My name is Benjamin van Spijck. I am a Communication Coach and author. Over the last few years, I have been privileged to coach many people through conquering their fear of public speaking. Successfully. My secret? I am a ‘hands-on’ expert.
As far back as I can remember I have been tormented by a fear of talking in public. I can clearly recall my earliest memory of this, when I was 10 years old and had to stand in front of the class.
Through the years, my fear of speaking became a constant in my life. I mastered the avoidance of situations in which the spotlight would be on me. I made sure I was ill that day, I lied, hid behind others, and, more than once, I even considered causing an accident while on my way to a meeting just so I wouldn’t have to speak in front of others.
So, at the age of 35, I decided it was time to overcome my fear of speaking in public.
I started by taking a presentation training workshop given by a reputable communications adviser. She taught me how to build up an effective presentation, but unfortunately did nothing to reduce my fear of public speaking. I then found a coach online who had developed a unique method for not only dealing with the fear of public speaking, but other phobias as well. I first read his book and, enthusiastic about the promises made in it, I took part in his training course. But, unfortunately, this, too, did not help me get rid of my fear.
I did, however, become more and more convinced that I absolutely wanted to overcome my fear of public speaking and that it must be possible to do so.
I started to understand that the fear of public speaking is a lie, an irrational fear. After all, why be scared of speaking in front of an audience that is made up of fellow human beings who often only want the best for you? Why be afraid to talk to groups when talking to individuals is something you do with pleasure day in, day out? Why act as if talking in front of a group is some kind of major performance? It really is nothing more and nothing less than a meeting with other people during which information is exchanged. Why was I allowing that feeling of nervousness to reach panic proportions? Why shouldn’t I be able to amplify the joy and energy I normally get from talking to others when talking to a group?
If that were possible, then speaking in public would no longer lead to panic. It could actually be fun!
With this motivation in mind, I started looking for answers. I studied the scientific background of the fear of speaking and other social phobias. I talked to psychologists and trainers. I delved into information about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). I began to understand what the fear of public speaking is all about and discovered why expensive workshops and books often do little to overcome it. With all the knowledge I had gained, I developed a training programme.
The knowledge I gained is now available as part of a unique, personal 21-day programme; Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking®.