Nervous about your talk? Good. You’re a human being.
How should you tackle the fear of public speaking?
Well, there are tons of things that you can do, but I think the first thing that I want to tell you is about the myth of the fear of public speaking. So, I think a lot of people feel that they shouldn’t feel nervous at all. If you’re confident, then you don’t experience fear. For me, the two things coexist. So, before I speak to a large group of people, I will feel a little bit nervous. Now, it’s more like excitement, but the fear will always be there, and there are two reasons for that: I care about the result and I can’t predict the result. That’s it.
So, that’s why you feel nervous before you speak to people. It’s fine. It’s normal. It’s part of the process. What you can do, though, is counter it and obscure it with the confidence of knowing that you’ve put in the work. If you haven’t put in the work, sorry, you’re on your own. You should feel nervous. because there’s a very good reason for it. But remind yourself that you’ve put in that work. You’ve prepared something. You’ve written a piece that you like, that you’re proud of, that you think works. You’ve researched a little bit into the audience. You’ve got rehearsing and you’ve gone through it. And you go through the action of delivering this talk. You’ve put in the work. Comfort yourselves with that.
The audience wants you to do well. They’re hoping at the very least that your talk isn’t rubbish. As soon as they realize that it isn’t rubbish, you’ll be in a good place in their eyes. So, accept that your fear is completely normal. It’s part of the process. Put in the work, and then on the day – key thing – go with the flow. When something unexpected happens, it might be the way that you feel, it might be someone attending the meeting late or an unexpected question, go with it.
Allow yourself to be relieved of that burden of creating something perfect. That’s how you tackle your speaking fear.