Facing The Fear Of Public Speaking – by Jeremy Siggelkow
Next, thing you know I was up on stage and I was speaking while my nervous-shaking body sat in a lukewarm water-filled tub on the stage of the church
Have you ever tried public speaking in middle school, high school, college or for a presentation in your work place? If so, what was it like for you? Were you sweating like crazy — scared, nervous, or excited? While there are few people who may get excited about public speaking and feel like it comes naturally. This isn’t commonly normal for most of us as human beings who fear public speaking, and fear rejection.
Did you know that surveys suggest the fear of public speaking or stage freight as #1 on the list? Not only that, our fear of public speaking or stage freight even trumps the fear of death. I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty significant fear. Especially, considering death is final and at times can seem uncertain. However, public speaking or being up on stage is only for a moment. Sure, it might ruin your reputation, cause people to lose hard-gained confidence in you or you may say some things you regret in the heat of the moment. The same is true for stage freight and playing an instrument on stage — the same fear is equivalent, because you are on stage and whether you are speaking words or singing them. It’s essentially the same thing paired with the same level of fear. A fear we fear more than dying.
So how did I overcome this fear?
Well, I’ll tell you…
The first time was when I was about to give my testimony while returning to my faith and to the christian church after a long-hard road of wandering. I remember, half an hour before I was supposed to go up and speak on stage to tell people how God changed my life I had a quick thought and it went something like this: “put the church in your rearview mirror, and never come back.” I have to be honest with you. I highly considered that option. It was tempting. Really temping…However, my self-control got the best of me and I was able to identify that it was the devil trying to plant fear in my head and I was done being controlled by fear. I was done living by the devil’s rules.
Next, thing you know I was up on stage and I was speaking while my nervous-shaking body sat in a lukewarm water-filled tub on the stage of the church. It went okay, but there was definitely nervous moments and I didn’t know really what to say or how to handle myself. The main thing is that I did it and that was a big obstacle to overcoming my fear. The more you do it, and the more you face your fears, the quieter the voice of fear gets in your head and you gain victory, slowly. It’s a process.The more you do it, and the more you face your fears, the quieter the voice of fear gets in… Click To Tweet
But that wasn’t the end of my speaking career even though I thought it was. Because God had a plan all a long. Fast forward a couple years later I shared my testimony numerous times in front of small crowds of people ranging from 1-10. What I didn’t understand is that God was shaping me and preparing me for bigger things. Finally, a couple months later I got asked to speak again at my new church and share my story. I hesitated, and asked if I could think about it. I went home and decided I was going to say no until a still quiet voice convicted me saying; “Jeremy, you need to do this.”
So there I was as dejav vu set in and reminded me of the first time I spoke. Only this time I was stronger, older, more mature and wiser. But that didn’t stop the nerves from going crazy, and soon I was back up on the stage desperately and anxiously searching for the right words in my head as if stuck inside an ocean full of voices amplified by a hundred megaphones who names were: “fear”and “doubt.”
Again, I got through. I silenced the voices of fear in my head. I gained victory again. I was becoming an overcomer. Later, I had 3-4 more experiences on stage, but the one that rings the loudest was when I finally got asked to play music on the stage with some incredible musicians who I looked up to. This was always a child-hood dream of mine and it was as if I was waiting my whole life for this moment: the moment to be asked to play music on stage. I felt called to do it when I was younger, but voices of fear and getting lost took precedence and my dreams slipped through the cracks.
But this was the moment, the big moment I had been waiting for, and again I felt the devil’s voice again whispering: “don’t show up, just cancel.” But I got up on the stage, and I did it boldly. Now, I wasn’t an expert my first few times. In fact, I missed probably half the notes I was meant to play, but most of the crowd said they didn’t notice. Again, I gained victory, and I was becoming an over-comer.
But what was the main thing that built me as an overcomer?
Simple: it was my confidence in Christ and knowing that I was a child of a powerful God, designed for a powerful and purposeful life and knowing that God had my back. I remember, prior to going on stage to play music the last time God brought a verse to my mind and the verse was very simple, but yet the message profound:
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13
That’s all it took: 11 powerful words that gave me confidence and kept me up on that stage. Suddenly, it became clear to me that if God kept asking me to be on stage. He was faithful to provide me all the right tools, all the right words, all the right gifts to accomplish my calling. All I had to do was step out and work diligently to silence the voices of doubt and fear in my head.
Here is the thing:
When you see things through the eternal lens of the creator. When God reveals insights, and opens your mind up to see things the way a supernatural God see’s them. He take’s away your weak human perspective. Suddenly, you can move mountains, because the same God who led the Israelites out of Egypt and parted the red sea is the same God who is fighting and interceding on your behalf.
Romans 8:37 – goes further to say that we are MORE than over comers.
My exhortation to you is: to challenge yourself to see and believe the power in the bible. To really mediate on it and challenge yourself to see through the lens of an eternal perspective. When you see challenges through the lens of the creator. You become fearless, and suddenly you have access to unsurpassable strength. With this unsurpassable strength. If God calls you to speak on stages: you can’t loose, because his eternal purpose for your life is to be up on stage, and he has designed you to do it.
Jeremy Siggelkow is an aspiring: Speaker, a Relationship Coach, Athlete, Freelance-Writer, Christian, Artist, and a sinner saved by grace who After two life-threatening events was radically changed by the transformational power of Jesus Christ. He is currently writing his first book, studying a BA in Christian Ministries, and working toward fulfilling his life-long mission: to help people create better stories in order to experience transformation through the supernatural power of God.
Find Jeremy Here…