How can a person get over the fear of speaking in public?

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  1. crackerjack9 profile image80
    crackerjack9posted 9 years ago

    How can a person get over the fear of speaking in public?

    At my new job, it is my duty to run groups lasting 45 minutes to an hour. I am addressing people in recovery in a rehab. I am in recovery myself, so you'd think I would instinctively know what to say, but not so! I cannot seem to get over my fear of not saying the right thing, or not being 'motivational' enough...HELP!!! How do I get over my fear of public speaking?

  2. CraftytotheCore profile image76
    CraftytotheCoreposted 9 years ago

    I worked in corporate world for a long time and often ran meetings.  But now, whenever I have to speak at a meeting, I feel the nervousness.  It's so silly. 

    I focus on what I'm going to say and I keep my hands down, because I have a tendency to talk with my hands.  I also observe the audience.  If I'm talking to people sitting at a table, I try to look around the room beforehand.  When I start speaking, I try to look at different people.  It helps to focus on what I'm thinking about at the same time.  The tough part is when someone interrupts.  Then I forget what I'm talking about, so I bring notes.  I hope that helps.

    1. crackerjack9 profile image80
      crackerjack9posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you...I hesitated to bring notes because I felt that it would make me seem inexperienced, but I think I'll give it a try. Maybe no one will even notice!

  3. janshares profile image94
    jansharesposted 9 years ago

    It's okay to use props to give you something to "lean on" when anxiety gets the best of you. For example, using 3x5 cards with notes about the main things/themes to address in group can be helpful. A general format will help to keep you on track and not lose your train of thought, like going blank. I did a hub on this topic to address writing and public speaking.
    Also, if you are Christian, I have a scripture that helped me years ago to address my speaking anxiety. It helped me have more confidence in my knowledge and training and more faith in believing the right words will come. (Luke 12:11-12)

    1. crackerjack9 profile image80
      crackerjack9posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      You have some interesting hubs...I didn't find the one on public speaking, but I did read the scripture. Thank you for some wonderful advice.

    2. janshares profile image94
      jansharesposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Sorry, I don't like promoting hubs in Q&A but it's about cure for blank brain. You will find it now.

  4. chef-de-jour profile image97
    chef-de-jourposted 9 years ago

    As a drama teacher I've seen many cases of nerves and even fear before a performance. Some nervousness is natural, even necessary - to get the adrenalin flowing - but too much can undermine a performance.
    I guess the energy is the same as when you're 'out there' speaking to a group. It can be daunting but there are definitely ways to overcome this negative feeling. It's all about small steps towards the comfort zone!!
    Having prompt cards is ok, and notes are fine.
    If you go through what you want to say beforehand this can help calm nerves down.
    Take a warm drink, herb tea or something similar.
    Do a few warm up exercises, stretches and simple movements.
    Look forward - people are wanting you to do good things!!
    Laugh at yourself. Imagine a worse case scenario and move onwards and upwards from that point.
    Once you're up there, don't mention the fact that you're as nervous as hell. People will know that already!! Tell them how great it is to be talking to them.

    I wish you all the very best.

    1. crackerjack9 profile image80
      crackerjack9posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      great advice! I suppose I have been taking it a little too seriously. Maybe if I can worry less,  more room for improvement!

  5. profile image0
    Alise- Evonposted 9 years ago

    I remember hating public speaking, but now I love it, so I know this can be turned around.
    Have a list of things you want to cover, perhaps centered around a main theme, so that you can keep focused more easily.
    Focus on the others in the group instead of yourself, knowing that you have something useful to share with them.
    The suggestion of having a key scripture is great.
    Force yourself to speak slowly and clearly enunciate- when I was nervous, I tended to speak a mile a minute and the words sounded sloppy, making me feel worse.
    Know that every time you get up and speak, you are getting that much better at it; be encouraged.

    All the best to you, crackerjack9.

    1. crackerjack9 profile image80
      crackerjack9posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Thank far everyone has suggested I have some sort of notes on hand, so I think I'll give it a try!

  6. the50marathons17 profile image82
    the50marathons17posted 9 years ago

    I'm no expert, but I always thought that some fears are impossible to "get over". However, I do believe a person can control his or her fear of public speaking.

    Anxiety is a good thing. Too much or too little is bad. If a public speaker can control his or her anxiety and use it constructively, then its for the greater good.

    1. crackerjack9 profile image80
      crackerjack9posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with you 100%

  7. Tusitala Tom profile image65
    Tusitala Tomposted 9 years ago

    Join a Toastmasters Club.  There you will learn by doing.  Toastmasters International is the biggest and probably the most value-for-money Public Speaking learning organization in the world.  There are around 15,000 clubs world wide.  They're in 114 countries and have around 300,000 members.

    Look them up on   I've been a member on and off since 1972.  Like you, I was terrified of public speaking.  This morning I spoke for an hour to a group of over a hundred people and love every minute of it.   This is the sort of confidence you can gain by joining Toastmasters.   I recommend it.

    1. crackerjack9 profile image80
      crackerjack9posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      You are the second person to suggest toastmasters, I'm going to check it out right now!

  8. DDE profile image46
    DDEposted 9 years ago

    You should remain calm, cool and collective. Be yourself, and talk about what you are going to address as often as you can to avoid that fear in speaking in public. Over time you will find it easier the more you talk the more you over come such fears.

    1. crackerjack9 profile image80
      crackerjack9posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      You're right, I guess in time, as I talk about the same subject it would come a bit easier to me.

  9. ChristinS profile image39
    ChristinSposted 9 years ago

    I did it by taking a college level public speaking course for credit.  I did the accelerated course which was very demanding, but also over with faster.  I ended up being a lot more comfortable with public speaking.  It will never be something I truly enjoy or look forward to I don't think because I am a pretty extreme introvert, but I can at least do it now without feeling like I'm going to have a panic attack. 

    It was very comforting to me at the time to know I was with others who were also afraid.

    1. crackerjack9 profile image80
      crackerjack9posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      wow...I didn't realize these courses were even offered. Maybe I'll look into them, too. Thank you!

  10. copywriter31 profile image82
    copywriter31posted 9 years ago

    Read this hub; I believe it will ease your fear. ... … c-Speaking

    1. crackerjack9 profile image80
      crackerjack9posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I read the hub, great advice! Thank you for the pointers and for letting me know I'm not alone!

  11. Ranveer Bhatia profile image61
    Ranveer Bhatiaposted 9 years ago

    I personally feel that it is a fear of inexperience, or lack of knowledge regarding the subject that you are speaking in public. We think that there are people who may be more knowledgable than us and that is the problem. We have fear of failure, we have fear of making mistake. But above all we forget that we are human beings and humans are prone to make mistakes. Leaders, politicians, celebrities they all do mistake but they have no fear so why do you?

    You just need to work on a single thing to overcome this problem and that is gather enough knowledge on the subject that you are going to address the public and then you'll automatically come to know what you are needed to do to make it successful.

    Always think that you are greater than public, and they will listen to you what you will address them . This is what you have to make yourself understand not the public. If you can do this, you can easily overcome this problem.

    Following are some advice that I will give you from my end-
    Always try to make a list of important things that you're going to emphasize before to give the speech in public.
    Don't try to memorize the whole speech then it might get jumbled up due to nervousness.
    Don't panic, don't be nervous just feel the moment that how do you sound like when you give advice or instructions to your family or children being a head of the family or as a father at home during your dinner.

    1. crackerjack9 profile image80
      crackerjack9posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      you're so right, there is a fear of failure involved...I just hope this gets easier as time goes on.

  12. easylearningweb profile image88
    easylearningwebposted 9 years ago

    Here are some easy things you can try to help you feel more comfortable and at ease when speaking in front of others:

    1. Write a practice script to help you prepare what by to say.
    2. Practice speaking in front of a mirror, and be sure to smile, and stand tall and confident.
    3. See yourself speaking and succeeding, and believe you can do it!
    4. When you are in front of others, try eye contact, and if its challenging at first, try looking at the back of the room.
    5. Finally, rent out the movie The Kings Speech, great movie!

    1. crackerjack9 profile image80
      crackerjack9posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you and I will check out the movie!

  13. suzettenaples profile image90
    suzettenaplesposted 9 years ago

    Practice, practice, practice!  Seriously practice is what it takes to get over nervousness.

    1. crackerjack9 profile image80
      crackerjack9posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      lol...yes, I agree I haven't had enough practice at it yet. Hopefully, in time, it will get much easier!

  14. padmendra profile image42
    padmendraposted 9 years ago

    Public speaking is a common source of  fear  for  people who are introverted. Many of us would like to avoid this problem entirely, but this is hard to do. The best course of action is that one should review his thinkings about fear of speaking in public and try to understand that the fear will reduce to a great extent once he or she is prepared to speak before public.

    1. crackerjack9 profile image80
      crackerjack9posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you for the advice...simple and well-said!

  15. Melissa Nelson profile image60
    Melissa Nelsonposted 9 years ago

    I used to hate speaking in public, because I don't think I speak very well. So If I write it, it tends to sound better. I have no idea why. My biggest problem is giving people eye contact and saying um way to many times. I get extremely nervous. However, I find that the more I speak publicly to a crowd the easier it gets for me and those feelings go away

    1. Harishprasad profile image73
      Harishprasadposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Melissa, we all are human beings first and then the leaders, teachers,doctors,actors and so on. So we should always keep in mind that there is nothing to be afraid of one another. Sometimes,the less educated persons are more assertive & confident

  16. Harishprasad profile image73
    Harishprasadposted 9 years ago

    There is nothing to panic about speaking before an audience. Fear arises when we assume ourselves as helpless and the audience as more intelligent than us. We should reverse the scene and should treat the audience as just a bunch of people who are as eager to hear us as we are to utter before them. Besides, we must be prepared for everthing about the subject of our speech and command everything with full confidence. When we begin our speech,there is a little bit of slowness in our speech for some moments but as we progress with our speech, more eloquence comes in our voice and we speak more confidently. Once we gain confidence in our speech, there is a smooth run and there remains no fear at all. After you have delivered two or three speeches, you gain an real art of speaking and you transform into a good orator. Just assume the audience as normal human beings like you and not as giants or species from another planet. As you talk to your friends and relatives,so you talk to the audience but with the only change that number of the persons has increased. This way, you will assert yourselves boldly and artfully.

  17. welch moore profile image60
    welch mooreposted 9 years ago

    by put fear away from his mind. and take courage and boldness even if he/she makes mistake. do not blame yourself, next time you will got it right.

  18. Jason Matthews profile image85
    Jason Matthewsposted 9 years ago

    The best way to get over a fear of public speaking is to practice. Start with small audiences, maybe even just friends and family, and practice speaking formally to them. This may seem weird at first, but once you are comfortable with a small group, it will be easier to speak before a larger crowd.

    Please be encouraged because I have known many people who once had a great fear of public speaking. However, with time and with practice, they not only got over their fear, but they actually became excellent speakers.

  19. Tricia1000 profile image67
    Tricia1000posted 9 years ago

    I do a lot of public speaking myself.  Due to time constraints I could not attend any coaching.  I  thus tried an alternative way very effectively and can recommend it namely listing to subliminal CDs or DVDs. There are so many to choose from.  I listen to this before I have to speak in front of an audience.  It teaches you visualization and relaxing techniques and speaks to the subconscious mind not to be nervous.  But being very well prepared is a must as well.


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