Overcome Your Public Speaking Fear with Megan Fisk


How can we handle our public speaking fears? Can introverts be successful public speakers? These are some topics I spoke about with Megan Fisk, a public speaking coach.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Tips for better public speaking
  • How to master your public speaking fears
  • How to find your voice and your message
  • Why introverts can manage public speaking

About Megan Fisk:

Dr. Megan Fisk is on a mission to elevate soul-led entrepreneurs' voices in communities throughout the world, so they can inspire more clients through their services and courses.
As a gemini with a PhD in Communication, she uses her 10 years of experience as a college professor and her intuition to demystify the speech crafting process for her clients so they can build confidence, motivate audiences of all sizes with their message, and earn more revenue.

Connect with Megan:



TP: Today we are speaking about public speaking and my guest is Megan Fisk. Welcome Megan, to the podcast.

MF: Thank you so much for having me. It's such a pleasure to be here with you.

TP: You are a public speaking coach. Can you share your journey to your current mission, please? 

MF: I would love to. So I was a college professor for many, many years. I finished my PhD back in 2015, but had been teaching public speaking at the university level since then. So here in the US we have everyone that goes through our, especially our public university system takes either public speaking or small group communication as a core class to graduate. So I've taught thousands of students and it so happened to have friends come over and stop by my office and be like, "Hey, I've got a presentation next week. Can you just listen to it real quick?", and then I had other friends that were running for different political offices and would be like, "So I need some more help around my public speaking around what my campaign messaging is going to be". And I was like, "Oh, sure". And then it was great for my friends. And then it became friends of friends of friends. And I was like, "I should really start charging for this at some point". And then I also it was like that was happening in one of my favorite personal development authors mentioned working with a public speaking coach before her book tour. And I was like, "Oh, that's like that's exactly what I'd love to be doing". And so those two events colliding really set me on this path. And that was about two and a half years ago. So I've been full time in my business for just over a year now. And it's been a fun and exciting adventure for sure.

TP: Yeah, I guess those new babies, what you have as your business is oh , it's so exciting.

MF: Thank you.

TP: So you coach public speaking. Why on earth should we do public speaking?

MF: So there's so many reasons why business owners need to get good at public speaking and why they should be using public speaking. So the first thing I really want everyone to know is that as a business owner, you are a public speaker. Everything you do is related to public speaking in terms of talking to clients, getting on sales calls, and especially promoting yourself and your business. And so that's my main number one reason, is you want to attract paying clients to your business and you do that through your business messaging. So when we think about being visible, which is the number one reason why you should do public speaking, it's like being that lighthouse shining your light so brightly that your ideal clients are going to be able to find you. They know what you stand for and they're ready and willing to say, "Oh, I want to work with Tuuli. That sounds great. Like I know that she can solve the problem that I'm having right now". And you're also going to increase your positivity and really attract the people that you want to be attracting. So when you've got you know, maybe you've got just all text polls or they're not really able to show off your personality as much through the written word. And some people struggle with writing as well or some people struggle with speaking. You have to do the one that you think is best for you. But by showcasing your personality, you build the know, like and trust factor a lot quicker. And I believe that public speaking and particularly like video marketing, hitting that go live button on Facebook or Instagram is going to help you attract clients a lot faster than just doing the written word.

When we think about being visible, it's like being that lighthouse shining your light so brightly that your ideal clients are going to be able to find you. - Megan Fisk, Podcast Step Up & Thrive

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TP: OK, thank you. And as so many people and of course so many entrepreneurs are afraid of public speaking, what can we do with them? When this... hitting this LIVE button is freaking us out.

MF: I know it can be so intimidating. So a couple tips to get you started. The first one is really thinking through what it is that you even want to say and why you want to say it. And so that's something I help my clients with a lot, is their business messaging is making sure that everything that you're communicating about on that, like Facebook Live will use as an example, directly relates to the content and particularly like the sales funnel that you have in place for your business. So you're using public speaking as a tool to lead people to take that next step with you. And at each level, maybe your educating when someone first finds out about you, right? And you want them to. And then you have a very specific call to action for each one that moves them down the sales funnel. So every time you give a speech or every time you go with you want to plan that content and know who on the other side who that audience member is and what that next step is that you want them to take. And so one of the frameworks that I teach my students to use in my group coaching program is can challenge action result. So what is that audience members biggest challenge right now? What's one action they can take and what's that result going to be that gets them a little bit closer to their ultimate goal? And so just using that framework, I mean, they have tons of other ones, but using that one is going to help relieve the "What should I even say when I go live"? Right. Because that's some people's fears. Like, "I don't even know what I talk about". So I just told you what to talk about. You talk about a challenge your ideal audience members facing. Give that quick action step and then do what that result can be, should they follow through on the action step. And then, of course, you're going to have a little conclusion that tells them what you just told them and sends them to the next step of your sales funnel. So if they already have a freebie in your Facebook group, then your next step is most likely a discovery call or a strategy call. If they're on the strategy, call with you. Then their next step is to decide if they want to become a paying member of one of your programs or whatever. However, you've got your sales funnel set up when it comes more to the inherent fear of public speaking. And Tuuli, I know you mentioned to me you're like, "You know, I'm an introvert". I hear that so much that Brittney Brown, one of the greatest public speakers and communicators of our time, has also identified as an introvert. So I I don't give my introverts a pass. I think that it's having a wide that's bigger than your fear. So let me break that down for you. What I mean is knowing that the message that you have to share with your audience will impact their life so much more than that fear that you have inside you to get out and go. Another person I love to death is Elizabeth Gilbert, and she talks about how fear and creativity are conjoined twins. You can't have one without the other. So if we take Elizabeth Gilbert and Brittney Brown together and talk about courage and being vulnerable and having the courage to even hit that Goliath button and share the message that you're here to share, because your audience, I truly believe, is on the other side of the screen wanting the information that you have. And you have to have that belief in yourself and in the importance of your communication. And then the fear gets to take the back seat and it says, "Yeah, I'm still here, I'm still present". I don't think the point is to overcome fear. I put my fingers in quotation marks. I hate that word "overcome" because I've been speaking for years and years and years and I still get nervous. I still get a little bit tingly before I do a podcast interview or, you know, something comes up for me because I'm so passionate about what I do. And I know that that feeling of nervousness is really an indicator of passion, not something bad that's going to hurt me in some way. So hopefully that gives you all a couple different ways of even looking at your public speaking fear and then thinking through what you even want to say when you go about it.

TP: Thank you. Are there any any different exercises, what you could also do before starting speaking? You mentioned that even you have those butterflies.

MF: Definitely, I love I call it a priest speaking ritual, and so I'm going to give a whole bunch of ideas and think about for yourself, because you don't want it to become like a whole hour long ordeal before you go and hit that Facebook live. I think maybe five minutes. So let me give you some ideas for what to do with that five minutes and then figure out what's going to work for you. So the first public speaking ritual that works for a lot of my clients is called box breathing. And that's if you've got a really heightened level of energy, you're feeling all of those butterflies in your stomach and it feels a little too much box breathing is going to even you out and kind of take you back to like a middle ground. So what it is, is a breathing technique that it's like if you draw a box, so you breathe in for five seconds. You hold for five seconds, then you'll exhale that air out for five seconds and hold the exhale. And so you do a couple rounds of box breathing and it really situate your energy and put you back in your body. One of the other things I like to do with it is like on the inhale, you can visualize either like calming energy coming towards you or positive energy. And on the exhale, visualize any anxiety leaving your body. So box breathing. I love it. I love coupling it with visualization. It's great. The second technique is a really fun one. So if you find yourself and I think a lot of my introverts fall into this category where you really have to psych yourself up before the speech, you have to get in the zone. I love picking a theme song. So my theme song for right now, for my business is I'm Walking On Sunshine. You know, the "I'm walking on sunshine. Whoa, whoa". So I like to think that one I'm a terrible singer, but it's like singing karaoke is going to I want you to pick a positive song that you absolutely love that puts you in the frame of mind and puts you almost like the emotion you want your audience to have listening to you. I do think there's something to that frequency or that vibrational level of like getting yourself there that is contagious to your audience. And so picking a theme song, and the trick to is using it consistently because then your brain kind of networks itself that it knows that, oh, the songs coming on, we're going to go do the speech. It starts to associate it that way and it becomes a positive thing that you're looking forward to. And the other thing that I love about singing along to a theme song is that it's going to warm up your vocal chords. So we're recording this podcast in the morning. I was listening to actually more Britney Spears. I'm going there's been so many documentaries about Britney Spears lately that I think I need to revisit her music. So I was getting ready, doing my morning routine, listening to Britney, singing out loud, warming up my voice so Tuuli doesn't get me is like the first thing I say in the morning is on this podcast. So doing that karaoke warms up your voice, too. And then the final thing that I think people really neglect with public speaking fear is that they don't celebrate when it's done. So after this podcast interview, I'm going to get up, dance around my room, tell myself it was great, it's going to reach the people that is meant to reach, it's going to do all of the things that it needs to do and that it was a really awesome experience because it makes it easier the next time. Right. So if you do go live, don't sit afterwards and think, "Oh, I should have said this or I should have done that", or, you know, "No one watched it". It was terrible. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Like your mind's going to naturally spiral. So what you want to do instead is interrupt that pattern and say, "no, it was actually great. It did exactly what it needed to do. I'm becoming a better public speaker. Every time I do a podcast interview or every time I go live, I just keep getting better and better". And that thought is going to serve you so much better than other thoughts that might pop into your head. So hopefully that gives you a range of different things to think about. I also really like using essential oils like lavender oil on my wrists to calm down if I'm particularly excited about something or there's some different like energetic practices to if you feel like it takes a lot of energy to do a speech, one thing that you might think about doing is imagining an invisible cloak wrapping around you before you give your speech. And that cloak is going to keep you safe and make sure that your energy isn't leaving your body. And just these little like visualization techniques can become really powerful at reframing things in your mind. If you are doing like a huge speaking event, like, let's say you get that TED talk, a lot of my clients, that is their dream. Yeah. They want to go. They want to give that TED talk. What if you know that that's your goal. Start visualizing yourself on the TED stage, start working in your daily meditation or visualization practice. Seeing yourself feel and this is the really important part is feeling how you want to feel once it's finished. So over my Facebook group, I have a visualization saved on there. That's all about cultivating that feeling of having that standing ovation, you just gave your TED talk. Everyone in the audience is cheering for you in that wave of positive energy washing over you. Is that level of energy that you want in your life in general? Right. Like, I can't think of a better feeling overall. So it also starts to tell yourself, like, "Oh, I'm open to this possibility. I'm open to putting myself in the position where that is a reality. And I'm a big believer in the law of attraction and thinking. Like, if I'm able to put that energy out to the world, I'm going to attract more of that energy into my life. So I love visualization practices for overcoming public speaking fear to.

TP: Thank you. There were so many. They were really very useful.

MF: Thank you.

TP: And now it's time for our Quick Tips section. This is something what we do regularly on our podcast. And my question is, what is your biggest revelation about public speaking. 

MF: My biggest revelation about public speaking, as a business owner, I'll keep it a little more specific is that you have to provide value for your audience right at the beginning. You have to tell them what they're going to get out of listening and devoting the next 15, 20 minutes, however long you're speaking for right at the start. And so a yoga teacher, for instance, might tell her audience about a breathing technique and really break it down so her audience understands it in a new way. Or a dating coach could persuade his audience to try a new technique on their Bumble profile. Whatever the case is, you have to tell them right at the beginning and provide that value for them.

TP: So the most important message in the beginning. OK, thank you so much for joining us and sharing all these valuable tips. If our listeners would like to know more about you and follow you, where can they do so?

MF: It's been such a pleasure being on the podcast with you. And I've got a free gift for everyone listening. That's called the Unlock Your Core Message Challenge. It's on my website, DrMeganFisk.Com, and I think I'll be posted in the show. Notes below.

TP: Definitely.

MF: Thank you. It's all about finding your core message, so your core message is like your North Star to your business. It's the point that you return back to when you go in thinking through like, "Ok, hey, what is it that I want to get across today? What is it that my business stands for?" My core message is your speech will change the world. Marie Forleo talks about everything is figureable, Gaby Bernstein: Become the happiest person you know, those are all great core messages that really represent the businesses that were built. And so if you want to find your core message, check out the unlock your core message challenge over on my website.

TP: Oh, thank you. And once again, thank you for coming.

MF: It was really a pleasure to have interview with you and I really enjoyed our thank you and thank you for being such a great audience member.

TP: I enjoyed it as well.

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