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Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking

by skoda on September 1, 2011

Overcome the Fear of Speaking in Public


Speaking in public is said to be the greatest fear that exists, slightly higher than death! It doesn’t have to be. I think the best teachers are the ones that came from a non-natural skill but one that came from learned experience. Let me share some tips with you on how I overcame my fear of speaking in public and transformed it into making a lot of money and having a lot of fun with it.  You don’t have to go into it Blind.

Speaking in Public Will Give You Confidence & Make You Money

I used to be terrified of speaking in public, I mean, terrified. I used to be a project manager for a county government and was asked to give a brief presentation on my project in front of my group of 5 co-workers. My heart beat fast, I developed a stutter, I actually spilled my water when I went to take a drink and I also sweated profusely. I was a mess.

I recall the department started doing Monday morning project updates with the entire department of around 40 people. They would go around the room and each person would give a 3-4 minute overview of what they were working on. I cannot tell you how many Monday mornings I called in sick. It was the most terrifying and dreadful thing to me. Half the time I would sit by the exit door and as my turn started getting closer I would sneak out the door to use the bathroom and hope they didn’t notice (they usually didn’t).

What made me get over my fear of speaking in public?

To be honest, I don’t know. I knew it would hold me back and I was very ambitious. It upset me that I was a hard worker and knew my stuff but was crippled in fear when it came to speaking in public. What helped me overcome my fear? What do I suggest for those trying to get over their fear of public speaking? Here you go!

1. Get educated – There are a TON of books in public speaking and quite frankly, most of them are terrible. Why you ask? Well, My theory is that most published speakers wanted to get more speaking gigs so they threw together a book to be able to say that. One way is to watch others like Tony Robbins or Ray Higdon.  Learn from the best.

2. Get experience – Figure out how to get in front of audiences. You can read one hundred books on how to ride a bike and still not be able to balance yourself, such is true with public speaking. Go to groups where you don’t know anyone if that makes you more comfortable or practice in front of friends if you are happier doing it that way, baby steps, baby steps…

3. Step it up – One phrase I used to always say to myself was, time to step up to the plate. I envisioned my speech as me stepping up the plate (like in baseball) and once I got on stage or in front of the group, I always calmed down after about 30 seconds. The more you step it up, the more you chip away at the fear you have before every speaking event.  Also, don’t forget to slow down you speaking.  A 10-minute Presenation should not be completed in only 2-minutes.

Some will suggest Toastmasters. I did go to some of their meetings and at that time in my life, it was not my cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a fit for you.  ANYTHING that you can do to get experience in front of a crowd will help.  There is not a better way to Social Network…Believe Me.  It’s kind of funny now, but I only needed one more class to complete the Requirements for my first Associate Degree and that was “Speech.”  I was so fearful.  I tried to CLEP it twice and constantly fell “Short.”  When I finally broke down and took the class, I had so much fun and left it with straight A’s on each assignment.  I literally wasted an extra 3 years of my life getting that Associate’s Degree because of my Fear of Public Speaking.  My stupidity cost me a total of 6-years to earn a 2-year degree.  Don’t be as foolish as me!

Do whatever it takes for experience.  Your Paycheck may depend on it!  Feel the Fear and do it anyway…

  • Hello Joe,
    Toastmasters helped me to overcome my fear of public speaking.

    • Toastmasters is a great way to overcome that Fear.  Good Job!

    • Toastmasters is a great way to overcome that Fear.  Good Job!

  • Ljbmomm

    Hey there, Joe…..  This was a super saturday of a different kind ,  just being in training with you.  Thanks so much for all the tips.  We are glad to partner with you to spread the good news about Numis Network on the Central Coast of California and we are looking forward to great success for our entire team!!

    • Thanks Jo….   We had a great time.  Consistency will take us to the top.  Coins are Cool!

    • Thanks Jo….   We had a great time.  Consistency will take us to the top.  Coins are Cool!

  • Karrie Hyatt

    Thanks thanks thanks for the tips. I have a big presentation to do and am so nervous. I am using the skills that I learned from in Susan Jeffers terrific book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, but I really needed an extra boost. I think I’ll spend the rest of the morning watching videos of great speakers.

    • Thanks for the comment Karrie.   I also spent a lot of time watching the “pros” do it, but it’s kind of fun to just put yourself out there.  Good Luck.  I look forward to seeing you “Speak” someday…

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