Eduardo Placer, Founder of Fearless Communicators, is a social entrepreneur, community builder and motivational speaker. Not only that, but he's an all-around inspiring person to be around and a wonderful member of The Yard: City Hall Park!
Eduardo has worked with leading, female visionaries on successfully communicating "big ideas" for TEDx and other global events so they can transform the world. He is committed to fostering new conversations and relationships and works closely with the international communities of Muslim and Jewish leaders. Eduardo took some time to speak with us about his experience working with entrepreneurs to perfect their story.
When did you start practicing your methods to overcome fear, and what inspired you to share your knowledge with business leaders?
Growing up, I was terrified of standing out because I was gay. When I graduated from college and became an actor, I started understanding that it’s not just a mental conversation, it’s a physical, spiritual and emotional conversation. When I taught public speaking in grad school, I realized that I could make a difference. Initially, I thought my calling was to be an actor, but the longer that I was acting (for over 15 years!), the more it became clear that my calling to serve the world was as a public speaking coach. Public speaking coaching is like monologue coaching for real people - they get to share their story and their mission.
In the past, you mentioned a "little trauma" from your childhood in which you felt embarrassed in front of your classmates. How do you see these childhood experiences affecting people's adult life?
Every time that you stand in front of people, you’re not only carrying the victories, you’re also carrying all of your perceived failures. You have to exercise the mind to choose something different than the fear and failure. I've been doing this for a long time. I've spent countless hours on stage as an actor, but this is different. I'm not playing a role, I'm playing myself. When I speak, I'm committed to my audience getting something out of it. My commitment to making a difference is bigger than my fear of failure.
It takes a long time to train yourself, it's a daily practice. It's like becoming a ninja. People often think, “I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, no one is going to like me”. There are a few steps you can take to overcome this:
2. Ask yourself "who are you being". Generous? Compassionate? Fun? I make it up every time. Who will I be for these people? It's important to create an experience for your audience that will allow them to have a great time and find value in the conversation. If I don't create that as a context, then my fear runs the show, and it's "no bueno". Imagine Dumbledore carefully picking up the negative thoughts and dropping them to the side. "That's just a thought; it's not real." Plop. And like that, it's gone.
What’s something that still makes you fearful?
Honestly, I still have fear when I speak in front of large groups. One persistent fear from my childhood is that people will discount me because I'm gay. This is especially present when I'm speaking in front of large groups of men. At the end of the day, my authenticity is what's most important to me when I'm teaching or presenting. When I'm authentic, it works.
If you could give one sentence of advice to the businesses at The Yard, whether they’re full-fledged or just starting out on a new endeavor, what would it be?
I'm going to give them two.
1. Always be present when you're speaking to the bigger picture, what it is you believe. (It's your why.)
A big, warm thanks to Eduardo for taking the time to chat with us. If you'd like to join in on the life-changing fun, check out his FREE telesummit called Power Talk: How to Banish Your Fear of Public Speaking and Give Amazing Presentations that Skyrocket Your Business. Eduardo interviews 21 fearless industry experts, notable public speakers and thought leaders - running through May 1st!