It may surprise you to know that I used to be afraid of speaking in public. I never ran for student government in school because you would have to give a speech, and who would put themselves through that!?
Not wanting fear to hold me back, I took my first public speaking class my junior year of high school. I will never forget the teacher’s feedback. He said that I couldn’t be heard past the third row, that I spoke a mile a minute and that my voice shook.
All true – I was terrible and terribly afraid. The fact is, the fear never goes away. And it shouldn’t. The good news is, this can all be learned.
Fear tells you that what you are doing is important to you. The idea is not to eliminate fear but to harness it.
If you are afraid of public speaking, you are not alone. It’s something that a lot of people struggle with. And that’s why there are so many people advising on how to make the difficult but important art less daunting.
Although I am now comfortable in front of an audience, I continue to read the tips shared because we can all keep improving. I was able to contribute to one of those lists in a Forbes article, 10 Ways to Get Over Your Fear of Public Speaking.
I’m always looking for new speaking opportunities. You may be as well. Hopefully these ideas will help!