The following blog is from our book Crucial Moments: Learning to See God in the Middle of Difficulties. To learn more about this book, here is a six minute podcast by Steve.
You will be called up front to speak shortly. You are trying to fight off the feelings of anxiety but are having little success. Your mind rehearses past failures and thinks of the excellent speakers who are in the room. “What if I blank out? What if I don’t make sense? What if I make a fool of myself?” It may be easier said than done, but relax and start rejoicing because this is a glorious crucial moment in your life.
WHAT TO GET EXCITED ABOUT
- You get to overcome the fear of man.
- You have the opportunity to conquer a fear many people face.
- This is a chance to have joy in the journey and not just when you experience complete victory in an area.
STRENGTH THROUGH SCRIPTURE
Acts 4:13 – “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”
Exodus 6:30 – “But Moses said before the Lord, ‘Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh heed me?’”
Matthew 10:19-20 – “But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you . . .”
Surrender your reputation to God – There are moments in life where we are faced with an opportunity to surrender our reputation in a fresh way to God (and being insecure before speaking is one of those times). “Lord, I surrender my fear of failure to you. I release my reputation to you, and I declare that you are more important to me than what people think of me.” As we yield our hearts to God in this way, it sets our life up for freedom, blessing, and influence.
Realize love for others drives away fear – “Perfect love casts out fear” (I John 4:18). A mother’s love for a child would cause her to overcome the fear of a dangerous animal attempting to hurt her child. In the same way, truly wanting to strengthen those to whom you are speaking will greatly help in overcoming the fear of public speaking. Love causes us to get our eyes off ourselves and onto others; thus helping to neutralize our negative emotions.
Learn these practical steps to relaxing when you speak – 1) Share your battle with anxiety with someone and have them pray with you before you speak. 2) Take slow, deep breaths. 3) Start with a story or something you are very familiar with because you speak best what you know best. 4) Realize most speakers feel more nervous than they look, so you are in good company. 5) Focus on someone in the back of the room, on friendly faces, or on those who are most engaged. 6) Prepare well by memorizing key points that you will remember without notes (but still have notes in front of you just in case).
- God always shows up when I am anxious about public speaking.
- I am a confident, influential, and joyful speaker.
- My love for people causes me to overcome my fear of speaking in front of them.
Crucial Moments: Learning to See God in the Middle of Difficulties
by Steve Backlund
This book helps us upgrade how we think, act, and most importantly, believe in those crucial moments when:
- You feel nervous about speaking in public
- Your house is a mess when people come over
- A politician whose beliefs oppose yours is elected
- You gain more weight than you thought
- You don’t feel like worshipping
…and 47 other opportunities for breakthrough.