How to Beat the Fear of Public Speaking
How to Beat the Fear of Public Speaking stories

sydneyverifiedco-creator of Commaful
Autoplay OFF  •  a year ago
I was TERRIFIED of public speaking. I couldn't even talk to adults in a non-public setting. I've changed a lot over the years. Went on to give my high school graduation speech, speak at a few gatherings, and pitch Mark Cuban in front of hundreds of people.

How to Beat the Fear of Public Speaking

by sydney

I was always terrified of public speaking.

When I was in middle school, I was a shy guy. I couldn't even look adults in the eye. I didn't like talking to people I didn't know.

Now...things have changed.

I've fallen in love with public speaking and will speak whenever I can! I feel comfortable speaking, even when I don't know what I'm going to be saying! What changed?

The 1st thing you need to know: You'll always feel nervous

The feeling of fear never goes away. You just get used to it. It's normal to feel nervous and EVERYBODY feels it. Even the professional speakers do. With practice, you get better.

Start by knowing your material. Practice a lot

Part of my fear of public speaking was the fear of screwing up. I was scared that I'd embarrass myself. I was scared I was going to be bad. Practice helped with this.

I would practice a speech on a particular topic weeks before

I would practice in front of the mirror. Practice while jogging. Practice while doing pushups. If I could deliver the speech while being distracted, I believed I would not screw up.

I would imagine the fear, the crowd, & practice more

I'd try to get in the mindset of the fear I'd feel. I'd imagine the crowd in detail. Again, I would deliver the speech. It helped me emulate the experience.

Next, get over the fear of talking.

I'd gather people I knew together and practice in front of them. Sometimes I would do random topics. Because I knew them, I was a bit less nervous. The more I did it, the more comfortable I was.

Toastmasters groups and other clubs help

I was lucky to have a debate class to practice. But having a community going through it with you and critiquing you helps tremendously.

At the end, you have to force yourself up to the stage

The first speech will take all of your effort to get up there. Even if it's in front of a small group.

Getting up to the stage is the hardest part.

Afterwards, let your practice take it away! You will do great! If you need to, get a friend to help drag you up. Once you're over that. You're on your way!

Just get to the point where you're about to get on stage.

After that, you brain does the rest!

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a year agoReply
@sydney yeah I am quite comfortable addressing crowds. I have MC-ed for company dinner and dance too haha! But no, I dont give speeches hehe. I am not quite there yet.

sydneyVerifiedco-creator of Commaful
a year agoReply
@jennygoh WONDERFUL tips!!! Must make you a lot more comfortable speaking! Do you give a lot of speeches :D

a year agoReply
Thanks for sharing :) I think almost everyone is terrified of public speaking. Those who are not -- were terrified at some point. I have one small tip to add. For me, it always works to look *far*, or, if I have to look *near*, I'll find someone I know and alternate between looking far and near. If I am really nervous, I ask a friend/a colleague to stand at a *vantage point*, so I could see him or her. I make myself nod in intermittently, so people know I also acknowledge that they are giving me their time and I am glad to be speaking there.

sydneyVerifiedco-creator of Commaful
a year agoReply
Thanks @alidamcdaniel!!! Means a lot :) :) Just read your post. Loved it!

a year agoReply
What a brilliant insight here. I have learned some beautiful tips from this story :) Thank you. So happy to have joined this platform!!