just done something called public speaking in front of one of the most difficult audiences in the world, children.

Children are the toughest audience ever. Children are not nice come on. I know i’m not talking about your kids, i’m not talking about my kids, i’m talking about the rest of them. They’Re, not nice. When, when are jb’s classmates going to remember, or when are they going to forget that she made this mistake when never jb goes off to palo alto? She starts the next big.

com company she’s a billionaire. She flies to her 25th anniversary high school anniversary. She arrives in a private jet, limousine picks her up, she’s got all the jewelry and the cool stuff and the great clothes, and she shows up at her reunion and she walks in the door, and they go look guys it’s 18 14.

, because they’re never going to Forget, but the real problem is, is that the teacher intended to teach jb the lesson pay attention in my class, but the lesson jb got that day was public speaking is freaking terrifying and for the rest of her life, maybe she’s nervous every time somebody hands her Microphone every time somebody asks her to do a toast or prepare a conversation, and this is what’s happened to so many of you as well.

At various points, i will tell you that i was so so terrified that it would make me sick to even think about speaking, but the transition i’ve gone through over the last 20 years has completely changed my life because of the stage effect i’m going to share Some things with you when i was 15 years old, i was homeless and when i say homeless, i should point out that i was living in a place called edmonton and it was winter.

Now some of you live in places that you think of as cold, but you’ve not been to edmonton. I will tell you that in edmonton in the winter time, it is absolutely routine for it to be minus 30 degrees, minus 40 degrees, and for those of you that are americans that are wondering what that means in fahrenheit, minus 40 is the same in both.

It means fatally cold and – and if i look at my life from that starting point, if i look at my life from being a homeless teenager on the streets of edmonton alberta to the things that i’ve achieved in my life since and i’ll, give you some examples.

Some of you know i i was invited one day to do a tour of the original industrial light and magic movie studios, for those of you are not familiar with industrial light and magic. It is the special effects shop that george lucas created to make star wars, and one day i was offered a chance to go, do a tour of these studios and when i got there, i found out some interesting things that george lucas had sold the studios to Some private guys that were running it for about three years and they weren’t running it very well and they were trying to raise money from investors for all kinds of cool movie, technology and 3d technology.

And and and i watched one of their investor pitches. And it was atrocious, i mean it was bad, it was, i mean it was like it was the don’t, invest in my company presentation. It was terrible, and so i’m sitting down with everybody afterward and i’m not saying anything because i’m just a friend, i’m just a guest here and then gavin my friend says eric.

What are your thoughts on the way? We should do this and i’m like gavin. I don’t want to offer my thoughts, i’m not from the movie industry. I don’t i don’t i don’t i don’t. I don’t want to do this. I wasn’t nervous of public speaking.

You see, i was just i just didn’t want to crash in on their party and then they said well, why does yeah yeah eric? What’S your opinion, and i said, do you guys really want the truth like? Do you really want the truth, and many of you will know this about me, how many of you have been to any of my seminars? Anybody am i nice, i’m not nice, and what i mean by that is that you might ask me a question and the first thing i’m going to ask you is: do you really want to know, and so that’s what i said to them.

Do you really want to know and they go yeah? We really want to know – and i said well, the presentation sucked i mean it was bad, it was really bad and they said why – and i said well because of this and this and this and this and then at the end of my talk, i just i Braced myself, because i basically expected them to kick me out and they said we have another group of investors coming in this afternoon.

Would you give the presentation no problem? I like i thought it was a big problem. What do you mean and i’m not kidding you? Two hours later, i’m standing on a stage in the george lucas, theater 140 seating, private theater, where thx sound was debuted and i’m standing in the cedar and there are investors in there and i’m giving the pitch and then the investors at the end of the pitch.

Here’S what they say if we invest, will eric stay and run the company, i’m on a tour [, Laughter ]. This is a very you know when you go to the tours and they try to make it really realistic. You know they’ve made this one really realistic.

In the end, the investors decided not to invest, and i got talking to my friends and and and i went to the owners one day and i said: look i think you guys are in a lot more trouble than you’re letting on and here’s my offer and I offered to buy the company and they said no, and so i flew home and i was living in the caribbean in turks and caicos and i flew home and i got a phone call almost the minute.

I walked in my front door and they said, would you come back and i said why and they go because we want to take your offer and i ended up buying the studio and the first thing we did after that was work on avatar and then we Worked on pirates of the caribbean and transformers and elysium and and then from that company, we started a really cool company that literally built life-saving technology for the us military, we say like literally saved lives, and that only happened because i had become comfortable with speaking

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