5 Ways To Overcome Fear Of Public Speaking

Everybody you meet is afraid, only that you don’t know! Fear comes with stepping out of your comfort zone. Fear of public speaking, popularly refers to as glossophobia or speech anxiety has been said to be next to the fear of death. I remember my high school friend who was nominated to represent his class for an intra-school debate, on the day of the debate, when it was his turn, he walked to the rostrum and he was literally shaking, he started with “My name is…my name is…my name is…” he kept repeating this for about 10 minutes before the whole class shouted his name! He has forgotten his name! That is the least the fear of public speaking can cause. 

Are there ways to turn this destructive energy of fear to positive motivation for delivering a powerful speech? Yes! The truth is fear can become a wonderful motivator. It can put you on the cutting edge of delivering a powerful speech. It can also help you to prepare very well for your speech.

 Author Steve Brown developed an acronym called LEVEL to harness and profit from your fear of public speaking. Let’s look at them:

L: Legitimize Your Fear.

According to Steve, “The only people who say they are not aren’t afraid of making a speech are liars and fools. Speaking before an audience is an anxiety-producing experience. Anyone who doesn’t feel a certain amount of anxiety before speaking doesn’t understand the situation.” If you are afraid, it’s perfectly normal but don’t allow fear to stop you. I read about Napoleon that before he went to battle, he would speak to his legs, “shake as much as much you like to shake, we are going to this battle together!”

E: Elucidate Your Fear.

Why are you afraid? What is making you to be afraid? Define it. Name the reason for your fear. Are you afraid you will make a mistake? Are you afraid that the people are more knowledgeable than you are? Are you afraid you haven’t done this before? To successfully deal with your fear, you need to know the reason behind it. For instance, if  you  are afraid because you haven’t done this before, then you can tell yourself, “That is not a big deal. Everyone doing it today started one day. So I am glad to begin the journey!” Once, you bring your fear to the open, you rob it of its power!


V: Visualize Your Success.

See yourself succeeding and you will succeed! Don’t visualize the audience laughing at you, visualize them clapping for you! See them in your imagination congratulating you at the end of your speech for a fantastic speech! See them wanting to know you more, and inviting you to come and speak again! What you see in your imagination matters, it will either dis-empower your fear or empower it. So, imagine success not failure!

E: Embrace Your Fear

Tell yourself, we are going to do this together. Don’t let your fear stop you! Author Steve Brown noted, “ If you are afraid, that is normal. It’s okay. If you think that your whole world is going to come falling down because you think you will make a terrible speech, that is understandable. If your knees are knocking and your mouth is dry, it’s all right. But it’s not okay or understandable not to give the speech. Do it. Do it!” You will be surprised that is not as difficult as you thought.

L: Liberate Yourself!

Billy Sunday once said, “Fear knocks at the door,faith opens it and finds nothing there.” Talk yourself  out  of  fear! Tell yourself you as good as anyone in the audience. Do what you fear and the death of fear is certain. Positive self talk will program your mind to expect success and rob fear of its power to stop you!


PS: Thank You for taking time to read this. I will appreciate you leave a comment before you leave.

Dr. Duyilemi A. Felix loves reading, analyzing, conceptualizing, writing and teaching. He’s a widely sought after inspirational teacher in many corporate organizations and churches. Reach him through mail at   [email protected]

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