This is how she described it:
“Nervousness is too mild a word to describe how I felt. More like … Gutted with trepidation. Bolts of fear. Electric Anxiety.”
She tried everything to overcome it including meditation, mantras, and the power pose. Plus, she used emotional freedom technique (EFT), breathing exercises, and bioresonance sound work the morning of the presentation.
Did the nerves ever go away?
“… the moment her nervousness went away during her Ted Talk was when the audience erupted with laughter.”
In his book “Ted Talks,” author Chris Anderson shares the tale of Monica Lewinsky’s road to present on the Ted stage. She received a standing ovation and her talk has since been viewed over 8 million times.
When you watch her talk, The Price of Shame, the first laughs come before the one minute mark. But, the stress busting laugh happens at the one minute, twenty-two second mark.
And, that laugh lasts for over seven seconds.
Hearing that laughter from the audience meant one thing. It meant she was accepted by the audience and that acceptance allowed her to relax. According to neuroscientist and laughter researcher Sophie Scott:
“Laughter is the strongest bond builder there is between humans.”
The bond-building nature of humor isn’t new though. Gene Perret in How to Hold Your Audience with Humor shares this Bob Hope quote:
Humor is the welcome mat between the speaker and the audience. A short joke, a quick laugh, breaks the ice between you and that sea of strangers. When they laugh, they are immediately on your side. The laughter makes them your friends.
If you are struggling with fear and anxiety when speaking, craft a laugh point early in your speech. Take that fear and anxiety and … laugh it off.
P.S. After that anxiety busting laugh, Monica executes an expert move to get the most out of that one laugh. The result is more laughs and a round of applause. More about that move in the next post.
P.P.S. Interested in learning how to intentionally generate laughs in your speeches and presentations? Check out the A Funnier You Academy.
Originally published on Linkedin: June 5, 2016
Fear Public Speaking? Laugh it off!