Uneasiness about Speaking over the phone

Postby Connor » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:00 am

I work for a non-profit organisation. We work a lot with children. Christmas is coming up and, as with last year and the year before, we are planning to have a Christmas party for the children again this year. There is an old guy who normally sponsors the party each year, and I have to contact him to ask if he will be willing to do it again this year.

My problem is that I'm pretty much sure that I suffer from some sort of general anxiety. I'm scared shitless about calling him and asking if he will be willing to sponsor the party again this year. I don't really know him that well either and I always feel awkward talking with strangers on the phone. Even more so in situations where I have to ask for a favor.

What should i do??? I know I should just build up the courage and ask. I hate this. :( :cry:
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:44 pm

Connor wrote:What should i do??? I know I should just build up the courage and ask. I hate this. :( :cry:

It is not general anxiety. The vast majority of people hate public speaking. In fact, some people rate having to give a speech as a worse fate than death! Really? And many if not most people don't like the idea of having to make a sales pitch, etc. I know I don't.

Here is the secret. PRACTICE!!! The same as any other skill in life, you will become less anxious with practice. If you are anxious about ABC or XYZ or 123, there is a very simple cure, practice.

And you scaffold the practice. Don't like heights? Practice. Start by stepping on a foot stool. Okay? Top of some stairs. Okay? Ladder outside. Okay? The roof of a house. Okay? You scaffold or escalate, slowly depending on the learner until they are standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon. They may still feel anxious, but they're at the Grand Canyon!

How do people practice a public speech, a play, a phone call they need to make? It starts with rehearsal. They rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, and then give the speech in front of a small audience. Larger, larger, larger audience. Sales people rehearse phone calls, they use colleagues to roleplay, reacting to your pitch in various ways. They hang up on you, call you an idiot, say yes, no, and ask questions that put you on the spot.

Practice = learning = higher confidence = lower anxiety.
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