Three Steps to Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. Nelson Mandela

They tell us that the number one fear is public speaking, which frequently masks  the fear of rejection. That’s not my fear but I’ll trust the facts. I’d speak to a big group anytime rather than drive or ride down an Interstate highway. Here are a few tips for those of you who do fear public speaking:

1. Start out small. Practice by asking a question in a committee meeting or book club. Stand up and introduce yourself when given the opportunity.

2. When you graduate to a larger venue, focus on what you’re giving the audience rather than how the audience may be judging you. View your speaking as an act of generosity.

3. Affirm yourself prior to speaking by saying things like, “I am confident and competent.” Take a deep breath, feel the fear, then do it anyway. A certain amount of nervousness keeps you on your toes. 

Affirmation: I can conquer my fears.

Coaching questions: What frightens you? Is it holding you back from achieving your dreams or goals? What’s one step you will take today to overcome your fear? 

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