Overcome Your Fear of Presenting

by Speaking Tips | July 12, 2004

Research has shown that more than 40% of people say their top fear was speaking in front of other people. According to one survey, fear of public speaking came before heights, death, illness and other common phobias. The following list of top ten fears is taken from the Book of Lists:

  1. Speaking Before a Group
  2. Heights
  3. Insects and Bugs
  4. Financial Problems
  5. Deep Water
  6. Sickness
  7. Death
  8. Flying
  9. Loneliness
  10. Dogs

Self-Evaluation Exercise

As a speaker, how do you deal with the fear? One of the best ways is to use a self-evaluation exercise to break down your fear into manageable components. It's simple to do and it really does work! Here is an easy exercise you can do if you, like so many others, have a fear of speaking.

Tell yourself exactly what you are afraid of.

  • "I am afraid of speaking in front of a large group."

Explain to yourself why you are afraid.

  • "I am afraid because I think everyone will laugh at me."
  • "I am afraid something will go wrong."

Tell yourself why you shouldn't be afraid.

  • "I have never seen a speaker get laughed off the stage."
  • "No one has ever laughed at me during my previous presentations."
  • "If something does go wrong, I can fix it."

Close with positive thoughts about yourself.

  • "I am a smart and out-going person."
  • "I can give a solid presentation and impress my audience."

Understanding our fears is the first and most important step to conquering them.

About the Author

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