Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking
3 Strategies to Reduce Public
Speaking Phobia

Overcoming fear of public speaking is possible and worth the effort. Effective public speaking can enhance many professional careers, hobbies and community endeavors.

The fear of public speaking is widespread. Public speaking phobia affects millions of people in all walks of life.

It has been estimated that the fear of public speaking is more common than any other fear... even the fear of death.

Although this fear can feel paralyzing, many people do find effective ways to overcome the fear of public speaking.

We can learn to overcome this fear.

There are just 3 main areas to focus on in overcoming fear of public speaking:

  1. Prepare carefully for your talk
  2. Focus on the valuable message you are offering
  3. Be content with excellence

Prepare Carefully for Your Talk -

Create a simple logical structure for your talk. Identify between three and five main points. Prepare examples, stories and supporting facts which further explain each of your primary points.

Know your material inside out and upside down. (You do not need to memorize or write out every word.) Just know it so well that for you it is simple to understand and express to others in private.

Then practice giving your talk in front of friends, family or coworkers several times. You can even practice in front of the mirror. Become so practiced that it just isn't a big deal any more to express it… it is easy.

As you practice you will discover for yourself that there is nothing magical about overcoming the fear of public speaking. Public speaking is not inherently stressful. Public speaking can actually be fun.

Focus On the Valuable Message
You Are Offering -

Avoid focusing on yourself
or worrying about:

  • what the audience will think of you,
  • how you look,
  • how you sound, or
  • whether the audience will be impressed with your abilities.

Concerns like these will;

  • distract you,
  • tie up your energy and
  • irritate your audience.


Focus on the content of your talk -

  • Identify the purpose of your talk.
  • Focus on the useful valuable information and insights you are giving your audience.
  • Let your primary intent be serving the needs and desires of your audience.
  • Speak to the needs of your audience with language they can understand.
  • Be sure that the main points you present clearly support and fulfill your purpose.

When you focus on the purpose of your talk and its value to your audience it will be easier to transcend your personal anxieties and speak effectively. This simple step makes overcoming fear of public speaking so much easier.

Be Content With Excellence -

Perfection is not possible. So if we focus on perfection we guarantee failure.

Fortunately perfection is also not necessary.

It is OK if you have some anxiety.
Some anxiety is natural.
Breathe slowly and deeply to calm yourself.
Have some water available during the talk in case you get thirsty.

(When speaking in public, I have often found myself standing with my legs intertwined to help prop up my nervous weak knees. But it doesn't matter. I just focus on my message instead.)

Also, you don't have to be a professional comedian, or a fashion model, or a professional lecturer to be an effective public speaker.

Instead, be yourself.

Be honest about who you are and why you are speaking on the topic. Your sincerity will set your audience at ease and make them more willing to listen to what you have to say.

Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking is Possible

As you explore these guidelines and practice speaking:

  • you will gradually gain more confidence,
  • you will naturally discover your own public speaking style that works well for you,
  • you will also probably learn about some of the tips and tricks of professional public speakers,
  • you will find that overcoming fear of public speaking is easy.

Like any skill, the ability to speak comfortably and effectively in public can grow. Toastmasters International has helped many people to overcome fear of public speaking.

Explore more strategies, both general and specific, for Overcoming Different Types of Fear or...

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