This research paper described how 36 people who had a fear of public speaking were divided into two groups to test the effectiveness of a fear elimination procedure called The Lefkoe Method.
One group was exposed to The Lefkoe Method.
The other group went to Toastmasters meetings.
After a few hours of exposure to The Lefkoe Method the first group spoke in public and each member of that group reported that their fear had literally disappeared. The second group spoke in public at the same time and, of course, they had the same level of fear they had before. However, researchers wanted to be totally sure that The Lefkoe Method produced the results they were witnessing.
So they had the second group go through the steps of The Lefkoe Method. This group was asked to speak in public again and each participant reported that he or she had no fear of speaking in public. Of course, by itself, this doesn’t prove that the changes are long lasting.
So researchers followed up with participants in the study two years later. And they found that participants remained fearless when speaking in public.
Dr. Lee Sechrest, professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, who conducted the study, concluded, “The Lefkoe Method is an effective, quick, and convenient procedure to eliminate the fear of speaking in public.”
Morty Lefkoe, founder of The Lefkoe Institute and published author, was not surprised as he and his colleagues were already helping over 450 people a year eliminate their fear of public speaking at the time the journal article was published.
And how does it work? According to Lefkoe it works by “undoing” the two main causes of the fear of public speaking–negative beliefs and emotional conditioning. Many people who have the fear of public speaking have beliefs like “Mistakes are bad” and “If I make a mistake, I’ll be rejected.” These beliefs cause them to fear making a mistake in front of an audience, fear looking stupid and fear people even seeing that hey have fear.
Emotional conditioning is that familiar phenomenon described by Pavolv’s experiments with dogs in which he got them to salivate at the sound of a bell by ringing it when food was given. Once this happened often enough the dogs salivated at the sound of the bell even when no food was given to them.
A similar process happens to help you get conditioned to fear the types of events that could happen when you speak in public. For example, many fearful speakers fear being judged or criticized. They form their fear because when they were young their parents were upset at them whenever giving criticism. This caused them to feel fear and to “associate” fear to being criticized.
And so as an adult aware of the mere possibility that they might be judged or criticized when speaking in public they feel fear. Lefkoe’s processes help people to disconnect from past conditioned fears and to stop negative beliefs cold.
So what can you do if you want to get rid of your fear? You’ll have to follow the four steps of The Lefkoe Method:
1. Uncover the beliefs that have been causing your fear.
2. Isolate the events that led to the creation of those beliefs.
3. “Get” at a very deep and profound level that those beliefs aren’t true now and never have been, and that you never actually “saw” them in the world.
4. Dissolve the conditioning that’s locking your fear in place on autopilot.
When you do all four of these things you will speak without fear in public for the rest of your life.