Public Speaking? EEK!

I often think to my self, “Bats, imagine what you could do if you had confidence in yourself?” I mean seriously if I had confidence and not the liquid kind, I would be so much more than what I am now. I hold myself back in every way possible because I lack just confidence in myself.

One of my top fears is public speaking. I’m actually terrified to the point of hiding in a bathroom or closet because of it. Seriously. I need to take a business course at a local college but I’m currently postponing signing up for it because I know that they will make me do Power Point presentations and I have nightmares about it and work myself up into a frenzy (panic) that I just can not speak up in front of a group of people, no matter how small. I know, I know, I’m being stupid, I’m being ridiculous, I’m being scared little kid about this. I’m letting my fear run and ruin my life. If I take this course it could mean I make more money, it could mean I get more out of what I guess is consider my career but yet I just can not overcome this….fear, this….confidence problem. But yet I HAVE to take this course, sober.

Do you have a fear that you feel is ruining your life?  Are you trying to overcome it?  How ?  Or how will you try to overcome it?

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16 thoughts on “Public Speaking? EEK!

  1. A suggestion, from a Jenius: Volunteer to read/speak to kids at a day-care or pre-school. They are an eager but frisky audience and you’ll learn quickly how your body language and voice are major tools in being an effective communicator. And with kids, you HAVE to extend yourself (forget yourself) to get and keep their attention. Your panic reaction is from fear of rejection, but when you focus on the audience and extend yourself, you no longer focus on rejection: you focus on connection. Audiences of all ages respond to that.

    You will succeed at this. Like you said, there’s so much more to you than people realize…it’s your gift to show all that to the people you will speak to.

  2. A fear of heights and a fear of public speaking. i overcame my fear of heights by thinking of the fear reaction as a drug and trying to enjoy the buzz. As for public speaking, the more you do it, the easier it is. Try recording yourself home alone on a video camera at first. Speaking “on camera” is an easy first step to get used to!

  3. Bats, I used to be deathly araid of public speaking. Now I enter speach contests. How? I joined Toastmasters. It changed my life. Clubs are everywhere. They meet mornings, lunchtime, evenings and weekends. Just go to toastmasters.org, plug in your zip code and you will get a list of clubs near you.

  4. Oh, and depending on what club you go to and how often the meet, it costs anywhere from $70 to $100 annually, you pay semi annually. My club meets twice a month and costs $36 twice a year. A bargain.

  5. I’m terribly afraid to fly, and almost two years ago I was able to fly to Hawaii. I watched videos of flights and tried to relax my muscles and my mind in response to the fear, kind of like in childbirth.

    Do you go to AA? I can’t imagine being afraid of public speaking after telling my most humiliating moments to large groups of strangers.

    • I’ve gone to so many AA meetings that it’s hard for me to keep the people straight sometimes however believe it or not I have never spoken in length at one because of this exact problem, I just have a huge fear (even at an AA meeting) to speak in front of people.

      Phew flying, that one was a major one for me to get over but I had to because I so had to go to Jamaica. I wasn’t missing out on that!

  6. I think fear of public speaking, or stagefright, are present in everyone to some extent. I remember in high school not running for a student council office because it would have required making a campaign speech in front of the whole school. In college I was required to take a speech class and took it during the summer. Much smaller class and very laid back. I chose topics that I knew and cared about. Screw the audience; I knew I knew what I was talking about, and that I knew more about it than they did. That gave me confidence.

  7. I wish there was a “love” button, because I so more than liked it!
    Had to laugh at the last word (sober) but realize it is not funny, in a way.
    Public speaking is nerve-wracking for all. Everybody gets some degree of jitters. I agree with all the suggestions above, though. Practice, smaller class, experience with children, videos–they all help enormously. Given your big need and teensy confidence, I’d like to say: do all the above and also, something else that has helped me with singing, if you can possibly choose a speaking engagement where you speak in conjunction with someone else–there is nothing in the world that helps me more than having someone else singing WITH me. So much easier, cuts the anxiety in HALF!
    Also, I’ll be praying you’ll have courage. Have courage. Never forget that policeman who looked in your back door and just do it–to get even with him, if nothing ELSE! :-D

    • Thanks Katharine!
      Oh I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget that policeman for as long as I live, ever. Someone broke into cars not too long ago all up and down my street and I’m willing to bet that policeman had a conversation with all of the others about NOT wanting to come here!

  8. I overcame fear of public speaking by staying in touch with what the spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle calls Presence. Seriously. I had an extreme fear of public speaking my whole life. Never could speak without going into a panic attack. After reading The Power of Now, over time my mind started going quiet and i was able to speak in public and feel fine. its only our own minds that torture us.

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