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I fear talking to the public and how can I overcome that

I am somehow shy
I talk much when I get to know one better
Fear to bring up an idea in public

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12 answers

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Kim’s Answer

You should look into joining Toastmasters! It's an organization dedicated to allowing its members to practice public speaking!

Speaking is about confidence. The more comfortable you are with the topic you are speaking about, the easier it will be. I went my entire first career (25 years) avoiding situations that would require me to speak in public. It cost me significantly, in terms of career growth. In my second career, I was required to teach classes. All I had to do was present a prepared power point presentation. The same one, over and over and over and over. This gave me the opportunity to experiment with my approach. And, I grew to enjoy it! I went on to teach other classes as well.

Mastering public speaking is essential to your career development. Don't let it hold you back!

edited: I had included the incorrect Toastmasters link!

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electra’s Answer

Normally when you are afraid of public speaking, it's not the act that poses a fear but the fear of being judge while performing the action.
There are several guiding principles that you can read about on how to prepare a public presentation etc, however i would recommend to read about tools and techniques on self confidence. This will add another layer of preparedness when delivering a speech.
When bringing new ideas, remember that we have all the right to make mistakes, we are humans. Challenge yourself and raise ideas without thinking if the idea is going to be brilliant. Maybe it can or maybe it will not be, however it can be the source for another idea to rise.
Best of luck!

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Micayla’s Answer

Hi Florence,

Public speaking can be scary, but it gets easier with practice! Toastmasters, as mentioned above, is a great group! You talk about different topics each meeting, but you get to interact with the same group. Everyone is super supportive and gives tips/tricks on how to improve. If that isn't something you're interested in, try to find a club at your school that interests you. That way, you can practice speaking up in group settings and, eventually, you can work up to a leadership role where you may have more opportunities to speak publicly.

Just remember, everyone gets nervous at times - even the ones that look the most comfortable speaking.

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Christine’s Answer

Getting your voice comes over time and with practice you will master it - practice not only in front of a mirror but also progressively dipping your toe in publicly to get more comfortable. I would first start with a topic you are comfortable with and have deep expertise in as having confidence in the material is key - this will allow you to focus not the audience.

Getting feedback after discussions/presentations is also helpful - find a peer who can provide unbiased feedback is helpful as it will help you hone your approach. As your coach - about what you should improve upon - but also what worked so you can continue to play to your strengths which will build further confidence!

You will get there - but just like you can hop off the couch and run a marathon tomorrow, with proper training (Prepare (know your topic, get organized). Practice and then Practice some more, Present, Reach out for feedback, Refine - - - and then Repeat) - you will be more comfortable over time.

Good Luck!

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Luiz Gustavo’s Answer


Although I believe that the answer to your questions is very personal, and what works for one person may not work for another. I have found practice to be the best solution to improve as a public speaker. I would suggest that you join an organization that will push you to have as many public speaking opportunities as possible. It is very easy to remain in your comfort zone and simply avoid public speaking as much as you can, but from my experience, doing the exact opposite will guarantee much better results in your professional and personal life. I like to think that even the most seasoned speakers will get nervous before an important speech, or are afraid to share an idea or how their idea will be taken and perceived. So, you are by no means alone in this topic. Get as many opportunities as you can to get out of your comfort zone and you will be developing that skill. Good luck!

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Rebecca’s Answer

Many people have the same feeling. We may feel stress when speaking in front of a lot of people. It can help if you feel confident on what you are going to speak on.
If you need to make a public speech, you can try below :
1. Prepare the scripts
2. Practise as much as you can in front of a mirror
3. Practise it in front of a few people you are familiar
If you are very familiar/fluent on you are going to speak on, it can increase your confidence and you feel less stress.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!

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Humberto’s Answer

Hi Florence,

I believe the best way to overcome the fear of public speaking is to practice. I myself struggled to become more comfortable when speaking in public, but after a public speaking class I had in college and going through the Toastmasters program at one of my internships, as well as practicing, it became a lot easier. I suggest you find something you are interested in and simply connect with people to talk about such topic and it should help a lot.

Good luck!

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Simeon’s Answer

Find a club or organization to join that you'd be interested in or involves a passion of yours. Try to get into even a minor leadership position so that you can get used to speaking up at meetings or group events. Also, take a look at ToastMasters, a group devoted to helping its members get better at and more comfortable with public speaking.

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Serena’s Answer

Hi Florence,
First of all, it is extremely common to have fear in pubic speaking.
When I was in middle school, I was in the exact position as you are -
I was so afraid that I wouldn't even raise my hand up to answer questions or speak loud in the classroom.

The turning point came when my teachers started to show us the importance of public speaking,
how powerful public speaking can be if we have something to say that we believe the world should be aware of.
I have always been a keen traveller and I wanted to introduce exotic countries to younger kids,
who many not have had a chance to leave their home country.
I shared the idea with my teacher and she agreed to start an extra curricular club with me,
there was no issue in preparing materials, crafts and tasks for the club but we needed to ask younger kids in our school to join.

The one time for us to advertise the club other than sticking up posters around school,
is to make an announcement during the weekly school assembly.
I was extremely hesitant to do so but my teacher said as I am the founder of the club,
I should be the one to spread the words and set an example for younger students to do so in the future.
With trembling voice, I made the announcement of the club and invited younger students to join after class.
The first turn out was 5 students, then I repeat the announcement again the next week,
slowly and gradually, there were 20 regular students at my club and I also got better and better at public speaking.
Fast forward to now, I have given multiple speeches in local and international events with well over 1000 audiences.
So practice, find your passion and your voice will grow - your fear will diminish.
Good luck!


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Alysa’s Answer

It's interesting that public speaking is the #1 fear, following death, spiders or heights! Public speaking is scary for almost everyone. But the good thing is, the more and more you work on public speaking, the easier it gets. Try preparing for your talk as much as you can. When you are prepared, you have more control on how you will be delivering your message. Also try and practice with your friends and family members as your test audience. One of the biggest things I've learned is taking deep breaths and pauses throughout. It allows your body to relax. When you speaking quickly, and get fidgety, your mind will feel very heightened, making it difficult to concentrate. Good luck to you!

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Rafael’s Answer

Hello all ! There are multiple models available to structure a presentation. These models or frameworks provide structure to the flow so you can deliver an impactful message to the audience. I like to use Situation + Obstacle + Action + Result. You always start describing the situation, then transition to why the situation was challenging, then what actions did you take to deal with the challenge, and finally the result. This is a basic approach that can give you a structure to organize your story. It is also important to try to engage the audience by using phrases like " can you imagine yourself in this situation". It helps to increase the engagement since your message because applicable to everyone. Finally, take the time to pause and breathe. If you make a mistake is ok. We are humans. Also, practice a lot but remember to be always yourself.

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Steve’s Answer

Your right! This can sometimes be difficult to speak in public. A few tips from experience for you.

1) Know your subject more than anyone else in the room.
2) Stand by the door as people are walking in and greet each person whom you will be speaking to publicly.
3) Repeat the person's name when you meet them and repeat it a couple times when speaking to the new acquaintance.
4) Start and end your public speech with the same theme. Be real and authentic. If you do not know the answer, take down their email and research it and provide them an answer later.
5) Take a deep breath and get centered before speaking.
6) Allow your listeners to ask questions during the presentation/speech and this will allow you additional confidence as you answer folks.
7) Thank everyone who joined you for listening to you.

Enjoy public speaking!

Steve recommends the following next steps:

Take a college course in Speaking in Public (Impromtu Speech)