How I Got Over My Fear of Public Speaking

I have an admitted fear of public speaking. Apparently, I’m not alone as I’ve heard that people fear public speaking more than death. That’s right, people would actually rather head off into the ‘unknown’ rather than talk in front of a room full of people. Go figure.

I started vlogging in an attempt to help me get over my fears and I’m proud to say that it’s actually working! The more I film myself talking, the better I get at articulating my thoughts in a concise manner out loud, instead of relying heavily on my writing skills. I still have a few bad habits (like saying, “But um” or “But anyway” when I’m switching subjects), however I’m fully aware of those crutches and I’m working on them.

Still, video could only take me so far. I had to face my issues head on and actually do it. I was offered the opportunity to be the Mistress of Ceremonies for one of my all time favorite book club’s annual conference. The Renaissance Men’s Book Club here in Memphis have been huge supporters of my book and I was honored when they asked me to facilitate the program with them. I was  also scared out of my mind, but how could I say no to the men who gave me the title for my next book? I owed them! It also helped that I knew it would be an intimate setting: 15 to 20 people tops

The day of the event, I took a deep breath, prayed and decided to just be myself and let things flow. I’m proud to say that I did a pretty good job! At least that’s the feedback I got from the book club, and I’ve been told that I’ll be invited back. All in all, it was a total win.

Conference

I know that public speaking is something I need to continue to get comfortable with as I grow as an author. It’s one of those things that the more you do it, the easier it becomes. For me, 2016 is all about conquering fears, and I’m well on my way to defeating the public speaking monster!

How do you prepare for public speaking situations?What are you most afraid of doing that you know would benefit you if you got over it? 

 

 

 

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “How I Got Over My Fear of Public Speaking

    • You do a great job, Michelle! I enjoy watching GMME episodes when I get a chance. You always come with something that has me thinking about it for a while. And I never noticed any ‘ums”. I think we’re always our own worst critic.

      Like

  1. That is awesome, Faith! Go ‘head on with your bad self.

    To prepare for speaking, I write down bullet points on oversized index cards and then practice with my webcam. While doing a business pitch competition, one of the judges told me I make weird faces when speaking. Let me just say, the feedback didn’t stop there. So playing video back helps me nip that tendency in the bud…when needed.

    The two things that I’m most afraid of is wearing dressed (we’ve already talked about that A LOT). But from a writing perspective, I’m afraid to sell stuff. It’s super weird, but I am terrified to ask people to buy my work i.e. a book, a class, etc. Maybe that why I haven’t made anything to sell up until this point. It’s one of the reasons I was hoping to land with a fancy publisher…that way THEY could ask people to buy books. But God doesn’t seem to be listening to my plans. Did you worry about that? And how did you make it over?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Simone, you are not alone in making the weird faces. I do it too, but I haven’t felt the need to curb it…yet. And it’s so true that seeing yourself on camera makes a world of difference! I had no idea that I look up so often when I’m trying to gather my thoughts, or that I fidget and touch my face so much. It’s annoying to watch!
      I feel you on the fear thing…it’s really been weighing on me lately that I’m afraid of so much! I never would have considered myself a fearful person, until I started really thinking about it. Last year my mantra was , “Feel the fear, but do it anyway.” I’m still on that tip this year.

      When you said that you’re terrified of selling stuff, especially at the thought of selling your books or classes, I interpreted it as what you’re really afraid of is rejection. What I hear is “what if people don’t like my book?” and “what if people don’t give good feedback after taking my class?” “what if I fail at the thing I want to succeed at most in this lifetime?” But here’s what I challenge you to start thinking about. What if the people that need to read what you’ve written never get to do so? What if the knowledge you share in one of your classes changes someone’s life forever? When I started thinking like that, I HAD to put my book out. I had to get over myself, and face the possibility that it might not go the way I wanted it to. And guess what? It’s been an awesome experience so far. I was terrified and I did it and it’s opened doors for me, but more than that, I’m learning so much! I’ve realized that perfection has no place in art and that what you’re most afraid of is probably EXACTLY what you’re supposed to be doing.

      And plus, trust me, even with huge publishing house behind you (and we ALL want that) you’re still expected to sell yourself all the time. You can do it! I believe in you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • You hit the nail on the head, Miss Faith. It all boils down to the fear of rejection. And I SO appreciate what you said about people needing to hear your message. I know that to be true, and I tell other people –you have unique gifts and talents that the Lord will use to help others–the same thing.

        But it’s been a challenge believing it for myself.

        Over the past couple weeks, I decided I’m going to self-publish…I’m nervous. But I’m not willing to miss the chance that I just might be able to help someone. ‘Perfectionism has no place in art.’ I’m need to put that somewhere that I can see it OFTEN. Thanks for the love and words, Sis. I needed it!

        Like

        • You’re welcome, Sis! I talk about getting over fear and perfectionism because I need to hear it myself. I’m so glad you’re taking the plunge to self-publish. I’m looking forward to reading your book soon!

          Like

  2. I love the very name of the Renaissance Men’s Book Club! My book’s still gestating, but I think about this a lot being a 100% classic introvert, but I’ve been working on increasingly extended trips outside the shell… 🙂 Rock on, Faith!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There name is pretty awesome, Sunshine! I always say I want a Renaissance man, and I’m still waiting on him lol. I hear you on the introvert thing. I have my moments of struggling with that. It’s like I need time alone with my thoughts like I need air. It HAS to happen or my creativity dies. Keep taking baby steps towards putting yourself out there. It’s not nearly as horrible as our imaginations make us believe it is!

      Like

  3. I got over my fear of public speaking after I realized that no one was listening, lol. But my main rule is to just speak clearly and slowly, and no matter what to not “try” to be funny because I’m sure there’s nothing worse than bombing in front of a bunch of strangers and then having to recollect your thoughts and composure. Yikes! I also find that it goes a lot better for me when I focus on just giving the information because how can you go wrong when you’re just giving people information? Makes me feel so much better!

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL @ no one listening. That’s one way to look at it. I zone out all the time when someone is giving a presentation, so I guess it’s true!

      Your blog cracks me up, so I would imagine that you just being you would give people a chuckle or two without you even trying.

      Like

  4. Thank you so much for this post and all of your comments. This really helped me. I’m giving a public speech tomorrow and I’m terrified. It isn’t really the first time I stand in front of people and talk, but for some reason this one is different… Your comment: “what if I fail at the thing I want to succeed at most in this lifetime?” brought tears to my eyes and I’m working on clearing that out right now. Seriously terrified right now of that…. gosh… But yeah, face your fears (and clear them out). Thanks for making me feel like I’m not all alone out there ❤

    Like

    • Aww, I hate that I’m just now getting around to looking at my comments. I hope your speech went well! I get up and do mine shaking, sweating and all LOL! The more you do it, the better it gets. Ironically, fear is a coward. Once you face it down, it moves right on out of the way. Girl, this comment just inspired another blog post. I need to make note of that. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

I want to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s