T Nation

Public Speaking

I hate it. I really, really hate it. I’m scared of it and it is not scared of me.
I like one to one speaking. I like small group discussions, even large group discussions, but I hate public speaking. I hate being centre of attention (Not that I’m particularly shy)

Is any one else in the same boat?

i agree. i have a lot of self esteem issues with my voice plus the slightest amount of stress will make my mind go blank. it is terrible because i look up to great orators like stephen fry and christopher hitchens.
i was more sociable when i was taking antidepressants though

I stutter and mispronounce words (not a huge ammount but enough to have it bother me) when I public speak. I hate it, I do it enough when I speak normaly but it doesnt affect me too much but I can see people automatically turn off and stop listening when it happens. As soon as I have all the attention on me from lots of people I just forget how to talk properly.

it happens in exams (practical physio exams, in which I’m confident of the info) in lectures when I try to express a point (that I have perfectly formulated in my head) and when I meet new people, especially if I try to make a joke. Especially in an argument, I hate shouting and expressing anger and I’m scared I’ll just bash someone instead of arguing cause I find it hard to articulate myself when under pressure.

If I’m with someone I know well I still do it a bit, but hardly at all.

The more I try to stop doing it the more I do it! haha

I’m in the same boat. The few times I have addressed an audience I was shaking in my shoes and it literally felt like I was outside of my body.

Got great feedback from the crowd though and seemed very well received.

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
I’m in the same boat. The few times I have addressed an audience I was shaking in my shoes and it literally felt like I was outside of my body.

Got great feedback from the crowd though and seemed very well received.
[/quote]

That’s because they were too embarrassed for you to tell you that fucking blew ass and mumbled into your sternum the whole time. Maybe we should be shaming poor public speakers into being good ones.

[quote]DBCooper wrote:

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
I’m in the same boat. The few times I have addressed an audience I was shaking in my shoes and it literally felt like I was outside of my body.

Got great feedback from the crowd though and seemed very well received.
[/quote]

That’s because they were too embarrassed for you to tell you that fucking blew ass and mumbled into your sternum the whole time. Maybe we should be shaming poor public speakers into being good ones.[/quote]

What if the public speaker already shames themsleves?

[quote]DBCooper wrote:

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
I’m in the same boat. The few times I have addressed an audience I was shaking in my shoes and it literally felt like I was outside of my body.

Got great feedback from the crowd though and seemed very well received.
[/quote]

That’s because they were too embarrassed for you to tell you that fucking blew ass and mumbled into your sternum the whole time. Maybe we should be shaming poor public speakers into being good ones.[/quote]

There was plenty of coffee and cookies thrown. I didn’t know that they didn’t like me, I just thought that they thought that I was hungry.

The peanut butter thumbprint to the eye hurt though. On several levels.

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:

[quote]DBCooper wrote:

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
I’m in the same boat. The few times I have addressed an audience I was shaking in my shoes and it literally felt like I was outside of my body.

Got great feedback from the crowd though and seemed very well received.
[/quote]

That’s because they were too embarrassed for you to tell you that fucking blew ass and mumbled into your sternum the whole time. Maybe we should be shaming poor public speakers into being good ones.[/quote]

There was plenty of coffee and cookies thrown. I didn’t know that they didn’t like me, I just thought that they thought that I was hungry.

The peanut butter thumbprint to the eye hurt though. On several levels.
[/quote]

Ah, I think I know where you did your public speaking. I hate doing that sort of public speaking too, so I try to take the pressure off of me by saying some really bizarre shit from my past that is relevant to the topic at hand.

When I first started teaching I would get kinda nervous while lecturing at the front of the class. Then, when I started to get more comfortable and would just start talking like I normally do, I let a couple F-bombs go on accident and the class cracked up while I sheepishly apologized. Saying something like “And then fucking HITLER comes along and really took advantage of the shit that Germany found themselves in after WWI” is one of the best unintentional icebreakers out there when it comes to high school history teaching.

[quote]DBCooper wrote:

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:

[quote]DBCooper wrote:

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
I’m in the same boat. The few times I have addressed an audience I was shaking in my shoes and it literally felt like I was outside of my body.

Got great feedback from the crowd though and seemed very well received.
[/quote]

That’s because they were too embarrassed for you to tell you that fucking blew ass and mumbled into your sternum the whole time. Maybe we should be shaming poor public speakers into being good ones.[/quote]

There was plenty of coffee and cookies thrown. I didn’t know that they didn’t like me, I just thought that they thought that I was hungry.

The peanut butter thumbprint to the eye hurt though. On several levels.
[/quote]

Ah, I think I know where you did your public speaking. I hate doing that sort of public speaking too, so I try to take the pressure off of me by saying some really bizarre shit from my past that is relevant to the topic at hand.

When I first started teaching I would get kinda nervous while lecturing at the front of the class. Then, when I started to get more comfortable and would just start talking like I normally do, I let a couple F-bombs go on accident and the class cracked up while I sheepishly apologized. Saying something like “And then fucking HITLER comes along and really took advantage of the shit that Germany found themselves in after WWI” is one of the best unintentional icebreakers out there when it comes to high school history teaching.[/quote]

I’m sure you are familiar with the format. I even knew and was friends with at least 50 or 60 people in the audience.

I just focused on a point in the back of the room and spoke to it. Sometimes I’d look around and at a few people to see what they were doing when I cracked a joke or two.

I used to have a problem public speaking. Then I realized that almost everyone in the room doesn’t give a shit what I’m talking about and some aren’t even listening. This takes most of the pressure off for me.

Also, being in a band and playing shows made me actually start to embrace the spotlight. I would be terribly egotistical if I was a professional musician.

[quote]pgtips wrote:
I hate it. I really, really hate it. I’m scared of it and it is not scared of me.
I like one to one speaking. I like small group discussions, even large group discussions, but I hate public speaking. I hate being centre of attention (Not that I’m particularly shy)

Is any one else in the same boat?[/quote]
Dude everyone knows the number one fear in the whole world is public speaking by a fucking landslide. Pretty much everybody is in your boat lol.

I’ll throw this out there.

I used to be EXACTLY the same way - hated speaking in front of an audience with a passion.

When I was in high school, we had to give speeches all the time. I went to a private Catholic school, so making fun of the speaker was commonplace.
When we had to do improv speeches, that was the worst - learning what you’re talking about 2-3mins before the talk and having to do the majority of the thinking on the fly will really, really fuck with your head.

Then again, we used to give speeches 1x a month. Through sheer repetition, I can honestly say I have ZERO issues with public speaking. Practice makes perfect. After a while, you learn how to cope with it and it really isn’t a big deal any more.

Know of any good resources or books to improve in this area? I have books on public speaking, but they tend to focus on the speech to be given.

I am currently listening to the Lowdown’s American English (have British English as well) for pronunciation and articulation of specific words. Next I plan to work through Voice & Speaking Skills for Dummies. Occasionally I will stand in front of a camera and practice a speech, do a monologue, or read from book. I then watch the video to review my presentation, breath control, etc., etc. - and end up quickly deleting the entire wreck. lol

Have you looked into beta-blockers? They supposively mask most of the physiological symptoms of public speaking anxiety.

I hate giving speeches, and even though all my experience in speech giving has been in classes up to this point I realized I need to face and conquer this fear. I also realized being able to talk and communicate your thoughts and ideas, in both a one on one conversation and in groups, is THE most important skill you can learn. Because of this, I joined a group called Toastmasters about a month ago, thanks in large part to Angry Chicken’s recommendation a long time ago. It’s too early to tell if it will make a significant impact as I’ve only given 1 speech in that group, but I believe it will.

Logically, im not afraid of standing in front of a room with people staring at me. Leading up to the actual speech im not really that nervous or anything, but once I get up there and start speaking I start shaking. I figure repetition is my only cure, which is what Toastmasters appears to be able to give me.

I would say the best way to improve (maybe the only significant way to improve) is to just get practice speaking in front of groups of people. You can read and memorize all the tips in the world about how to give a great speech, and they will help some no doubt, but you cannot memorize how to handle the anxiety and fear of actually being in front of an audience without physically doing it.

Toastmasters

Funny how different humans can be. Public speaking to large groups doesn’t bother me in the least, but ask me to have some sort of one-on-one personal type conversation and I fall apart if it doesn’t have some theme or goal in mind. I just can’t do personal chit-chat. I get sweaty and uncomfortable, exactly the same as the people that don’t like public speaking.

Lol I made a thread about it wheN I took it like 3 years ago on this forum. The most important of Public Speaking is being comfortable with yourself. If your not then your public speaking ability will be utter shit. But after that its just a matter of practice, like any skill.

Hell I dropped the class, my second speech I had like 3 days of insomnia before it, I was freaking the fuck out over it haha.

Let me be clear I am not a good public speaker because I haven’t practiced it but I can at least go on give a speech and not freak the fuck out over it.

[quote]PimpBot5000 wrote:
Toastmasters[/quote]

X2

Toastmasters WORKS. They baby step you as far as you feel you need to go. It’s a commitment, though. You gotta put in your time every week and some groups have homework as well. But if public speaking is something you decide you need to get handled, then I can think of very few better alternatives for the price.