They say that two is considered a public audience, so most probably everyone has had or will have to speak in public in their life. On the other side, when you think about speaking in public, you probably imagine a crowd of ten people, or a hundred, or a thousand. Spotlights on you. Everyone focused, sitting on the edge of their chairs waiting for the next words to come out of your mouth.
What happens next? Do you start talking, confidently going over the topics and arguments that you prepared and rehearsed? Or do you hear the classic – in movies at least – feedback effect of the microphone as you stand still and silent, with a drop of cold sweat running down your back?
Similar situations can happen when you need to take a test – any kind: in school, for your driving license, to get a language certification, and so on. Or if you have to perform in any way: concerts, job interviews, sport performances, product presentations, startup pitches, …
All these situations have one main element in common: the stress that they generate.
Understanding this stress is the first step towards avoiding it. It is indeed more complex than you might think because it is not only the stress derived from being evaluated by others, but also the stress derived from your sense of self-efficacy; with the way you see and talk to yourself, with how you judge your skills, with your ability to focus and not give in to worry, with your confidence in the prep work that you have put in.
Lucky for you, the stress behind these situations has a clear basic structure. What differs from one person to the next is which kind of stress affects you more.
Watch the video to find out the four steps that build up to the final performance and understand which one is your weakest link.
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