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The Power of a Truth Statement

Updated: Aug 19



(Practical techniques to reduce public speaking anxiety 2/3)


Fear of judgement. Fear of failure. Fear of being exposed. Fear of not being good enough. These are a few of the common fears that fuel public speaking anxiety.


Interestingly, there's no shortage of resources that suggest the key to managing public speaking anxiety is using motivational fear-suppressors like ‘believe in yourself,’.


One international speaking coach suggests, “relax and forget about your fear,” and “eliminate fear of rejection,” as if, by a flick of a switch, it was possible to simply leave our fears behind.


In reality, these fears are often symptoms of something deeper. In my opinion, the only way to overcome them is to identify the root cause and replace it with a statement of truth. Only once we’ve embodied that truth will we be able to speak in public without anxiety.


A truth statement is a personalised statement that debunks the core fear behind public speaking.


The truth statement will depend on the specific fear and belief of that person. When I was starting out as a speaker, I was overly concerned with audience perceptions. What if I looked silly? What if they don’t like me? My mental framework developed out of the realisation that my audience doesn’t care about me as much as I would like to think. In other words, the only person that is going to dwell on my mistakes is me! As a result, my mental framework became: Don’t flatter yourself Miriam, the audience doesn’t care about you as much as you would like to think.


A truth statement is a personalised statement that debunks the core fear behind public speaking.

I challenge you to consider where your own fear stems from. Consider the ‘what if…’ behind the fear. Then come up with a truth statement that debunks the belief and work to embody that truth.


Here are some mental frameworks that you might find helpful:

  • This is not about me. This is about giving my audience something of value.

  • I am prepared. No matter what happens, I can navigate the situation back on course.

  • I was chosen for this task. I have earned the right to be here. I know this subject better than anyone.

  • This is going to be over very soon. I may as well enjoy myself.

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