Salima El YaalaouiSalima El Yaalaoui

Salima EL YAALAOUI –  Vice President of Public Relations for my Toastmasters Club, Radiant Rhetoric. I am also a Confidence & leadership coach, motivational speaker, and podcast host. When I’m not serving in the various exciting events all 5 Toastmasters Clubs of Turin participate in.

I want to share an easy-to-remember acronym to fight stage fright in this article. Inspiring you to jump on the stage and gift others your perspective on topics that significantly helped you grow into the leader you now are so that you can, in turn, encourage fellow members and prospective ones to do the same!

The only decisions you’ll most probably regret on your deathbed will be the ones you never dared to make.

Top deathbed regret: revealed in “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying” by Bronnie Ware, an Australian palliative care nurse.

Indeed, there’s something worse than death itself, and it’s not dinner with your in-laws. Do you have an idea?

Ok, here’s another tip: it’s something you can do anywhere, and the more you’re creative, the more it’s orgasmic … still no idea?

Last tip: all of you fellow Toastmasters members have been doing it for several months for some and several years for others.

Here is the answer: a study showed that public speaking is the absolute n°1 fear and outranks the fear of death! Can you believe it?!

I believe there are three reasons for that, and I suggest the funny acronym UFO. Remember them quickly, be able to recognize them when they arise, and crush them by taking action and jumping on the stage to share your insights with all of us:


1. the Unknown.

A great solution to beat it is to DE-sacralize it all!
How? My advice is to research your topic, feel emotionally what you’re saying & get familiar with the room. Because the more you reduce the “unknown factors,” the less your reptilian brain will feel triggered. Indeed, this small part at the back of your brain responsible for primitive drives that go into survival mode was beneficial to our ancestors to protect their tribes and land. However, given that we’re not precisely cavemen anymore and we generally don’t risk our lives in our everyday modern world, most of these stimuli are mental limitations preventing us from doing things that would make us significantly grow, as public speaking does, for instance.

2. Failing.

Think of the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” I owe this tip to the Toastmasters experience: Rehearsal is a massive part of what we’re doing here, and the feedback we receive after each performance helps us improve ourselves one speech at a time. I recommend looking at Toastmasters like a “public speaking gym”: the more you build up your “speech muscle” in a friendly atmosphere, the more your performances in front of a large crowd of strangers will feel effortless and enjoyable. I believe that by accepting our initial shortcomings and persevering, we can improve our skills in all areas of life.

3. the audience’s Opinion.

I can personally guarantee noticeable results if you visualize yourself in advance giving the speech and it being successful from A to Z. Don’t take my word for it; try it, and you’ll see for yourself!

The reason is that studies show that the mind can’t differentiate truth from imagination. So, I’d say: take advantage of your “brain bug” to make it a strength!


 My secret that I’ve just found as an experienced yogi in my downtime is that 15 minutes of yoga before a speech is ideal because of breathing, movement with asanas, and mind grounding with meditation.

Besides that, I genuinely enjoy sharing thoughts and life experiences, but most importantly, I want the energy flowing and the emotions exchanged.

So, my mind focuses on the pleasure I get from it and stays away from considerations like the Unknown, the risk of failing, and being preoccupied with the Opinions of others.

In short, I tend to focus on sharing on an emotional level and trusting that I have fully mastered the topic I’m talking about.

Thus, the “monkey mind” is switched off and can’t jump from one interpretation to the next.

If you still feel too afraid to act on it, think back and tell yourself: EITHER I have to do it ASAP OR I will commit to giving a speech every two weeks in this club.

So, what do you choose?!!