“My fear of public speaking is hurting my career. What can I do?”

Question: “No matter what I do, I still can’t shake the butterflies before I have to give speech. I  regularly refuse requests to present at meetings, which I’m sure is hurting my career. What should I do to control my nerves?”   – Ashley, Calgary AB

Answer:  Over the years, I have met people who had so much anxiety over public speaking that they chose not to speak at conferences, didn’t apply for certain jobs, or dropped out of classes or academic programs because it required that they give presentations. Certainly, public speaking is not always easy. However, it can also be exceptionally rewarding if you open yourself up to the opportunities that it presents to you.
I’d like to refer to you an article I wrote on this exact topic; “Seven Steps to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking.”  This article will give you tips, ideas and concrete ways to be prepared the next time a speaking opportunity is presented to you.
Don’t let a fear of public speaking hold you back from your full professional and personal potential. Take a public speaking course, join a Toastmasters group, and learn what you need to do to get more comfortable in front of an audience. You won’t regret it.
Showing 2 comments
  • Sunshine Public Speaking

    There are few people who truly love to speak in public. That might be because you always feel anxious when speaking in front of an audience or also because of the fear of not performing well enough – of not being able to live up to their standards.

    • Suzannah Baum

      True, there are many people who are anxious when it comes to public speaking. But there are a surprising amount of people who say that they really love it. Maybe it’s because they turn the fear into adrenaline, or truly enjoy the ‘rush’ of being in a high-stress situation in front of an audience, in their aim of performing well and living up to their standards.

      But a lack of fear doesn’t necessarily make you a gifted speaker, and you’ve got to continually work on your skills, no matter what your level of fear.

      thanks for writing!

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