Are you suffering from: The Spotlight Effect

Are you convinced that every time you open your mouth to speak in a meeting everyone is judging you?

by Helen Kirwan-Taylor, helen@kirwantaylor.com
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Does this make you blush and hesitate? If you so much as trip or stutter when approaching the stage, do you assume the speech is a dud and your career washed up? Relax. Those of us who spend hours ruminating about our public embarrassments are wasting a lot of energy. Psychologists at Cornell University found that very little of the nonsense we get up to is actually noticed by anyone else, or if it is, not much heed is paid to it. Short of tripping over a cable and setting the stage on fire, the gaffes we stay up at night worrying about are mostly in our imagination. The reason? Most people are too busy thinking about themselves to spend much time thinking about others. The cure for the Spotlight Effect (also known as shyness) is to assume that no-one cares what fate befalls you - the end result of which will be a much better speech.

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