Are you afraid of pitching? Or are you afraid of public speaking in general?
That’s okay, many people are. There are four main reasons why people are scared to pitch:
#1 I don’t like to be in the center of attention
#2 I am not confident with my looks
#3 I can’t stand all these people staring at me
#4 My voice is ugly
It’s okay to be afraid of public speaking.
There are more people afraid of public speaking instead of death. That’s a fact.
All these fears might seem difficult to overcome. If you feel the same way, today is your lucky day.
What you should do if you’re afraid of public speaking
Tim Ferris, famous entrepreneur and investor recently did a ted talk on fear. The title of his speech was: ‘Why you should define your fears instead of your goals’. Although he didn’t mention pitching or public speaking throughout his speech, his principles are spot on and can be applied here as well.
It all comes down to realizing the potential outcomes of your actions. For example: Let’s say are contemplating whether or not to shave your head bold. There are two outcomes:
Outcome 1: You like it. You made the right decision
Outcome 2: You hate it. You have to wait two months for your hair to grow back.
By simply writing down the potential scenarios of your action you can already start making conclusions. However, entrepreneur and investor Tim Ferris took this to the next level.
“we suffer more in our imagination than in reality”
Afraid of public speaking – let’s break it down
According to Tim Ferris there is a 3 step method you can follow to break down any fear. In this case the fear of pitching or public speaking.
Take a paper and write down the following 3 things:
- What do you want to do? (in this case, that would be pitching)
- What you can do to prevent any negative outcomes
- What you can do to repair any negative outcomes
Take another paper and write down all the positive benefits of your pitch. A few examples:
- An investor likes my pitch and wants to invest in my company
- A big corporate hears about my pitch and wants to partner up
- Google hears about your company and wants to buy your company
Is your startup ready to pitch?
This is probably the most important step, especially because human beings aren’t very good at this.
Here you take a paper and write down all the costs of inaction. So what happens if you don’t pitch your company? What happens if you decide not to speak at that event? And finally, what happens if you keep on postponing to do this.
- What happens if you never pitch your company in the coming 6 months?
- What happens if you never pitch your company in the coming year?
- What happens if you never pitch your company in the coming 3 years?
So take three pages and do this exercise. It should take you around 30 minutes and will definitely be worth your time.
You’ll see that pitching isn’t that scary as you thought.
You can check out the full video here:
Let’s apply this to your pitch
Define: Pitch in a room full of investors
Prevent: I don’t want to look like a dork an forget my text. To prevent this I will practice my pitch 100 times.
Repair: If I forget my text anyway, I will keep a printed version of the text in my pocket.
- I raise an investment for my company
- Somebody of the media picks up on my pitch and I get free publicity
- A big corporate finds out about my company and wants to partner up
If I don’t start pitching my company:
- My company runs out of cash and we go bankrupt
- My company will miss out on big opportunities and we won’t grow exponentially
- My company’s growth will decline and we will never become a big player
These steps helped many people around the world to crush their fears and they will crush yours.
To end with a quote of Olympic champion Jerzy Gregorek:
“Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life”
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