Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Public Speaking Anxiety

I was inspired to write about public speaking because of my friend who is very bright but is soooooo afraid of speaking in public. He's even trembling when he speaks to some people.

I was amazed when I read an article saying that fear of death is only second to fear of public speaking. It made me think and say to myself, yes I think it's right. Even I, am afraid to speak in public most of the time before. I am even afraid to attend seminars and workshops for fear that I would be asked to speak in front of other people. But fortunately, I have learned how to manage (although not totally eradicate) the feeling of fear and nervousness whenever I speak in front of a group of people. I still feel nervous but I can survive speaking in public.

Most of the time we fear speaking with a person in authority or a person who has a higher position than us. We feel intimidated, I guess that's the correct term. But why? For me, it was for lack of self confidence and for being overly shy. When I was young, I am not an outgoing person and I would rather read a book than talk to other people. But now that I'm working, there's always a need to speak to some people and I had to muster enough courage to do that.

There's another factor that makes us afraid of speaking, it's being unprepared. More often, we are confident to talk about a topic that we know very well so that's one way that we can do to boost our confidence.

I can't give a definite advice on how one can overcome the fear of public speaking but I can say that this fear can definitely be conquered.

As Bertrand Russell said,
"To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom"

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